The Letter n°955

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The Letter n°955
The Letter
Tuesday 9th November 2021
issue 955
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"Overall the European Union is perceived as an important player"
Author : Pierre Mayaudon
Pierre Mayaudon
Since the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union has been represented in the world by ambassadors, who coordinate locally the common action of the 27. Pierre Mayaudon, a former French ambassador, was posted to Kabul on behalf of the EU. He explains how this role contributes, within the existing legal and political framework, to forging a European diplomatic identity.
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Foundation : Between European vision and national needs - the French EU Presidency in a turbulent year
As part of the preparations for the French Presidency of the Council of the Union, on 10th November, on the initiative of the Robert Schuman Foundation, the DGAP is organising a video conference with Jean-Dominique Giuliani and Pascale Joannin on the European Union's strategic and defence issues and the concept of European sovereignty from a Franco-German perspective... Read more
Economic recovery and political cohesion for the future of the Union
As part of the preparations for the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) in Zagreb is organising a video conference on 12th November on the initiative of the Robert Schuman Foundation. Jean-Dominique Giuliani and Pascale Joannin will be taking part in this conference which will focus on the Union's economic revival and the strengthening of the identification of citizens with the European project... Read more
The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2021
You have not yet had the opportunity to read the 2021 edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union", a reference work published by Marie B.? You can still do so. It is available in hard copy in bookshops and on our website, and in digital format. Order it... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
The fifth edition of the unique Permanent Atlas of the European Union provides a comprehensive and easily accessible overview of the European Union, the euro area and each of its 27 Member States. It is available in hard copy on our website and in bookshops, or in digital form... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
In the Netherlands, as of 6 November, the Covid certificate has been made compulsory in bars, restaurants, cultural venues and conference rooms, and masks must be worn in shops, public transport and schools. In Austria, non-vaccinated people cannot enter bars, hairdressing salons and cultural venues. Masks are again compulsory in schools in the most affected areas in France, and in secondary education in Belgium. In Germany, the federal government and the Länder have expressed their support for a third dose of vaccine for the entire already vaccinated population. To follow developments in the situation and find out what measures are currently in force in the various EU Member States, the Foundation offers you a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
As Poland turned back several hundred migrants transported to its border by the Belarusian regime on 8 November, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is demanding that Belarus stop "endangering the lives of its citizens" and is calling on Member States to approve new sanctions against the regime. On 4 November, 35 OSCE countries, including 26 EU countries except Poland, activated a mechanism to ask the Belarusian regime to explain its repression, human rights violations and smuggling of migrants into the EU. To follow the crisis triggered by the rigged presidential election of August 2020 and the repression of the democratic opposition, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more

Commission : Proposal for 23 fishing opportunities in 2022
On 3 November the Commission published its proposal for fishing opportunities in EU waters in the Atlantic, Kattegat and Skagerrak for 2022. The 23 proposed Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for the fish stocks concerned will be adopted on 13 and 14 December at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council... Read more
Meeting on the Northern Irish Protocol
Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic received UK Brexit minister David Frost on 5 November to try to reach an agreement on the implementation of the protocol to keep the border open on the island of Ireland. Maros Sefcovic described the meeting as disappointing, and warned that British activation of Article 16 of the protocol to implement safeguard measures "would have serious consequences"... Read more
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Parliament : Visit to Taiwan
Seven MEPs, members of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation, visited Taiwan from 3 to 5 November to study the country's initiatives to counter China's disinformation campaigns and other hybrid attacks. They considered Taiwan to be a "key partner and democratic ally" of the EU and agreed to explore avenues for partnership... Read more
New European Citizens' Panels
After 4 citizens' panels organised in Strasbourg from 17 September to 17 October as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a second series of panels, this time virtual, has been launched. From 5 to 7 November, a first panel of 200 randomly selected Europeans discussed economic issues, social justice, employment, culture, youth, sport and digital transformation. Three more panels will be organised by the end of November. Their conclusions will be presented in December or January to the conference plenary. All Europeans can contribute to the debates on the conference platform... Read more
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Council : Eurogroup Meeting
The members of the Eurogroup met on 8 November to discuss the political outlook and macroeconomic developments in the euro area. They exchanged views on energy prices and inflation. Ministers also discussed the potential impact of the digital euro on the euro area, addressed the issue of fiscal and economic policy coordination in the post-Covid-19 context and took stock of the preparations for the introduction of the common safety net to the Single Resolution Fund... Read more

Diplomacy : Call for the withdrawal of troops
The European Union called on 4 November for an immediate ceasefire and political negotiations "without preconditions" between the Ethiopian government and rebels in the Tigray region. It said it was ready to use all its foreign policy instruments, including restrictive measures, to help end the conflict... Read more
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Declarations regarding Myanmar and Nicaragua
The presidential election in Nicaragua was held "without democratic guarantees" and completes the tipping of this country into an "autocratic regime", stated the head of the Union's diplomacy, Josep Borrell, on 8 November. On the same day, he strongly condemned the serious human rights violations committed by the armed forces since the elections held a year ago in Myanmar/Burma... Read more
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Initiatives for the Climate
On 2 November, at the climate conference in Glasgow, the Commission announced an EU contribution of €1 billion for forest protection. In addition, the EU and the US launched the global commitment to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, signed by over 100 countries. Finally, the EU, France, Germany, the UK and the US announced a partnership to support South Africa's decarbonisation efforts with $8.5 billion in funding... Read more
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Germany : Angela Merkel's last visit as Chancellor
Angela Merkel was welcomed with her husband by Emmanuel Macron and his wife in Beaune on 3 November for her last official visit to France as German Chancellor. The French president awarded her the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, underlining her "exceptional career" and her contribution to "keeping Europe united despite all the shocks". Angela Merkel praised Franco-German cooperation and the common values she has shared with four French presidents. Chancellor Merkel looks back on her 16 years in office in an interview with Deutsche Welle... Read more
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Bulgaria : Polls a week before the election
With one week to go before the 14 November parliamentary elections, the conservative GERB party chaired by Boyko Borisov is in the lead with 22.5% of the vote, ahead of the Socialist Party (15.1%), the new "We continue the change" party (13.4%), the "There is such a nation" movement (12.2%), the Democratic Bulgaria party (11.2%) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (10.8%). In the first round of the presidential election on 14 November, incumbent Rumen Radev (independent) is leading ahead of Anastas Gerdijkov (GERB), Mustafa Karadaya (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) and Lozan Panov (Democratic Bulgaria)... Read more

France : Meeting with the British regarding fishing
The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, and the British Minister for Brexit, David Frost, met in Paris on 4 November to seek a solution to the crisis between their two countries over licences for French fishermen in British waters. No agreement was reached and discussions are continuing... Read more

Italy : Competition Reform
On 4 November, the Italian government presented a draft reform of competition policy to make the rules regarding concessions, public procurement and for certain sectors such as health and transport more transparent... Read more
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Portugal : Snap election on 30 January
Following the rejection by the Portuguese Parliament of Prime Minister António Costa's 2022 budget proposal on 27 October, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies on 4 November. Parliamentary elections will be held on 30 January 2022... Read more
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Czech Republic : Agreement of five parties regarding the formation of a government
Five Czech parties belonging to SPOLU, a coalition of three conservative parties (Civic Democratic Party ODS, Christian Democratic Party KDU-ČSL and TOP 09), and STAN, an alliance of the Pirate Party and Mayors and Independents, signed a coalition agreement on 8 November, the day the parliament that emerged from the 8-9 October elections met for the first time. On 6 November, President Milos Zeman, who was hospitalised, said he was ready to appoint SPOLU leader Petr Fiala as Prime Minister. The government will comprise 18 ministers... Read more

Council of Europe : Call on Bulgaria regarding degrading treatment
On 4 November, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) called on Bulgaria to take action for its lack of progress in addressing significant problems in the country's social care homes and hospitals. The CPT calls upon the Bulgarian authorities to adopt a new methodology for the provision of mental health care and institutional social assistance services... Read more

ECHR : Condemnation of Poland
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Poland on 8 November for violating the right to a fair trial. It considers that the appointment of Supreme Court judges by the Polish President on the advice of the National Council of the Judiciary compromises the independence and impartiality of the Supreme Court. In addition, the ECHR found a violation of Polish domestic law both in terms of the procedural rules for the appointment of Supreme Court judges, as well as in terms of the failure to comply with a domestic judicial decision... Read more

Eurostat : Decrease in unemployment
According to figures published by Eurostat on 3 November, the EU unemployment rate was 6.7% in September, down from 6.9% in August. The euro area unemployment rate was 7.4%, down from 7.5% the previous month... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on the development of the European Budget
The Commission has published a report outlining the evolution of EU budgetary policy, analysing the 2021-2027 budget and the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument, and suggesting ways forward... Read more
Annual report regarding the Union's humanitarian aid operations
On 29 October, the Commission published a report on the EU's humanitarian operations in 2020. It recalls that more than €2 billion was provided to support more than 80 countries around the world and that €450 million in humanitarian aid was made available in response to the pandemic... Read more

Culture : Rubens in Stuttgart
The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is presenting the exhibition "Becoming Famous" until 20 February 2022, focusing on the figure and work of Peter Paul Rubens. The exhibition focuses on how the artist built his reputation... Read more
Rembrandt at the Städel Museum
Until 30 January 2022, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt is staging an exhibition entitled "Rembrandt in Amsterdam, Creativity and Competition", in which some sixty of Rembrandt's paintings are compared with the works of rival Flemish artists of his time, highlighting the uniqueness of his pictorial style... Read more
Film Festival of Thessaloniki
The 62nd Film Festival of Thessaloniki is being held until 14 November. Apart of film screenings from the world over, the festival is presenting the best Greek films of the year... Read more
Leopold Buczkowski in Lodz
The Sztuki Museum in Lodz is showing a retrospective of the Polish artist Leopold Buczkowski until 13 February 2022. The exhibition "Leopold Buczkowski. Glimpses of History, Fugitive Images" traces the history and significance of the Polish artist's work as a writer, poet, painter and sculptor... Read more
Espinho Animation Film Festival
One of the oldest festivals in Portugal, the CINANIMA international animation film festival is being held in Espinho, south of Porto, until 14 November. Screenings, exhibitions and workshops around the world of animation are on the programme... Read more
Feriarte in Madrid
Until 21 November, Spain's annual art and antiques fair is taking place in Madrid. Visitors are invited to discover works from a wide range of disciplines... Read more
Florence's Lo Schermo dell'Arte Festival
The Lo Schermo Dell'arte film and contemporary art festival returns to Florence for its 14th edition from 10 to 14 November. A selection of cinematographic productions will be presented in the city's cinemas to promote and explore the relationship between cinema and contemporary art... Read more
Paris Photo Festival
The Paris Photo festival is being held from 11 to 14 November at the ephemeral Grand Palais. Among the various exhibitions, a tour called Elles x Paris Photo is being organised to improve the representation and recognition of women photographers... Read more
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Marjatta Hanhijoki in Helsinki
From 13 November to 2 January 2022, the Helsinki Art Gallery is exhibiting watercolours, charcoal drawings and black and white graphic works by Marjatta Hanhijoki... Read more
Drawings by Juan Miguel Verdiguier in Cordoba
Until 16 January 2022, the Museo de Bellas Artes in Córdoba is exhibiting drawings by Juan Miguel Verdiguier, an 18th-century French sculptor who did extensive work on the cathedrals of Córdoba, Jaén and Granada... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Napoleon in Brignoles in November
During the month of November the town of Brignoles is joining in the celebration of the bicentenary of Napoleon's death and will be rediscovering the historical, cultural and musical mark left by the Emperor. Napoleon's legacy is analysed through conferences, screenings, concerts and an exhibition "'Brignoles, under the Consulate and the Empire"... Read more
Franz Ludwig Catel, a romantic painter in Napoleon's Calabria
The romantic paintings of Franz-Ludwig Catel are exhibited for the first time in France at the Maison de Chateaubriand, in Châtenay-Malabry, until December 20. Franz-Ludwig Catel, a Prussian painter who travelled to the region of Calabria in southern Italy under Napoleon's occupation, returned from his journey with some forty paintings depicting, among other things, features that have now disappeared... Read more

8 November 2021


Eurogroup Meeting

9 November


"Economic and Financial Affairs" Council

11 November


Meeting of Trade Ministers

12 November


Meeting of Budget Ministers

14 November


General Elections and first round of Presidential election

15 November


Agriculture and Fisheries Council


Agriculture and Fisheries Council; Foreign Affairs Council; Meeting of Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers

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