The Letter n°956

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The Letter n°956
The Letter
Tuesday 16th November 2021
issue 956
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Europe and the challenge set by history
Author : Alain Lamassoure
Alain Lamassoure
The development of history teaching in schools has gone hand in hand with the development of the nation state in the 19th century. Today, in a Europe at peace, and while the discipline has evolved, it is necessary to reflect on how to develop an awareness of belonging to a common European whole.
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Elections : "We continue the change" wins the elections and Rumen Radev is in a good position to be re-elected as President
The "We continue the Change" coalition surprised everyone by winning the parliamentary elections held in Bulgaria for the third time this year on 14 November with 25.34% of the vote and is expected to form the next government. In the first round of the presidential elections held on the same day, the incumbent President Rumen Radev came out ahead with 49.4% of the vote and is expected to be re-elected in the second round on 21 November... Read more

Foundation : Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
The EU and its allies condemn the hybrid attack carried out by the Belarusian regime on the Polish border using migrants. Foreign ministers adopted sanctions on 15 November against persons and entities involved in human trafficking. To follow the latest developments in the crisis opened 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
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
In Austria, unvaccinated people are to be confined as of 15 November and for at least 10 days. In the Netherlands, bars and restaurants must close at 8pm and non-essential shops at 6pm, at least until early December. In Germany, in Saxony, non-vaccinated people can no longer enter bars and restaurants, sports halls and hairdressers. Denmark has decided to reintroduce the health pass. In France, masks are compulsory in all schools, and from 15 December, a third dose of vaccine will be required for those over 65 to obtain the health pass. To follow developments in the situation and learn about the measures in force in the various EU Member States, the Foundation offers you a complete map of the measures in force. An indispensable resource, regularly updated... 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. You can order your copy here... 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

Commission : Economic Forecasts
In its economic forecasts published on 11 November, the Commission expects growth of 5% for 2021 and 4.3% for 2022 in the EU, up from 4.2% and 4.4% last summer. It believes that the lifting of restrictions and the NextGenerationEU programme are helping the post-pandemic recovery, but it stresses that the latter is highly dependent on the evolution of the health crisis and the pace at which supply adjusts to the rapid recovery in demand... Read more
New programmes for digital Europe
On 10 November, the Commission launched three programmes with a total budget of €1.98 billion to improve digital Europe. The first programme focuses on investing in artificial intelligence and expanding the use of digital data in society. The second will fund cybersecurity projects and the third will create a network of European digital innovation clusters... Read more
Contract with Valneva for a potential vaccine
On 10 November, the Commission approved a contract with an eighth pharmaceutical company to procure a new vaccine. Signed with the company Valneva, the contract allows EU Member States to purchase up to 27 million doses in 2022, and up to 33 million more vaccines in 2023. The vaccine is still in development and will have to be validated by the European Medicines Agency... Read more
Meeting on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol
Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic received the British Minister for Brexit David Frost on 12 November to discuss the application of the Northern Ireland Protocol. He noted a willingness to cooperate but recalled the importance of finding an agreement quickly. He insisted in particular on the issue of the supply of medicines by Great Britain in Northern Ireland and said he was ready to modify the European legislation on the matter. Both sides agreed to step up discussions before a further meeting on 19 November... Read more
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Emergency plan to avoid food shortages
On 12 November, the Commission adopted an emergency plan to ensure food supply and security in times of crisis, including the establishment of a group of supply chain experts to avoid shortages... Read more

Parliament : Agreement on the 2022 budget
The Council and the Parliament reached an agreement on 15 November on the EU's 2022 budget. The ceiling for payment appropriations was set at €170.6 billion and for commitment appropriations at €169.5 billion. The budget will focus on economic recovery and the green and digital transitions... Read more
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Adoption of the directive for multinational tax transparency
On 11 November, MEPs adopted the obligation for multinationals and their subsidiaries with annual revenues exceeding €750 million to publish online the amount of taxes paid in each Member State. To combat tax evasion, non-cooperative jurisdictions such as Panama or Fiji will also have to provide information to the EU on companies declared for tax purposes on their territory... Read more
Approval of the creation of an Agency for Asylum
On 11 November, MEPs approved the creation of the EU Asylum Agency, which will replace the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The agency will assist States in processing applications for international protection and in implementing the European asylum system. A post of Fundamental Rights Officer will be created. From 2023 onwards, the agency will monitor the proper application by States of the criteria for assessing asylum applications. The text has now to be adopted by the Council... Read more
Second virtual panel of citizens
The second virtual citizens' panel of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held from 12 to 14 November, on the theme of democracy and European values, the rule of law and security. Two further panels will be held between now and the end of November. Their conclusions will be presented in December or January to the conference's plenary assembly. All Europeans can contribute to the debates on the conference platform... Read more
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Council : Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers
The finance ministers discussed economic recovery and the financing of NextGenerationEU on 9 November. They discussed the increase in energy prices and the tools for applying the Basel III agreements, which are intended to improve the Union's banking resilience. The ministers used the meeting to approve the conclusions on the future of the European semester... Read more
Meeting of Trade Ministers
Meeting on 11 November, trade ministers discussed the reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and trade relations with the US. They discussed the expected outcome of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, which will take place from 30 November to 3 December. Ministers stressed the importance of a constructive transatlantic agenda with the US... Read more
Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers
The Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries, meeting on 15 November, adopted conclusions on the new European forestry strategy for 2030. They discussed the impact of rising energy prices on the market for agricultural products... Read more
Extension of sanctions against Turkey for unauthorised drilling
The Council decided on 11 November to extend for one year the restrictive measures against Turkey for its unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. The sanctions take the form of an asset freeze and an EU travel ban for the individuals concerned, as well as a ban on EU citizens and entities making funds available to the listed individuals. Two people are currently affected by these sanctions... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers
Foreign Ministers meeting on 15 November adopted new sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in the smuggling of migrants to the EU via Belarus... Read more
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Court of Justice : Google fine confirmed
The General Court of the European Union confirmed on 10 November the €2.42 billion penalty imposed by the Commission on Google in 2017 for abuse of a dominant position. The Court, which was referred to by Google, found that by favouring its own product comparator on its results pages to the detriment of a product that would lead to better results, Google failed to comply with competition rules... Read more
Ruling on the European asylum regime
On 9 November, the Court of Justice handed down a ruling on the European asylum system. It considers that a minor child, even if he or she does not qualify as an asylum seeker, can obtain asylum if one of his or her parents has been granted refugee status, with the aim of maintaining the family unit... Read more

European Agencies : Europol Report on Cybercrime
The Covid-19 crisis has fuelled the rise of cybercrime in all its forms. The extension of confinements has brought a number of new online trading opportunities, which have often proved to be a target for criminals," Europol said on 11 November in its annual cybercrime report... Read more
Two new therapies against Covid-19 validated
On 11 November, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) validated two therapies against Covid-19 (Ronapreve and Regkirona) previously approved by the Commission. Both are intended for use in the early stages of infection. The EMA is currently evaluating six other medicines in order to validate or not their availability on the market... Read more
Report on Air Pollution
According to a European Environment Agency report published on 15 November, fine particle pollution caused 307,000 deaths in the European Union in 2019, an alarming figure that has fallen by more than 10% in one year. This decrease is partly due to favourable weather conditions, but mainly to the continued gradual improvement of air quality in Europe. However, more than half of these lives could be saved if Member States met the new air quality targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO)... Read more

France : International Conference on Libya
At an international conference for Libya held in Paris on 12 November, some 30 international leaders called for the elections scheduled for 24 December to be "inclusive" and "credible". They called for the departure of foreign mercenaries... Read more

Poland : Tension on the borders with Belarus
Faced with the massive influx of migrants organised at its border by the Belarusian regime, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki discussed joint actions with his Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts, Ingrida Simonytė and Krisjanis Kariņs, whose countries also share a border with Belarus. The European Union has ensured that airlines still flying to Minsk will no longer accept passengers without return tickets, and adopted sanctions on 15 November against individuals and entities involved in the smuggling of migrants... Read more
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Czech Republic : Petr Fiala asked to form a government
Czech President Miloš Zeman officially appointed the leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Petr Fiala, to form a government on 9 November. This decision comes after the coalition agreement between SPOLU, the 3-party coalition (Civic Democratic Party, Christian Democratic Party (KDU/CSL) and Top 09), and STAN, the alliance of the Pirate Party and Mayors and Independents, following the elections of 8 and 9 October... Read more
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Sweden : Resignation of the Prime Minister
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven tendered his resignation on 10 November, which he had announced during the summer after a vote of no confidence in his government. On 11 November, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, who was elected in early November as leader of the Social Democratic Party, was asked to form a new government by the Speaker of Parliament. An investiture vote could be held on 18 November... Read more
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Council of Europe : Report on poor treatment in Spain
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published a report on 9 November calling on the Spanish authorities to resolutely prevent ill-treatment in prison. The Committee proposes measures to improve the treatment of prisoners and patients deprived of their liberty in prison psychiatric hospitals... Read more
The fight to counter human trafficking in Malta
In a report published on 10 November, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) urges Malta to make efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking have effective access to compensation and to take measures to ensure that trafficking cases are investigated and lead to effective sanctions... Read more

UN : Cliimate Conference in Glasgow
COP 26, the UN climate change conference, concluded on 13 November in Glasgow with a compromise climate agreement. "This is an important step, but it is not enough," said UN Secretary General António Guterres... Read more
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UNESCO 75 years
Several heads of state and government gathered in Paris on 12 November to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). On 9 November, the Secretary General of the organisation, Audrey Azoulay, was re-elected for a second 4-year term... Read more
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IMF : Report on France
On 9 November, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its annual assessment report on France's financial health and economic prospects. The report highlights France's resilience after the Covid-19 economic crisis, and is optimistic about the country's economic prospects. The IMF nevertheless stresses the need for a gradual rebalancing of public finances from 2023 onwards, in particular to reduce the rate of growth of current public spending... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on trade and Employment
A report on trade and employment published by the Commission on 12 November highlights that EU exports support 38 million jobs, an increase of 75% since 2000, with wages 12% higher... Read more
Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)
On 12 November, the Commission published the Digital Economy and Society Index 2021 (DESI), which measures the progress made by countries in terms of digital competitiveness. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the index shows an overall progress of countries in terms of digitisation but it points to large inequalities... Read more
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Culture : Jazz Festival Madrid
Until 28 November, the Spanish capital is hosting a jazz festival. Concerts, screenings, conferences and exhibitions are organised to promote young artists and women musicians... Read more
Film Festival in Zagreb
The 19th edition of the Zagreb Film Festival, which focuses on the promotion of young and upcoming filmmakers, runs until 21 November. Five awards are up for grabs in the categories: feature film, short film, Croatian film, "Together Again" (for filmmakers who have competed in the past) and regional film... Read more
Impressionism in Hamburg
Until 31 December 2023, the Kunsthalle Hamburg is offering a comparison of Impressionism on both sides of the Rhine. The exhibition "Impressionism. Franco-German Encounters" compares the similarities and differences of paintings in the two countries around themes such as portraiture, landscape and "city and leisure". The museum is also presenting "From Menzel to Monet", an exhibition drawn from the personal collection of the Wolffson family, until 27 February 2022... Read more
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Baudelaire, melancolic modernity
Until 13 February 2022, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris is celebrating the bicentenary of Charles Baudelaire's birth with an exhibition exploring the defining role played by the experience of melancholy in his work... Read more
Praise of Light in Geneva
The Fondation Baur-Musée des Arts d'Extrême-Orient in Geneva is devoting an exhibition to Aveyron artist Pierre Soulages and Japanese sculptor Tanabe Chikuunsai IV until 27 March 2022. The works by the two artists on display interact through the use of contrasting light and colour... Read more
Alison Watt in Edinburgh
Until 9 January 2022, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh is devoting an exhibition to Alison Watt, one of the leading figures in contemporary Scottish art. Fascinated by Allan Ramsay, the 18th century Scottish painter who painted portraits of the philosophers David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, she draws inspiration from his work and compares it to her own... Read more
200 years - Solly Collection
Until January 16, 2022, the Paintings Gallery in Berlin is hosting an exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the acquisition of the Solly Collection. The English dealer Edward Solly collected thousands of paintings by artists such as Giotto, Botticelli and Van Eyck, mainly from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands... Read more
Henry Moore and Eastern Europe
The National Museum of Romania in Bucharest is devoting an exhibition to the itinerary of the Henry Moore exhibition in Bucharest, Bratislava, Prague and Budapest in 1966 and 1967 until 2 February 2022. Through the analysis of the reception of Moore's work in each of these cities, the exhibition contributes to the understanding of the complexity of the cultural policies of the 1960s between the West and the East of the continent... Read more
History of women servants in Warsaw
From 18 November to 20 March 2022, the Warsaw Museum of History tells the story of women who worked as domestic servants in Warsaw. In an exhibition called "Invisible. Stories of Warsaw's domestic servants", 400 historical and contemporary objects are brought together to tell the story of these women servants, who numbered 40,000 each year at the beginning of the 20th century... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : History Book Fair Versailles
History of Reading, the history book fair in Versailles which is being held on 20 and 21 November, offers debates and discussions on Napoleon, as well as a series of 6 podcasts on the Emperor... Read more
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They cry out "Long Live the Emperor"
Until November 28th, the town of Saint-Tropez is organising an exhibition which allows visitors to discover fragments of the lives of soldiers and sailors of the First Empire from the peninsula and the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. On this occasion, a day of conferences, entitled "Les combattants de la Liberté" (Freedom fighters), is organised on November 20th... Read more
Conference with Jean Tulard on Marengo
The Montagne Sainte-Geneviève association welcomes the historian Jean Tulard, on 25 November at 6pm, for a conference on the battle of Marengo, "Bonaparte's strange victory" in 1799... Read more

15 November


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

16 November 2021


Meeting of Defence Ministers EU-Uzbekistan Cooperation Council

18 November 2021


Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Cohesion

19 November 2021


Meeting of Development Ministers

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