The Letter n°957

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The Letter n°957
The Letter
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
issue 957
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EU sets new course for the Arctic
Author : Laurent Mayet
Laurent Mayet
The European Union's strengthened engagement in the Arctic, presented on 13 October, marks two new directions in the Union's diplomatic positioning: a strategic and security turn, and the absolute priority given to the fight against climate change.
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Elections : Rumen Radev, re-elected President of the Republic
Outgoing Bulgarian President Rumen Radev was re-elected for a second term in the second round of the presidential election on 21 November with 66.72% of the vote. Supported by the Socialist Party, he was opposed to Anastas Gerdzhikov, supported by GERB, who obtained 31.8% of the vote. Rumen Radev will officially start his second mandate on 22 January... Read more

Foundation : Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
As the Belarusian regime announced the dismantling of migrant camps on the border with Poland, the G7 countries and the EU called on it to stop its "aggressive campaign" endangering people's lives and to let international organisations provide humanitarian assistance. On 24 November, opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya will address the European Parliament. 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 reactions and initiatives... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
Austria is reconfirming the whole population until 12 December and will impose compulsory vaccination from February. In Germany, the health pass is compulsory on transport, and places such as restaurants, and concert halls are reserved for those vaccinated based on an incidence rate which may also require them to show a negative test. In Ireland, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs close at midnight and proof of immunity is required for entry to cinemas and theatres. In Greece, non-vaccinated people are no longer allowed access to closed places except for restaurants. In Belgium, remote working is mandatory 4 days a week. To follow developments and find out what measures are 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
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 in digital format. Order your copy here... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union
The 5th edition of the Permanent Atlas of the European Union, a unique work of its kind offers a full, easily accessible panorama of the European Union, the euro zone and of each of the 27 Member States. It is available in digital format... Read more
Monetary policy in a period of unusual period of recovery
The School of Management and Innovation and the Foundation are organising a conference on 24 November at Sciences Po in Paris with Fabio Panetta, member of the ECB Executive Board, on the theme of "Monetary policy in an unusual recovery period"... Read more

Commission : Updating of the competition policy
On 18 November, the Commission presented its proposals to update the Union's competition policy. It also decided to extend the temporary state aid framework allowing Member States to grant aid to companies affected by the pandemic crisis until 30 June 2022. It plans to allow investment support measures to encourage companies to invest in technological and digital transitions. The Foundation published a study on this reform of competition policy in 2020... Read more
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1.1 billion € for the decarbonisation of the economy
The Commission announced on 16 November €1.1 billion in funding for seven projects to decarbonise the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Innovation Fund. The projects (Belgium, Italy, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden) focus on two sectors: energy-using industries and renewable energy... Read more
Measures to counter deforestation and the trafficking of waste
As part of the Green Deal, the Commission proposed on 17 November a new regulation to curb deforestation. It also proposed to revise the rules on waste shipments to combat trafficking and ensure sustainable management. It presented a new strategy for soil preservation and restoration... Read more
Meeting on the Northern Ireland Protocol
On 19 November, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic hosted UK Brexit Minister David Frost for a further discussion on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. He asked for "tangible results", in particular to allow the continuity of the supply of medicines to the province. A further meeting is scheduled for later this week in London... Read more
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Parliament : Third Citizens' Virtual Panel
The third virtual citizens' panel of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held from 19 to 21 November, to discuss climate change, the environment and health. A final panel will be held from 26 to 28 November. The conclusions will be presented in December and 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 : Defence Ministers' Meeting
On 16 November, Defence Ministers discussed the draft Strategic Compass, which is to be adopted in March 2022. They approved 14 projects under permanent structured cooperation. They discussed the expansion of the coordinated maritime presence in the Indo-Pacific, the situation in Belarus and the four missions in Africa. They also discussed with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg the draft declaration on EU-NATO cooperation to be adopted in 2022... Read more
Development Ministers' Meeting
The Development Ministers adopted conclusions on the importance of water in the EU's external action on 19 November. They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as vaccination in developing countries, the climate crisis and water management in Central Asia... Read more
Meeting of Ministers responsible for Cohesion
The ministers responsible for cohesion policy met on 18 November to discuss the reduction of development disparities. In addition, the Council approved the inclusion of San Marino in the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Sea Region (EUSAIR). This economic cooperation now includes 10 countries... Read more
Informal Meeting of Tourism Ministers
The Tourism Ministers met in a video conference on 16 November to discuss the recovery of tourism and to develop a more environmentally friendly and digital form of tourism. In addition, the ministers called for better data sharing and greater integration of remote and island regions... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting on Iran
France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the US Special Envoy for Iran, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt and Jordan met on 18 November in Riyadh to discuss the regional situation and relations with Iran and welcomed the efforts of their regional partners to de-escalate tensions and promote dialogue in the region. Discussions focused on the upcoming round of negotiations on the return of Iran and the United States to the Iran nuclear deal... Read more
Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers under the Eastern Partnership
On 15 November, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs met with their counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova under the Eastern Partnership. They reiterated their willingness to advance their cooperation by prioritising investment and good governance in the region. The meeting served as a preparation for the Eastern Partnership summit in December... Read more
EU-Uzbekistan Cooperation Council
During the 16th Cooperation Council with Uzbekistan on 16th November the two parties reviewed negotiations in view of a new partnership agreement... Read more
Situation of Palestinian refugees in the Near East
The European Union and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed a joint declaration on 17 November to mark 50 years of partnership. The EU pledges to support UNRWA politically while providing essential services to the refugees. For its part, UNRWA reaffirms its commitment to neutrality, efficiency and transparency, as well as to continuing its reform and modernisation efforts... Read more

Court of Justice : Condemnation of the regime of delegation of judges in Poland
The Court of Justice ruled on 15 November that the Polish regime allowing the Minister of Justice to delegate judges to higher criminal courts is contrary to EU law. The Court ruled that the absence of objective criteria for such delegation and its revocation undermines the independence and impartiality of judges and therefore does not guarantee respect for the principle of presumption of innocence... Read more
Hungary condemned for violating the right to asylum
The Court of Justice condemned Hungary on 15 November for failing to comply with the rules on the processing of asylum applications. It found that Hungary had ruled applications inadmissible even though they did not concern situations in which States may reject an application for international protection. In addition, the Court found that Hungarian law did not respect the procedural rights guaranteed by the Union by prohibiting asylum seekers from having access to legal aid... Read more

ECB : Speech on inflation
At a conference in Frankfurt on 19 November, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that the current rise in inflation in the euro area is "largely driven up by the exceptional circumstances created by the pandemic" and "likely to slow the pace of recovery in the medium term". On 15 November, at a hearing of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, she confirmed that the preconditions for a rate hike are unlikely to be met next year... Read more
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Development of the digital euro
Fabio Panetta, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), published an article on 19 November in which he notes a decline in cash payments at the expense of a growing increase in online sales in the euro area. He argues that given these dynamics, the ECB needs to adapt by focusing on digital money so that it can respond to new needs... Read more
Report on Financial Stability
In a quarterly report on financial stability published on 17 November, the ECB states that rising output prices, labour shortages and the spread of teleworking are weighing on the housing construction sector. In particular, the ECB is concerned about the impact of the increasing overvaluation of housing prices over the risk of price corrections in the medium term... Read more
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Romania : Nicolae Ciuca tasked with forming a government
On 22 November, President Klaus Iohannis tasked Nicolae Ciuca of the National Liberal Party (PNL) with forming a coalition government comprising the PNL, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Hungarian minority party (UDMR). The three parties had reached an agreement on 21 November after a two-month crisis triggered by a motion of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister Florin Citu (PNL). Under the agreement, N. Ciuca and Marcel Ciolacu (PSD) will share the post of Prime Minister, each with a one-and-a-half-year mandate, until the legislative elections scheduled for December 2024. A vote of confidence in parliament is expected to take place on 25 November... Read more
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Council of Europe : New protocol to counter cybercrime
On 17 November, the Council of Europe adopted an Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime to strengthen cooperation and disclosure of electronic evidence. The protocol aims to uphold the rule of law in cyberspace, protect Internet users and help bring justice to victims of crime... Read more

OECD : Economic Study of France
In a report assessing the French economy published on 18 November, the OECD stresses that the French government's response to the crisis caused by the pandemic has been rapid and effective, and forecasts growth of 6.8% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022. The OECD recommends maintaining support for households and businesses, gradually targeting the most viable companies and sectors, and encouraging investment. It mentions the delay in the adoption of digital technologies by French SMEs and the difficulty of integrating low-skilled young people into the labour market... Read more
Report on Inequalities
In a report released on 18 November, the OECD finds that inequality is a growing concern as the economy recovers from the pandemic crisis. While most are concerned about inequality, there are differing views on the extent of inequality and what should be done about it... Read more

IMF : Report on the economy of the Netherlands
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its assessment report on the financial health of the Netherlands on 15 November. It highlights the country's economic resilience to the pandemic thanks to a high rate of digitalisation of activities. The IMF is optimistic that Dutch growth will reach 4% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022, due to strong consumption and investment as well as increased vaccination coverage... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on the Union's Fishing Fleet
The EU fishing fleet's operations were profitable in 2019 and are expected to be so in 2020, according to the EU Fishing Fleet Annual Report 2021 published on 18 November. However, it predicts a possible reduction in profits for 2021 due to higher fuel prices. The report analyses Member States' economic performance and highlights the high performance of sustainable fisheries, particularly in the North-East Atlantic, compared to those in overfished areas such as the Mediterranean... Read more
Approval of anti-Covid tablets
As Europe faces a new wave of the epidemic, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 19 November approved Merck's anti-Covid pill for emergency use, prior to its formal authorisation in the EU, and initiated a review for a similar approval of Pfizer's anti-Covid pill... Read more
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Culture : Klee and Goya Exhibitions in Lille
The Lille Museum of Modern Art (LaM) is offering a reflective look at the origins of art through the exhibition "Paul Klee, between worlds" until 19 February 2022. The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille is devoting an exhibition to the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya until 14 February 2022... Read more
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Mondrian Exhibition in Milan
Until 27 March 2022, the Museum of Culture in Milan (MUDEC) is devoting an exhibition to the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Through 60 works, the exhibition traces the process of artistic growth that led Mondrian from figuration to abstraction, from the Dutch landscape tradition to the development of his unique style... Read more
Enhancement of the Städel Museum's collections
The Städel Museum in Frankfurt is honouring the German photographer Ulrike Crespo (1950-2019) until 6 March 2022 for her bequest to the museum, which includes works by Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Jean Dubuffet and Cy Twombly... Read more
World Press Photo exhibition in Madrid
The headquarters of the Official College of Architects in Madrid is hosting the 64th edition of the World Press Photo Festival until 8 December. The photographs selected by an independent jury reflect the stories and events that have marked the year 2021... Read more
Contemporary Art in Belfast
The 545 Contemporary Art Gallery in Belfast has unveiled its annual showcase of Northern Irish contemporary art. Twenty artists are on show until 5 December... Read more
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Ursula von Rydingsvard in Krakow
Until 6 February 2022, eleven cedar wood sculptures, eleven drawings and an installation by the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard are on display at the National Museum in Krakow, illustrating her relationship to poetry and nature... Read more
Art Fair in Thessaloniki
The Thessaloniki International Art Fair is being held from 25 to 28 November at the Helexpo exhibition centre with a mix of contemporary and classical art, including an exhibition on the Greek Revolution (1821-1829)... Read more
European Film Festival in Paris
The 16th edition of the "Europe autour de l'Europe" film festival is taking place in Paris until 30 November in several cultural venues in the French capital, on the theme of the body in movement... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Seminar on the Napoleonic Wars
On 30 November and 1 December, an international colloquium entitled "The Napoleonic Wars in history: from 1815 to the present day. Historiography and contributions to the history of war", organised by the Service historique de la Défense, in partnership with the Fondation Napoléon, the Université Paris-I Panthéon Sorbonne and the Musée de l'Armée... Read more
"Lui, lui partout" in Ravenna
At the Palazzo dei Horti in Ravenna, until 30 January 2022, the exhibition "Lui, lui partout" traces the Napoleonic legend through the contemporary works of the artist Jean Gaudaire-Thor... Read more
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22-25 November 2021


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

23 November 2021


General Affairs Council

24 November 2021


European Economic Area Council

25 November 2021


Competitiveness Council (internal market and industry) Europe-Asia Dialogue Summit (ASEM)

26 November 2021


Competitiveness Council (research and space)

29 November 2021


Trade Council

29-30 November 2021


Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

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