The Letter n°979

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The Letter n°979
The Letter
Tuesday 10th May 2022
issue 979
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The Declaration of 9 May 1950
Author : Robert Schuman
Robert Schuman
On 9 May, while Vladimir Putin showcases his army against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the rewriting of history, the European Union is celebrating Europe Day and its model of peace and cooperation. On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman proposed the pooling of coal and steel to overcome differences. The Foundation is republishing this founding text of European construction.
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Front page! : 9 May: Looking to the future
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72 years after the Schuman Declaration, Europe remains a unique force for stability, wealth, solidarity and equality in the world. Faced with the challenges of the 21st century, and in particular the challenge to its democratic model, the message of unity of 9 May 1950 remains more relevant than ever, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more
Europe has an opportunity to change
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In an opinion piece for the Foundation on the occasion of Europe Day, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, underlines that Europe has shown the world unprecedented determination, solidarity and unity against the war in Ukraine, and calls on European leaders to be bold in responding to citizens' challenges and expectations... Read more

Foundation : Unreservedly European
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In his book, Jean-Dominique Giuliani openly addresses his fellow citizens, who must refuse to accept the lies told about the European Union, while at the same time making a constant contribution to improving it. This book, published by Marie B, is available in paper format on the Foundation's website and in bookshops. Order it your copy now!.. Read more
Essential Europe
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The Institute for Strategic Studies of the National University of Public Service and the Otto von Habsburg Foundation are organising a conference in Budapest on 10 May with Jean-Dominique Giuliani on the importance of strengthening the European Union in the current geopolitical context... Read more
The Union's 24 languages, guarantees of European democracy
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On 12 May, the Foundation is organising an online debate on the importance of multilingualism in the European Union. This video conference will be held in the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union... Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
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In response to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU has set up a €672.5 billion recovery fund, known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, for Member States in the form of grants and loans. 24 plans have so far been approved by the Council, including those of Bulgaria and Sweden on 3 May. 21 countries have received the planned pre-financing, and 4 countries have received a first tranche after meeting a series of targets. The Commission has not yet approved the Hungarian and Polish plans because of their infringement of the rule of law. The Foundation provides you with an interactive map of the plans country by country, to see the amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
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Most of the health measures introduced during the winter have been lifted in the European Union. Since 1 May, no documents are required to enter Bulgaria, while Germany has extended the current entry restrictions until the end of May. In the Czech Republic, masks have not been required in public places since 5 May. The European Parliament and the Council are expected to adopt the extension of the digital Covid certificate for one year, until June 2023. To find out what the situation is in the Member States, the Foundation offers you a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
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Pour mieux comprendre l'Europe en 2022, l'Atlas permanent de l'Union européenne, publié aux éditions Marie B, ouvrage unique en son genre, propose une vue complète et facile d'accès, de l'Union européenne, de la zone euro et de chacun de ses 27 États membres avec de très nombreuses cartes. Il est disponible en librairie ou sur notre site... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Conference of Donors for Ukraine
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An international donor conference for Ukraine organised by Poland, Sweden, the Commission and the European Council was held on 5 May in Warsaw. The participants pledged around $6.5 billion in additional aid to the Ukrainians. The Commission announced new support measures worth €200 million; Slovakia, the UK, Germany, France and the US pledged €541,000, £45 million, €265 million, $300 million and $387 million respectively... Read more
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Citizens' support to the Union's response
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The majority of Europeans believe that since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has shown solidarity (79% of respondents) in its response, according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey published on 3 May. Citizens approve of the humanitarian support given to Ukraine (93%), are in favour of welcoming people fleeing the war into the EU (88%) and approve of the EU's financial support (80%). They approve of the economic sanctions against Russia (80%) and support efforts to reduce dependence on Russian energy, while admitting that additional measures need to be taken in the EU to limit the consequences of rising energy prices on citizens' purchasing power... Read more
New Gas Projects between Member States
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On 3 May, Greece and Bulgaria launched the construction of a floating platform for liquefied natural gas (LNG) south of Alexandropolis in the Mediterranean Sea. The LNG terminal is expected to be operational by the end of 2023 and could process up to 5.5 billion m3 of natural gas per year. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, who attended the signing of the contract, said that the project, financed with €410 million in public and private funds, was an "important step for energy in Europe", as it would help reduce its dependence on Russian gas. On 5 May, Poland and Lithuania inaugurated the GIPL pipeline, which links the two countries. The project, which cost around €500 million, largely financed by the EU, will supply 10% of Poland's annual gas demand... Read more
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New Package of European Sanctions
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Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented on 4 May the broad lines of the EU's sixth package of sanctions against Russia. Currently being discussed by Member States' ambassadors, the measures include a gradual halt to oil imports from Russia, and the banning of three Russian broadcasters in the EU as "propaganda organs". The Commission is also proposing the exclusion of three Russian banks from the SWIFT system, including Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, and the addition of new personalities, including Kirill, Patriarch of the Russian Church, to the list of those sanctioned... Read more
More sanctions against Russia and support to the Ukrainians
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In two resolutions adopted on 5 May, MEPs are calling for stricter sanctions against the Russian maritime sector by refusing entry to EU ports to ships that have called at Russian ports. They are calling for the return of aircraft belonging to foreign companies illegally registered by Russia in the national aviation register. Finally, they are calling for the creation of a European crisis management mechanism, and for a significant increase in the EU's military mobility budget. They are calling on Member States to identify and dismantle trafficking networks that sexually exploit women refugees from Ukraine. As 90% of those fleeing Ukraine are women and children, they called on the EU to send contraceptive and reproductive health kits to Ukraine and stressed that complaints mechanisms should be established in Member States... Read more
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Discussion between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin
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In a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on 3 May, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his concern about the situation in the Donbass and called on Russia to work with humanitarian actors. He reiterated his call for a ceasefire and said he remained available to pursue talks that would lead to peace... Read more
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Visits by Croatian Prime Minister, President of the Bundestag and Baltic Ministers
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the foreign ministers of the three Baltic states on 6 May. On 8 May, he met the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, and the President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas. The strengthening of sanctions against Russia, military, humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine and the country's integration into the European Union were the central themes of these exchanges. Energy cooperation was also discussed with representatives of the Baltic States... Read more
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G7 Declaration
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The leaders of the G7 countries, meeting by video conference on 8 May, exchanged views with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and assured him of their "deep solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine". They pledged to gradually reduce or ban the import of Russian oil, ban or prevent the provision of key services on which Russia depends, strengthen measures against Russian banks and fight propaganda... Read more
Evacuation of Civilians at Mariupol and the peace process
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On 5 May, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared the evacuation of civilians trapped in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol a success. More than 320 civilians have already been evacuated, many needing medical attention and suffering from trauma. UNICEF has warned of the impact of the war on the mental health of Ukrainian children and is calling for efforts to provide vulnerable children with specialised and psychosocial support to be intensified. On 6 May, the Security Council adopted a statement supporting Guterres' efforts to reach a peaceful solution. On 7 May, the World Food Programme warned of the closure of ports in the Odessa region. It called for them to be reopened to avoid a major global food crisis... Read more
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Recommendations to protect Ukrainian refugees from traffickers
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GRETA, the Council of Europe's anti-trafficking body, published advice on 4 May on how to protect Ukrainian refugees. It recommends the registration of all refugees at the borders, the presence of trained officers and approved volunteers. It also recommends the strengthening of hotlines and the monitoring of areas at risk of human trafficking... Read more
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Commission : Apple accused of abuse of dominant position regarding mobile payments
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Following the preliminary findings of an investigation opened in June 2020, the Commission accused Apple on 2 May of abusing its dominant position in the markets for mobile wallets on Apple-owned devices. The Commission believes that the US company forms "a closed ecosystem, in which it controls every aspect of the user experience" and that Apple's dominant position restricts competition, in violation of EU law... Read more
Renewed strategy for the EU's outermost regions
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On 3 May, the Commission proposed a strategy for the nine outermost regions of the European Union, namely Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain). The proposal aims to improve the living conditions of their citizens, support the ecological and digital transition, strengthen cooperation between them and reinforce their participation in dedicated EU programmes. The strategy launches a series of specific calls for projects aimed exclusively at these regions, to help local youth, support the blue economy, innovation, research and biodiversity... Read more
Proposal for the creation of a European area of health data
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On 3 May, the Commission suggested the creation of a European Health Data Space (EHDS) to achieve a single market for digital health products and services. EU citizens will be able to control, share and use their health data free of charge in their country and in other Member States. All health documents will have to follow a common European format and be interoperable. Each state will have to designate digital health authorities. The EHDS also aims to improve the use of health data for research, innovation and policy-making. Access to data will be through dedicated bodies and will be based on a strict legal framework guaranteeing anonymity... Read more
Joint Declaration for the Development of Hydrogen
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The Commission and 20 European electrolyser manufacturers adopted a joint declaration on 6 May committing themselves to reducing the EU's dependence on Russian gas and improving sustainable energy supplies. The industries will increase their manufacturing capacity for electrolysers, the devices used to produce hydrogen, tenfold by 2025. The Commission will put in place a favourable regulatory framework and facilitate access to finance for large-scale clean hydrogen production in Europe... Read more

Parliament : Mario Draghi calls for an acceleration of European integration
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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for faster European integration to tackle crises, during a debate in the European Parliament on 3 May. He presented proposals to strengthen cooperation in the European Union on defence and migration management. He called for a reform of European decision-making to "move towards qualified majority decisions, for a Europe capable of taking decisions within a reasonable timeframe"... Read more
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Project for new rules in European elections
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On 3 May, MEPs adopted a draft law providing for the election of 28 additional MEPs at pan-European level. The draft, which has yet to be unanimously approved by the Council, aims to tackle gender inequalities by introducing parity lists or gender quotas. It mentions the possibility for Europeans to directly elect the President of the Commission through a system of "leading candidates". The Parliament suggests making 9 May, Europe Day, the common polling day for the European elections... Read more
Recommendations regarding artificial intelligence
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On 3 May, MEPs adopted the final recommendations of the special committee on artificial intelligence in the digital age. They believe that the European Union must catch up if it wants to "act as a global reference on this subject" and stress that artificial intelligence could increase capital productivity, contribute to innovation and lead to sustainable growth. In view of the ethical and legal questions that artificial intelligence could raise, Parliament is encouraging the EU to forge a global agreement on common standards to limit abuses... Read more
Greenlight to strengthen Europol's mandate
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On 4 May, MEPs approved an agreement reached in February with the Council on strengthening Europol's mandate. The agency will be able to help national authorities monitor foreign direct investment in security-related cases and carry out research and innovation projects. It will also be able to receive and process data from private companies, under the supervision of the European Data Protection Supervisor. It will also create a new post of fundamental rights officer... Read more
Call for greater protection of European values in Hungary and Poland
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In a resolution adopted on 5 May, MEPs called on the Council to "make real progress" in protecting European values and to respond to the failings of Hungary and Poland. They asked to be kept informed of developments and for the Article 7 hearings in the Council to be organised in an open, structured and regular way, with recommendations and clear deadlines for the Member States being examined. MEPs called on the Council and the Commission not to approve the recovery plans of Hungary and Poland... Read more
Resolution in support of the revision of the treaties
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In a resolution adopted on 4 May, MEPs recognise that the proposals emerging from the Conference on the Future of Europe require a revision of the treaties for the sake of transparency, simplicity and accountability. They have invited the Constitutional Affairs Committee to prepare proposals. They have called on the Union to strengthen its action in the fields of health, energy, migration and defence, and stress the need to give Parliament the right of legislative initiative and to end unanimity in the Council... Read more

Council : Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers
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The Economy and Finance Ministers discussed economic recovery in a video conference on 3 May. They expressed their support for the recovery and resilience plans of Bulgaria and Sweden, amounting to €6.3 billion and €3.3 billion respectively, which were formally approved by written procedure after the meeting... Read more
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Eurogroup Meeting
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The Eurogroup met by video conference on 3 May to discuss the proposed work plan for the completion of the banking union. The plan includes, among other things, a framework for the management of failed banks in the EU, stronger depositor protection and a more integrated market for banking services... Read more
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Draft regulation on foreign subsidies
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On 4 May, the Parliament and the Council adopted their respective positions on a draft regulation on foreign subsidies granted to companies operating in the European Union. The draft foresees the obligation for companies, above a certain threshold, to inform the Commission of potential disruptive subsidies through an alert mechanism. The scope of the new rules should be extended to more acquisitions, mergers and public procurement. The Parliament and the Council must now reach agreement, in particular on the notification thresholds above which companies will be obliged to keep the Commission informed... Read more
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Diplomacy : Indian Prime Minister visits Europe
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On a visit to Europe, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of Germany, France, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Germany and India signed several bilateral agreements on 2 May, including €10 billion in assistance to India by 2030 for its energy transition. On 3 May, he attended the second India-Nordic Summit in Denmark, which focused on post-pandemic recovery, climate change, renewable energy and international security. In his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on 4 May, the two leaders called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities" in Ukraine without India openly condemning the Russian attack... Read more
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Germany : Elections in the Land of Schleswig-Holstein
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On 8 May, regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein were held to determine the new state assembly. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won 34 of the 69 seats with 43.4% of the vote, the Greens 14 with 18.3% of the vote, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) 12 with 16% of the vote, the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) 5 with 6.4% of the vote, the Federation of South Schleswig Voters (SSW) with 5.7% of the vote, the AfD obtained 4.4% of the vote and is therefore excluded from the parliament... Read more

France : Investiture of Emmanuel Macron for his second mandate
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Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated on 7 May for a second five-year term as President of the French Republic. In his speech, he said he wanted to preside by applying a "new method", "by planning, by reforming, by involving" the French people. The President promised to "leave a more liveable planet" and "a stronger France"... Read more
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UK : Local election results
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On 5 May, local elections were held in England, Wales and Scotland, as well as for the Northern Ireland legislature. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party suffered losses across England (over 300 seats), including the loss of local councils in London for the first time since 1964 to Labour and the Liberal Democrats. In Northern Ireland, the Sinn Fein republicans won 27 seats compared to 25 for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and 29% of the first preference vote compared to 21.3% for the DUP. This will be the first time that this pro-united Ireland party is expected to win the post of First Minister of the region, with Michelle O'Neill... Read more
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Moldova : Support of the European Union
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Visiting Chisinau on 4 May, European Council President Charles Michel expressed the EU's solidarity with Moldova and pledged increased military support. On the same day, the Commission announced an additional €52 million in aid to support reforms and economic recovery in the country. In a resolution adopted on 5 May, MEPs welcomed Moldova's application for EU membership, submitted on 3 March, and called for further work on the country's integration into the single market. They called on the EU to provide more aid to the country, in the form of macro-financial assistance or refugee management. They denounced Russia's actions and political pressure in Moldova, particularly with regard to the country's gas supply... Read more
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Council of Europe : Annual report by the Secretary General
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The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, presented her annual report on the institution's activities on 4 May. She reiterated the Council of Europe's solidarity with Ukraine, condemned the Russian aggression and stressed that Russia's exclusion from the Council of Europe had been inevitable. "In the face of terrible violence and cataclysmic changes", Ms Pejcinovic Buric called on member states to invest in human rights, democracy and the rule of law... Read more
Moneyval Annual Report on the fight to counter laundering
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According to the annual report of anti-money laundering experts Moneyval published on 4 May, "governments must step up their efforts and coordination" in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The report also calls for greater oversight of the virtual asset sector and specialised professions such as lawyers and accountants... Read more

Eurostat : Drop in unemployment rate
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The unemployment rate in the European Union stood at 6.2% in March, compared to 6.3% in February and 7.5% in March of the previous year, according to data published by Eurostat on 3 May. In the euro area, it was 6.8% in March, compared with 6.9% in February and 8.2% in March 2021... Read more

Eurobarometer : Increasing youth commitment in the Union
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Young people are increasingly engaged in their society (58% in 2022, compared to 41% in 2020), according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey published on 6 May. Young people want decision-makers to listen to them more and to support their personal, social and professional development (72% of respondents). They consider well-being (34%), environmental protection and the fight against climate change (34%) as priorities for the European Year of Youth. On 6 May, the Commission launched the "Give your vision a voice" platform, which aims to allow young people to share their opinions and ideas on the future of the EU... Read more

Culture : European cultural solidarity with Ukraine
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Cultural events in support of Ukraine continue across Europe. In France, a concert is taking place in Saint-Médard-d'Eyrans on 14 May. And from 10 May a photographic exhibition "Portrait(s) of a resistance. Ukraine 2004-2022" is on display on the gates of the Hôtel de Ville. In Germany, the city of Munich is offering a concert by the local Ukrainian choir "Pokrov" at St. Simeon's Church on 15 May, and a charity campaign "Read for Peace" with speeches and readings. In Poland, at the Arche Hotel in Warsaw, a concert of 19th and 20th century Polish music is scheduled for 20 May. In the UK, on 15 May, a dance performance is being held at the Sadler's Wells Theater, with proceeds going to the DEC Humanitarian Appeal. Bono and The Edge from U2 performed in the Kyiv metro on 8 May... Read more
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New European Bauhaus: five projects have been selected
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On 4 May, the Commission selected 5 projects to deploy "flagship demonstration models" as part of the European Bauhaus project. A budget of €25 million has been earmarked for the 5 selected projects, which will be implemented in 11 Member States. The projects will focus on building renovation, arts, cultural heritage, education and smart cities... Read more
European Night of Museums
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The 18th edition of the European Museum Night is taking place on 14 May. Created at the initiative of the French Ministry of Culture, the event invites European museums to open their doors from dusk until midnight to experience culture in a different way. From France to Spain, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Portugal, more than 3 000 museums are opening their doors in nearly 30 countries across the continent... Read more
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Barbara Kruger in Berlin
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Until 28 August, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin is presenting an exhibition by Barbara Kruger, which offers a reflection on the violence of totalitarian states, the mechanisms of societal discrimination and the dangers of biased historiography... Read more
Frida Kahlo in Madrid
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The Casa de Mexico Foundation in Madrid is presenting an exhibition on Frida Kalho, her art and the historical context of her work until 30 November... Read more
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Eva Aeppli's Sentimental Museum
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The Centre Pompidou in Metz is presenting a retrospective of Eva Aeppli's "sentimental museum" until 14 November. Works by her close circle and her successors, including Louise Bourgeois, Annette Messager and Jean Tinguely, form a dialogue with the textile figures created by the Swiss sculptor, who continues to influence the contemporary scene... Read more
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John Craxton's Centenary in Athens
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Until 11 September, the Benaki Museum in Athens is hosting the exhibition "John Craxton: A Greek Soul", which celebrates the centenary of the British artist with 90 of his works... Read more
Jerzy Krawczyk retrospective in Warsaw
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The National Art Gallery in Warsaw is presenting a retrospective of Jerzy Krawczyk's work until 19 June. The exhibition includes landscapes of Lodz painted by the artist in the 1950s, still lifes, portraits where the painter develops the concept of "spatial realism", as well as works that illustrate the impact of the Second World War and the Holocaust on his art... Read more
Glass makers in Estonia
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Until 31 December, the Tallinn History Museum is offering a retrospective on the history of the glass industry in Estonia. The exhibition details the evolution of glassblowing techniques, from the first piece of glass found in Estonia to the most recent creations... Read more
Design Week in Bucharest
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The Romanian Design Week celebrates its tenth anniversary in Bucharest from 13 to 22 May, with the theme "forward together" to show the role of industry in creating a sustainable and inclusive future... Read more
Music Festival in Bath
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From 13 to 21 May, the city of Bath is hosting its annual international music festival. For eight days, audiences will be able to enjoy a wide range of music from classical to jazz, world and electronic music... Read more
Vienna Festival
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From 13 May to 18 June, the Vienna Festival will bring together dancers, musicians and actors. Founded in 1951, it addresses topical issues through artistic performances every year... Read more

10May
10 May 2022

Brussels

6th Brussels Conference regarding the support to Syria and its region's future

12May
12 May 2022

Videoconference

EU-Japan Summit

16May
16 May 2022

Brussels

Foreign Affairs Council

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