The Letter n°982

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The Letter n°982
The Letter
Tuesday 31st May 2022
issue 982
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Europe in a perfect storm
Authors : Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Pascale Joannin
Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Pascale Joannin
In the introduction to the 2022 edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union", which has just been published by Marie B, the authors point out that in recent crises, from the pandemic to the war in Ukraine, the European Union has made more progress in a few months than it has in thirty years. But it must now revise many of its policies and resolutely project itself into a global, turbulent and more brutal world.
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Front page! : The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2022
The 2022 edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union" has just been published by Marie B. With contributions from leading personalities and experts, original maps and commented statistics, the Schuman Report analyses the challenges facing Europe and offers a complete view of the European Union. It is available in paper format on our website and in bookshops in French, as well as in digital version in French and English. You can order it here... Read more
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Foundation : What unites Europe?
The Foundation and the Providus Centre for Public Policy are organising a debate on 2 June in Riga on the sense of belonging to Europe, the changing meaning of the term 'European' and the geographical, historical and emotional boundaries of Europe. The conference, which will also be broadcast online, is being held in the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union... Read more
Seminar on the data economy
The Foundation is organising a seminar on the data economy on 1 June in partnership with Alphalex Consult and IDFRights. The event will take place in Brussels and will be broadcast online. The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, will speak, and the debates will be chaired by former journalist and MEP, Jean-Marie Cavada... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
Most of the health measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have been lifted in all Member States. Since 21 May, in the Netherlands, masks are no longer required to be worn on public transport or at airports. From 1 June until the end of August, travellers entering Germany will no longer have to prove that they are vaccinated, cured or tested. To find out what the situation is in the Member States, the Foundation offers a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Agreement for the European embargo on Russian oil
Meeting in an extraordinary European Council, the 27 European leaders agreed on 30 May on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes an embargo on Russian oil by the end of the year, with the temporary exception of oil transported by pipeline. Other measures include the exclusion of three Russian banks from the SWIFT system, including Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, the addition of new personalities, including Kirill, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, to the list of sanctioned persons, and the banning of three Russian television stations in the European Union. The leaders also agreed in principle to provide €9 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine in 2022... Read more
Increase in military support to Ukraine
On 24 May, the Council adopted two assistance measures under the European Peace Facility to help the Ukrainian army. It is releasing €500 million, of which €490 million will be devoted to the purchase of military equipment for defensive purposes and €10 million to the purchase of protective equipment. Since the beginning of the year, European aid to the Ukrainian armed forces has amounted to €2 billion... Read more
Liberalisation of trade with Ukraine
On 24 May, the Council adopted the regulation allowing trade liberalisation with Ukraine to support the Ukrainian economy weakened by the Russian invasion. Duties on all Ukrainian imports are suspended for one year... Read more
Proposal to confiscate Russian assets
On 25 May, the Commission proposed to add the breach of EU sanctions to the EU's list of criminal offences. The measure, which would apply in particular to Russians subject to sanctions, concerns the concealment of assets or the import and export of goods covered by trade bans. The Commission proposes to seize the assets of persons and entities that violate the sanctions measures... Read more
Eurojust will be able to store evidence of war crimes
On 25 May, the Council adopted new rules allowing Eurojust to store, analyse and retain evidence on major international crimes (war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity). The new rules will allow evidence of international crimes to be centralised "in a secure place", which Eurojust can then share with the relevant national and international judicial authorities... Read more
Finnish Prime Minister's visit to Kyiv
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Kiev on 26 May. She expressed her country's support for Ukraine's EU accession process. During her visit to Irpin and Bucha, she experienced the scale of the devastation and atrocities committed during the Russian invasion... Read more
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Speech by Volodymir Zelensky to the Latvian Parliament
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Latvian Parliament (Saeima) on 26 May. He asked Latvian MPs to commit to the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia and to reach agreement among Europeans on the embargo on Russian oil. He said it was important to prepare a seventh package of EU sanctions now. The President asked for European support in bringing to justice Russian soldiers who had committed violence against Ukrainian civilians... Read more
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Interviews between Mario Draghi, Volodymir Zelensky and Vladimir Putin
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 26 May and then with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 27 May to discuss how to allow grain and fertiliser exports out of Ukraine and avoid a global food crisis... Read more
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Telephone conversation between Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin
On 28 May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin a resolution to the conflict in Ukraine that would preserve the sovereignty and integrity of Ukrainian territory. They called for the release of 2,500 Azovstal defenders in Mariupol, and insisted on the need to lift the blockade of Odessa to allow the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea and avoid a global food crisis... Read more
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100 million displaced
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said on 23 May that the number of people forced to flee wars, violence and human rights abuses has passed the 100 million mark for the first time ever. This figure includes refugees, asylum seekers and 53.2 million internally displaced people. In addition, Ukraine acceded on 27 May to the UN Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, in order to mitigate the consequences of Russian bombing on its industrial facilities... Read more
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Increased risk for financial stability
In its financial stability review published on 25 May, the European Central Bank (ECB) notes that the conditions for ensuring financial stability in the euro area have "deteriorated". It notes several reasons for this deterioration, including the rise in energy prices due to the war in Ukraine, the high volatility of financial products and the confrontation of economic actors with rising interest rates. The ECB stresses the important role of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the destabilisation of the euro area and European financial markets, which has accentuated pre-existing vulnerabilities... Read more
The Council of Europe condemns the use of minorities by Russia
The Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities deplored on 23 May that "the Russian authorities have used the issue of minority rights as a pretext for this invasion". It fears that the attack will reinforce mistrust between people identifying themselves as ethnically Russian and the majority population in Ukraine. Although excluded from the Council of Europe, Russia remains bound by obligation to this Framework Convention as it is open to non-member states... Read more
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European Council : Charles Michel in Sweden and Finland
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Stockholm and Helsinki on 25 May. During his meetings with the Swedish and Finnish Prime Ministers, Magdalena Andersson and Sanna Marin, he expressed his support for the two countries' applications to join NATO. Energy and food security were also discussed... Read more
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Commission : 2022 Work Programme of the European Defence Funds
On 25 May, the Commission presented the second annual work programme of the European Defence Fund (EDF), as well as new tools to promote innovation in the field of defence. The 2022 work programme provides €924 million devoted to financing and strengthening European defence capabilities. Particular attention is given to space, naval combat and R&D in the fields of cyber security... Read more
Entry into force of the Omnibus Directive for Consumer Protection
The so-called Omnibus Directive for better consumer protection, adopted in 2019, entered into force on 28 May. It updates the instruments regulating online marketing to better protect consumers, through increased penalties and greater redress in case of harm. The directive also introduces transparency obligations for online sellers and marketplaces, including with regard to the personalisation of product prices and the ranking of offers in search results... Read more
Emergency Plan for transport
On 23 May, the Commission adopted a 10-point emergency plan to ensure the continuity of transport in the European Union in times of crisis. The plan highlights the need to maintain the free movement of goods, services and people, to ensure minimum transport connectivity and passenger protection, to carry out emergency tests in the transport sector, and to repatriate stranded transport passengers in the event of a crisis... Read more

Council : Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers
On 24 May, the Agriculture Ministers discussed the situation of agricultural markets, which has been weakened by the war in Ukraine. They stressed that the European Union is self-sufficient in most basic agricultural products. The Commission reported on the solidarity measures taken by the EU to facilitate the export of Ukrainian agricultural products... Read more
Meeting of European Affairs Ministers
On 23 May, the ministers for European Affairs exchanged views on the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe and on the methodology to be used for the follow-up of the proposals. They held a hearing on the rule of law in Hungary, including the independence of the judiciary and the functioning of the electoral system, as part of the procedure launched by the Parliament in September 2018. They approved conclusions on the EU's cyber posture in line with the objectives of the Strategic Compass... Read more
Draft regulation regarding European Long-Term Investment Fund
On 24 May, the Council adopted its position on the relaxation of the regulation on European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs), contributing to the deepening of the Capital Markets Union (CMU). The Council wants to see more finance flowing to SMEs and to make it easier for retail investors to invest in ELTIFs, including by removing barriers to entry. It intends to maintain high standards of investor protection... Read more

Diplomacy : Communication on European energy security
The European Commission and the United States issued a statement on 24 May condemning Russian blackmail over energy supplies and affirming their commitment to strengthening Europe's energy security. They recall the existence of a Joint Working Group on Energy Security aimed at diversifying sources of gas supply, and welcome Finland's contract to lease an LNG import terminal to a US supplier which will be operational before the end of the year... Read more
Economic and Financial dialogue with the Western Balkans and Turkey
Representatives of the EU institutions, Member States, the Western Balkans and Turkey exchanged views on their economic policies on 24 May and prepared the participation of Turkey and the Western Balkans in the European Semester. In response to the consequences of the war in Ukraine on employment, social cohesion and growth, the States agreed to put in place targeted budgetary and financial measures... Read more
Davos Forum
The World Economic Forum in Davos took place from 22 to 26 May. The main topics of discussion were the war in Ukraine and its consequences, including an intervention by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The energy and ecological transition and other issues such as the high level of inflation, the Covid-19 pandemic, cyber security and the metaverse were also discussed. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed the participants... Read more

European Agencies : New powers for Europol
On 24 May, the Council definitively adopted new legislation giving more powers to the European agency Europol. In particular, the new text allows it to process complex data to support Member States in their fight against crime and terrorism. In addition, the text provides for increased cooperation between Europol and third countries, especially regarding the exchange of personal data. Finally, in the context of criminal investigations, Europol will act as a contact point at EU level for sharing data from several authorities... Read more

Germany : Meeting of G7 Energy and Environment Ministers
What the war in Ukraine and its disastrous consequences show, first and foremost for Ukraine, but also for the rest of the world, is the strong correlation between environmental and security policies. This was the main message from the G7 Energy and Environment Ministers' meeting on 26-27 May. The G7 member states committed to cease all foreign financing of fossil fuel projects without carbon capture technology by "the end of 2022" and to decarbonise the majority of their electricity sector "by 2035"... Read more

Estonia : Meeting between Estonian and Swedish Prime Ministers
The Prime Ministers of Estonia and Sweden, Kaja Kallas and Magdalena Andersson, met in Stockholm on 25 May to discuss issues ranging from security to climate and energy. Kaja Kallas welcomed Sweden's and Finland's application for membership of NATO and expressed the wish to strengthen cooperation on defence issues. The two leaders stressed the need to help Ukraine in the war and support its wish to join the European Union. On 24 May, the Estonian government ended the border controls that had been in place with Latvia since the beginning of the war... Read more
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Poland : Vote on the reform of the disciplinary regime for judges
The Polish lower house adopted a reform of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court in first reading on 26 May. The text, proposed by President Andrzej Duda and which must also be adopted by the Senate, is intended to respond to requests made by the European Commission to release funds from the European recovery plan for Poland. The disciplinary system for judges has been condemned several times by the European Court of Justice... Read more
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Council of Europe : Parliamentary Assembly Report on the Kavala Affair
Following a visit to Istanbul and Ankara, the co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Turkey by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe announced that Osman Kavala's life sentence blatantly defies a 2019 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that the prosecution of Osman Kavala was unjustified. Accused of attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish patron was sentenced to life imprisonment on 25 April. The Council of Europe has appealed to the Turkish authorities to find a solution in line with the ECHR ruling... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on the state of the Schengen Area
On 24 May, the Commission presented its first report on the state of the Schengen area, which sets out a list of priority measures to be put in place in 2022 and 2023. These include the implementation of the new IT architecture and the systematic application of external border control to all travellers. The Commission stresses the need for Frontex to reach the full potential of its mandate, calls for the adoption of the revised Schengen Code and asks the Council to integrate Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria as well as Cyprus once the island has validated the "Schengen evaluation" process... Read more
Annual report on Security Union
On 25 May, the Commission published its 4th progress report on the European Union's security strategy. The report focuses on developments in the security environment since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It shows that the EU has "increased its vigilance" in the face of the various threats facing Member States. The report underlines that the EU has taken concrete steps to strengthen the sharing of information and expertise between Member States, notably in the areas of cyber security, critical infrastructure security and the fight against disinformation... Read more
Report on the protection of the European budget
In a special report on the protection of the EU budget published on 23 May, the Court of Auditors finds that the principle of blacklisting to prevent the payment of EU public funds to "unreliable contractors" is an ineffective tool. It points out that the European Early Warning and Exclusion System (EDES), which allows certain contractors to be blacklisted, is still little used and recommends that its use be extended to funds managed by the Member States... Read more

Culture : European Solidarity for Ukraine in the cultural domain
Cultural events in support of Ukraine continue across Europe. In France, the National Institute of Art History is organising a Ukrainian cultural forum "The memory of Odessa: Philippe Hosiasson" on 8 June. At the Château de Fontaineblau, on 4 and 5 June, the Festival d'histoire de l'art is proposing four round tables on the history of art and heritage in Ukraine. In Belgium, the Ukrainian group Dakha Brakha is playing in Zedelgem on 5 June in a concert preceded by a discussion on the situation in the country. In Germany, a charity concert takes place on 5 June at the Burgtheater in Ratzeburg. In Spain, a concert is being held on 7 June in Valladolid, organised by the Red Cross and Fundos. In Poland, on 4 June, the Wieliszew municipality's day is dedicated to solidarity with Ukrainians. In the UK, on 8 June, a charity event for the town of Mykolaïv takes place at the Yellow Boat in London... Read more
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Franco-Germany Festival of the Performing Arts
From 2 to 11 June, the city of Saarbrücken is hosting the Perspectives festival, which brings together the performing arts in a Franco-German programme, mixing different genres of the performing arts: theatre, dance, circus and concert. Since its first edition in 1978, the event has sought to initiate an intercultural exchange between France and Germany, with the aim of bringing Franco-German relations to life... Read more
Ancient Theatre in Epidaurus and Athens
From 1 June to 20 August, the Epidaurus and Athens Festival will give voice and life to the classics of ancient theatre. Founded in 1955, the festival offers theatre, music, opera and dance performances in the impressive setting of the Roman theatres of Epidaurus and Herod Atticus in Athens... Read more
Marcelle Cahn in Strasbourg
Until 31 July, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg is offering a retrospective of the work of Marcelle Cahn. The changing face of the artist over the decades is honoured in more than 400 works from public and private collections around the world... Read more
Oskar Zwintscher in Dresden
Until 15 January 2023, the Albertinum Museum of Modern Art in Dresden is paying tribute to the German painter Oskar Zwintscher (1870-1916). His work, which is influenced by Ludwig Richter, Moritz Schwind and Arnold Böcklin, is at the crossroads of Jugendstil and Symbolism. The exhibition seeks to convey the breadth and originality of the painter's style, which throughout his life was as much recognised as criticised... Read more
Luis Paret Retrospective Madrid
Until August 21, the Prado Museum is hosting an exhibition devoted to Luis Paret, an artist whose style is derived from the French Rococo. This retrospective brings together his paintings and drawings, which demonstrate his technical and compositional mastery as well as his sometimes critical view of 18th century society... Read more
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Painting, photos and travel in Lodz
The Sztuki Museum in Lodz is presenting two exhibitions: one entitled "A wider field of vision" running until 8 January 2023 presents works from the 17th to the 20th centuries exploring the relationship between photography, painting and graphic art. The other, called Rajzefiber, which will run until 28 August, reflects on the experience of travel and the movement of things and people... Read more
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Bookfair in Bucharest
The Bucharest International Book Fair is taking place from 1 to 5 June. Book launches, discussions, children's events and film screenings are on the programme... Read more
Listowel Writers' Week
Writers' Week, Ireland's longest running literary festival, is the annual venue for literary and artistic gatherings in Listowel. Founded in 1970, the festival attracts established writers, up-and-coming talent and literary enthusiasts from around the world... Read more
Actors' Spring in Montpellier
The Printemps des Comédiens theatre festival is taking place in Montpellier until 25 June. The themes of this 36th edition are the 400th anniversary of Molière's birth and the Franco-German friendship. The Comédie-Française, the Schaubühne and the Volksbühne of Berlin will present their plays. The festival will also showcase new creations, as well as other performing arts genres such as dance, music and circus... Read more
Tallinn's Old Town Festival
From 3 to 5 June, the Tallinn Old Town Festival will celebrate its 40th edition. The festival celebrates the medieval heritage of the Estonian capital with theatre performances, concerts and workshops on traditional crafts... Read more
Winners of the 75th Cannes Festival
At the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the jury chaired by French actor Vincent Lindon awarded the Palme d'Or to Swedish director Ruben Östlund for his feature film, "Sans filtre" (Triangle of Sadness). The festival's Grand Prize went to Belgian director Lukas Dhont for his film "Close" and to French director Claire Denis for "Des étoiles à midi". The special 75th prize was awarded to Belgians Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for "Tori and Lokita"... Read more

30-31 May 2022


European Council

1 June 2022


Referendum on the country's participation in European Defence

2 June 2022


Cohesion Council Transport Council

3 June 2022


Trade Council Telecommunications Council

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The Letter n°982
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The Letter n°981
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The Letter n°977
Strategic dependencies, a question of sovereignty
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Reception of Ukrainian refugees. Between emergency responses and long-term solutions
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From the Russia Pact to the Green Deal?
published on 11/04/2022
The Letter n°974
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The Letter n°973
European unilateralism as a tool for regulating international trade
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The Eastern Partnership under the test of war in Ukraine
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The Letter n°970
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a moment of truth for Europe"
published on 07/03/2022
The Letter n°969
A few truths about Ukraine and Russia
published on 28/02/2022
The Letter n°968
Russia, Ukraine and international law
published on 21/02/2022
The Letter n°967
The European Strategy for a "New Deal" with Africa
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The Letter n°966
"If only ageing Europe had chosen the easy option of more immigration"
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The Letter n°965
"The European strategy in the Indo-Pacific is subtle and perfectly adapted"
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European sovereignty, strategic autonomy, Europe as a power: what reality for the European Union, and for which future?
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For a new European growth strategy
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The Challenges of the French Presidency of the Council
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