The Letter n°985

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The Letter n°985
The Letter
Tuesday 21st June 2022
issue 985
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Conference on the future of Europe: the complex implementation of great ambitions
Author : Eric Maurice
Eric Maurice
EU leaders will discuss the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Council on 23 and 24 June. The citizens' proposals outline an ambitious model for Europe, but while a debate on whether to revise the treaties has rapidly emerged, implementing the proposed measures will require strong political will from Member States and institutions.
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Elections : Results of the legislative elections in France
The Ensemble coalition, which supports French President Emmanuel Macron, came out ahead in the parliamentary elections on 19 June, with 38.57% of the vote but, with 245 out of 577 seats, it failed to secure an absolute majority in the National Assembly. The left-wing coalition New People's Ecological and Social Union (NUPES) won 131 seats with 31.6% of the vote, while the far-right National Rally increased from 8 to 89 MPs (17.9% of the vote). Les Républicains (centre-right), with 6.98%, won 61 seats... Read more

Foundation : The Robert 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 the contribution of eminent personalities and the best experts, original maps and commented statistics, the Report Schuman analyses the challenges facing Europe, and offers a comprehensive view of the European Union. It is available in paper format on our site and in bookstores in French, as well as in digital version in French and English. Order your copy now!.. Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
In response to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union has set up a €672.5 billion recovery fund, called the Recovery and Resilience Facility, intended for Member States in the form of grants and loans. 25 plans have so far been adopted by the Council, including that of Poland on 17 June. 21 countries received the planned pre-financing and 5 countries received a first instalment after having fulfilled a series of objectives. The Commission has not yet approved Hungary's plan due to breaches of the rule of law. The Foundation offers you an interactive map of plans country by country, to find out the amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Visits by French, German, Italian and Romanian leaders in Kyiv
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis visited Kyiv on 16 June for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They spoke in favour of granting Ukraine immediate candidate country status to the European Union. They visited Irpin, a town partly destroyed by the Russian army, and promised to help rebuild Ukraine and prosecute war criminals... Read more
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Positive opinion on candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova
On 17 June, the Commission said it supported granting candidate country status to Ukraine and Moldova, stressing that both countries would need to make progress in certain areas such as institutional and economic reform. It also said that Georgia could be granted candidate status after a number of reforms had been completed. The decision will be taken by the European Council which meets on 23 and 24 June... Read more
Speeches by Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to the Czech Parliament and the Forum for Dialogue of Prespa of the Western Balkans and gave a press conference for the Danish media. He insisted on the need for arms for the Ukrainian army and on his country's membership of the EU and on the need to coordinate the national plan and European initiatives for reconstruction... Read more
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Commission : New code of good practice against disinformation
On June 16, the Commission announced the adoption of a new reinforced code of practice against disinformation signed by 34 companies and representatives of civil society and major platforms such as Meta, Google, Twitter and Microsoft. The code, which replaces the one signed in 2018, aims in particular to widen the participation of digital players, to remove financial incentives for the dissemination of disinformation, to extend the scope of application to new types of manipulative behaviour or to guarantee the transparency of political advertising. Users will also have better tools to report misinformation... Read more
Infringement procedures against the UK
On 15 June, the Commission relaunched the infringement procedure opened in March 2021 against the United Kingdom for non-compliance with the Northern Ireland Protocol, in particular concerning certification requirements for the movement of agri-food products. The decision comes after the UK government presented a bill to Parliament amending certain rules governing post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, in breach of the protocol signed with the EU in 2020. The Commission is also launching two infringement proceedings against the UK for failing to provide the EU with trade statistics for Northern Ireland and for failing to fulfil its obligations under EU sanitary and phytosanitary rules by not carrying out checks at the border with Northern Ireland... Read more
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Analysis of the proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe
On 17 June, the Commission presented its assessment of the follow-up to the proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe. It intends to integrate participatory democracy into the design of new policies stemming from the proposals, will announce a first set of new proposals in the State of the Union speech in September and will organise a follow-up conference in the autumn... Read more

Parilament : Taxonomy: two parliamentary committees oppose the inclusion of gas and nuclear activities
MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Environment, Health and Food Safety Committee adopted a joint resolution on 14 June opposing the Commission's plan to include gas and nuclear power in the list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. They call for a public consultation before adding new activities. The resolution will be put to a plenary vote at the 4-7 July session... Read more

Council : Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers
Meeting on 13 June, the Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries discussed strengthening the coherence between the Green Deal, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the European Union's trade policy. They recalled that, thanks to the CAP, the European Union is self-sufficient in most basic agricultural products. They were briefed by the Commission on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and discussed the impact of the UK's withdrawal and climate change on fisheries resources... Read more
Meeting of Health Ministers
Meeting on 14 June, Health Ministers discussed the proposal concerning the European Health Data Space (EHDS) and highlighted the challenges of data security and protection. They discussed the EU's global health strategy, the challenges of the vaccine strategy and new emerging health threats, including monkeypox... Read more
Eurogroup meeting
Meeting on 16 June, the eurozone's economic and finance ministers recommended that Croatia join the single currency on 1 January 2023. They confirmed the payment of a new tranche of €748 million to Greece to alleviate its debt repayment and approved the end of the country's financial surveillance programme. They adopted the Eurogroup's work programme for the second half of the year, as well as a declaration on the next steps for the Banking Union... Read more
Agreement on the extension of the Covid Certificate
The Council and Parliament agreed on 13 June to extend the EU's digital Covid certificate for one year, until 30 June 2023. The Commission is to report by 31 December 2022 on the need to repeal or maintain the certificate in the light of the evolving health situation. The agreement provides for the possibility of issuing a certificate of recovery following an antigenic test and extends the list of antigenic tests for which a certificate can be obtained... Read more
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Meeting of Finance and Economy Ministers
On 17 June, the Finance Ministers adopted the first legal step towards Croatia's entry into the euro area on 1 January 2023, as well as Poland's recovery plan, stressing that payments will depend in part on the implementation of reforms for the independence of the judiciary, as well as the country-by-country recommendations drawn up by the Commission in the framework of the European semester. They definitively adopted new legislation on reciprocity in access to international public contracts. The Ministers discussed the economic situation, projects to increase the European Union's own resources and company taxation. They approved the opening of negotiations with Norway on cooperation in the fight to prevent VAT fraud... Read more

ECB : Measures to limit the danger of the fragmentation of the euro zone
To avoid any risk of financial fragmentation within the euro area, i.e. excessive interest rate differentials between Member States, the European Central Bank decided on 15 June to apply a certain flexibility in the reinvestment of maturing repayments from its "Emergency Pandemic Purchase Program". It also decided to speed up the preparation of a new anti-fragmentation instrument... Read more

Diplomacy : The EU and Egypt step up their cooperation
Egypt and the European Union issued a joint statement on climate, energy and ecological transition on the occasion of the meeting in Cairo between the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on June 15. Both parties committed to working together for a global ecological transition, in particular with a Mediterranean partnership for hydrogen. The European Union and Egypt signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding with Israel to allow the export of natural gas to Europe. Furthermore, on June 19, the ninth meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council took place, which approved the new priorities of the EU-Egypt partnership until 2027... Read more
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The EU-Mongolia mixed committee steps up its cooperation
Mongolia and the European Union held their annual joint committee on June 17 to strengthen their cooperation in the field of trade and in the fight against climate change. Both partners will continue to work to protect human rights and promote sustainable development. Mongolia is also one of the five priority countries with which the European Union is currently setting up a forestry partnership... Read more
Reducing methane emissions: launch of the "Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway initiative"
The European Union, the United States and 11 other countries launched the " Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway " on 17 June to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector with a view to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The States announced the release of $59 million to support the initiative launched within this framework... Read more

European Agencies : European Space Agency and NASA step up their cooperation
The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA announced on June 15 that they were stepping up their cooperation regarding the exploration of the Moon, in particular as par of the Lunar Pathfinder mission, the first telecommunications satellite around the Moon. Their closer cooperation will allow them to carry out joint tests on the possibility of using Moon-specific navigation satellites and could enable a journey to the Moon by a European astronaut as part of the American Artemis program. The two agencies are also considering a partnership to overcome the suspension of the Russian-European ExoMars mission due to the war in Ukraine... Read more
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Improving the implementation of the general data protection regulation
The European general regulation on the protection of personal data (GDPR) is "not sufficiently implemented" against tech giants, estimated the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Wojciech Wiewiorowski on June 17. During a conference in Brussels on "the future of data protection", he lamented that "too often the GDPR imposes constraints on small entities but spares the large ones"... Read more

Bulgaria : The government loses its majority
The opposition party GERB tabled a motion of no confidence in the Bulgarian government on June 15 after the populist ITN party decided to leave the government coalition in office for the last six months. The vote is due to take place on June 21... Read more

France : Visit to Romania and Moldova
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Romania and Moldova on 14 and 15 June. In Romania, he addressed the French troops present in the country as part of the NATO forward presence and was hosted by his counterpart Klaus Iohannis. Emmanuel Macron also met with Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Chisinau. He said he wanted a "positive and clear signal" from the European Council for Moldova's application to join the European Union... Read more
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Latvia : IMF report on the Latvian economy
In a report published on 16 June, the IMF notes that Latvia has experienced a positive post-Covid recovery, but that the repercussions of the war in Ukraine are likely to be severe because of the country's significant trade relations with Russia. The IMF expects growth to slow and inflation to rise to 14.5% before falling back in 2023. To counter these risks, it recommends a temporary adjustment of fiscal policy and better targeting of vulnerable households. It also recommends that Latvia take measures to build resilience and recapitalise businesses, as well as invest for a sustainable and inclusive recovery... Read more

Poland : Entry into force of the reform of the disciplinary system for judges
The law reforming the disciplinary system for judges, which notably abolishes the disciplinary chamber at the Supreme Court, came into force after its signature by Polish President Andrzej Duda on 13 June. The text, considered insufficient by its opponents, was a condition set by the European Commission for the approval of the Polish recovery plan. The plan was formally adopted by the EU Council on 17 June, but payments will depend in part on the independence of the judiciary in the country... Read more
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Czech Republic : Priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union
On 15 June, the Czech government presented the priorities of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which begins on 1 July. Under the motto: "Europe as a mission: rethinking, rebuilding and strengthening Europe", this Presidency will focus on five topics: managing the refugee crisis and rebuilding Ukraine in the post-war period, energy security, strengthening Europe's defence capabilities and cyberspace security, the strategic resilience of the European economy, and the resilience of democratic institutions... Read more
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Romania : Report on the protection of women
In its report on Romania published on 16 June, GREVIO - the group of independent experts responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence - concludes that the country has improved the protection of women through a number of legislative reforms on domestic violence and equality, but that there are still significant shortcomings in the criminal justice mechanisms for combating sexual violence which need to be addressed... Read more

ECHR : Cancellation of a return of migrants from the UK to Rwanda
On 14 June, the European Court of Human Rights issued an urgent decision after several legal challenges, to cancel a flight to deport migrants from the UK to Rwanda. The flight was part of the UK's court-approved plan to transfer 130 illegal asylum seekers to curb illegal crossings of the English Channel... Read more
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Russia condemned for its law on "foreign agents"
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on June 16 that Russia's 2012 "foreign agents" law violates Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of expression, assembly and association. It deemed that the measures imposed on foreign non-governmental organisations, such as registering as "foreign agents", are not necessary in a democratic society. It ordered Russia to pay €1.02 million in damages to the claimants... Read more
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NATO : Meeting of Defence Ministers
NATO Defence Ministers met with their Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, on 16 June to discuss Ukraine's urgent needs. They announced the delivery of heavy weapons and long-range systems and the preparation of an aid package to help Ukraine modernise its security equipment. In the run-up to the NATO summit at the end of June, the ministers also discussed the future of the Alliance, in particular its deployment in Eastern Europe, the development of air and sea defence, and the mobilisation of "specific forces pre-assigned to the defence of certain allies".
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WTO : Trade agreement and WTO reform
WTO Member States concluded their 12th Ministerial Conference on 17 June with agreement on temporarily lifting patents protecting vaccines against Covid for developing countries, on banning subsidies for harmful fishing on the high seas, and on extending the moratorium on tariffs on electronic transmissions. They also expressed their willingness to facilitate access to international markets for Ukrainian exports and to avoid export bans or restrictions on food products. They agreed on a reform of the dispute settlement mechanism. EU Trade Ministers welcomed the outcome... Read more
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Eurobarometer : Survey on European citizens' priorities in 2022
European citizens are in favour of a common security and defence policy (81% of respondents) and consider defence and security (34%) to be the priorities for 2022, according to a Eurobarometer survey published on 15 June. They support economic sanctions against Russia (80%) and expect the EU to gradually reduce its dependence on Russian energy sources (87%), as they consider that energy policy can contribute to the defence of European strategic interests (80%). For respondents, managing the economic situation (24%), the environment (22%) and unemployment (21%) are the other priority areas for action in 2022... Read more

Studies/Reports : Annual Report on the international role of the euro
According to the 21st annual report on the international role of the euro published by the European Central Bank on 14 June, the repercussions of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine on the single currency have not led to any significant change in it' s international role. Moreover, the share of the euro in global foreign exchange reserves increased by 0.5%. It has also increased by almost 3%, from 21.8% in 2020 to 24.6% in 2021 in international bond issues. Finally, the share of the euro in the invoicing of imports and exports outside the euro area has remained stable... Read more
Report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Drug use in Europe increased in 2021, according to the annual report of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction published on 14 June. All drugs are concerned, except ecstasy. The director of the Observatory, Alexis Goosdeel, notes that "conventional drugs have never been more accessible and new high-dose substances continue to appear", with 52 new substances reported in 2021. The report also shows a growth in drug production in Europe, particularly of cocaine... Read more

Culture : Standing by Ukrainians in the world of culture
Exhibitions and concerts dedicated to supporting Ukraine are continuing. In France, Galerie ROD is organizing an exhibition with Ukrainian artists from Quebec. The funds collected will go to the COFFRET organization to help refugees. On June 23 in Berlin, a concert will bring together two Ukrainian jazz groups: "Maryna Sherstnova Quartett" and the "Danil Zverkhanovsky" trio. Until July 2, artist Paul Woods is exhibiting part of his new work in Dublin under the title "Special Military Operation", taking as its subject the invasion of Ukraine. In the face of the atrocity of war in Ukraine, the Neoplastic Hall of the Lodz Art Museum in Poland, originally designed to exhibit artists demonstrating their opposition to communist ideology, is dedicated to Ukraine from June 24 . From June to August in Spain, the Leones de Arte center is organizing an exhibition of photographs bearing witness to the consequences of the war in Ukraine... Read more
Italian Renaissance in Warsaw
Until 18 September the Royal Palace of Warsaw is running an exhibition "Botticelli tells a story" presenting the key works of the grand masters of the Italian Renaissance... Read more
BRAFA Art Fair Brussels
The Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA) is being held until 26 June. Created in 1956 the fair this year is promoting 10,000 works by over 115 galleries from the world over. Conferences on art are also being organised... Read more
Nestor Sanmiguel Diest Exhibition in Madrid
The Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is hosting the exhibition "Nestor Sanmiguel Diest: the adventure of the automaton" until 19 September at the Palacio Velázquez, which explores the relationship established by the artist between image and text. His works illustrate the artist's "work of avoidance", which focuses on the notion of "periphery", both geographical and technical and material... Read more
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Vilnius Music Festival
Until 28 June, the Vilnius Festival brings classical musicians from all over the world to the Lithuanian capital. The festival will feature numerous concerts in the city's Philharmonic... Read more
Music Festival
On 21 June, Europe will be celebrating the 40th edition of the Fête de la Musique. In Paris, the Musée de l'armée is hosting the jazz band of the Orchestre de la Musique de l'Air. In Brussels, the Belgian National Orchestra is hosting the Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat. Madrid is hosting the European Music Day festival until 30 June, with concerts, conferences and audiovisual activities. In Berlin, the Neuköllner Blechblasensemble will perform on the Gusthof Britz open-air stage. In Szczecin, a platform with musicians will wander through the city before stopping in front of the Philharmonic. On 25 June, the Cork Midsummer Festival, in association with the French Embassy in Ireland, is offering concerts by French, Irish and Senegalese artists to mark the opening of the Irish Embassy in Dakar... Read more
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The Berlinale Open Air
Until June 29, the Berlinale Open Air will provide an opportunity for audiences to see the best films from the Berlin International Film Festival again. The festival will be taking over 15 evenings in five open-air cinemas, where each film will be introduced by the directors of the Berlinale... Read more
The Move Festival in Prague
On the occasion of the handover of the Presidency of the Council between France and the Czech Republic, a special edition of the Move Festival, an event that has been organized since 2017 at the Center Pompidou in Paris, will be running in Prague until October 9. The exhibition "The Intimate as Resistance" is the result of work undertaken with the National Gallery of Prague, which seeks to explore the body and the intimate as an expression of politics... Read more
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Chorégies of Orange
The Chorégies d'Orange international opera festival will run until 6 August, mainly in the city's Théâtre Antique. The programme includes operas and various classical music performances... Read more
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TEFAF Art Fair
From 25 to 30 June the TEFAF Art Fair in Maastricht is offering a journey via objects and works of art from the world over. More than 250 antique dealers and art traders are gathering on the occasion of this prestigious art and antiques fair that started in 1988... Read more
Vladimir Dimitrov in Sofia
Until 28 August, the National Gallery in Sofia is hosting two exhibitions on the Bulgarian painter Vladimir Dimitrov. The first traces the artist's life and influences through painted and sculpted portraits. The second explores his relationship with the informal indigenous art movement of the 1920s and 1930s... Read more
Montpellier Dance Festival
Until 3 July, the Montpellier Dance Festival is back for its 42nd edition. It presents performances by contemporary choreographers... Read more
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20 June 2022


"Foreign Affairs" Council EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council

20-24 June


Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

21 June 2022


General Affairs Council

23 June 2022


EU Meeting/Western Balkans

23-24 June 2022


European Council

26-28 June 2022

Elmau Castle

G7 Summit

27 June 2022


Energy Council

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The Letter n°977
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Reception of Ukrainian refugees. Between emergency responses and long-term solutions
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The Letter n°974
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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
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A few truths about Ukraine and Russia
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The Letter n°968
Russia, Ukraine and international law
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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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The Letter n°964
European sovereignty, strategic autonomy, Europe as a power: what reality for the European Union, and for which future?
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The Letter n°963
For a new European growth strategy
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The Letter n°962
The Challenges of the French Presidency of the Council
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