The Letter n°988

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The Letter n°988
The Letter
Tuesday 12th July 2022
issue 988
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"The energy crisis shows the importance of European solidarity in response to asymmetric shocks".
Authors : Ramona Bloj, Nicolas Berghmans, Maëlys Girault
Ramona Bloj, Nicolas Berghmans, Maëlys Girault
The war in Ukraine has aggravated an already existing situation, marked by a drop in the availability of natural gas in Europe and an unprecedented rise in market prices," says Nicolas Berghmans. This means that the European Union must review its energy model, prepare a joint response and show unwavering solidarity.
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Front Page : Germany under pressure in Europe
Germany is facing major economic, diplomatic and political challenges that require it to change its model. For Germany, as for all other Member States, and in particular the 'big' ones, there will only be an effective and strong response through European cooperation and solidarity," stresses Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

Foundation : 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. Order your copy here!.. Read more
Award of the Franc-German Journalism Prize 2022
The Grand Prix Franco-Allemand des Médias 2022 was awarded on 6 July to the artist Anselm Kiefer and to Bénédicte Savoy. The special prize was awarded to Meduza, an independent news website on Russia based in Riga. The Franco-German Journalist Award (FGPA) was awarded to several journalists in the categories of Documentary, Investigative, News and Young Talent. The Foundation, partner of the award, organised, together with the Genshagen Foundation, an expert forum on the role of art and culture in times of conflict and war... Read more
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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, known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, for Member States in the form of grants and loans. The Netherlands submitted its plan for assessment on 8 July. The Foundation provides you with an interactive map of the plans country by country, showing amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Conclusion of the Lugano conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine
On 5 July, the conference on Ukraine's recovery concluded with the signing of the "Lugano Principles". More than 40 countries and international organisations initialled these agreements, which set out the framework for Ukraine's recovery effort. The agreements provide for aid to the population, reconstruction projects and, in the long term, preparation for the climate and digital transition. In view of the €700 billion estimated by the Ukrainian Prime Minister to rebuild the country, the importance of eradicating corruption was also raised. Finally, each signatory country has adopted a region of Ukraine on which to focus its efforts. France will focus on the Chernihiv region... Read more
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Visits to Kyiv by the Irish Prime Minister and the President of the French Senate
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin travelled to Kyiv on 6 July to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and assured him of Ireland's support in the EU accession process. He also visited Borodianka, Irpin, Bucha, where Russian soldiers committed war crimes. On 9 July, the President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher met with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and addressed the Parliament (Rada), expressing the wish that Ukraine should "without delay be able to defend itself on equal terms with its aggressor"... Read more
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Speeches by the Ukrainian President
On 4 July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke in Kyiv alongside Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Sweden, he expressed his gratitude for Sweden's assistance since the beginning of the conflict. On 7 July, speaking in the Slovenian Parliament, he highlighted the new European export routes through Ukraine and the country's potential to become a player in the digital transition after the reconstruction efforts... Read more
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Declaration by the French President and the Israeli Prime Minister
French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on 5 July. The two leaders discussed the war in Ukraine, and the consequences of the conflict on an international scale, in particular in terms of food and energy security. They called for the respect of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity... Read more
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Ukrainians will be able to keep their driving licence in the Union
On 7 July, the Parliament and the Council approved a simplified procedure allowing Ukrainian refugees to keep their driving licences in the EU without having to exchange them for an EU licence. To be able to continue working, bus and truck drivers will be able to have their Ukrainian certificates of professional competence recognised, after undergoing training and passing a test. The measure still needs to be formally adopted by an emergency procedure... Read more
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Appeal by the WHO to take in injured
On 7 July, the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Ihor Zhovkva, met with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, to discuss the situation of Ukrainian refugees. On 8 July, the World Health Organisation launched an urgent appeal to allow access to the sick and wounded caught up in the war in Ukraine. The organisation is concerned about the hundreds of landmine victims, premature births and the health of pregnant women and the elderly. The WHO's head of the Ukraine conflict, Dorit Nitzan, recalled the importance of humanitarian corridors in armed conflicts... Read more
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Commission : New European Innovation Programme
On 5 July, the Commission presented a new European innovation programme aimed at helping the EU develop and bring to market new technologies so as to make it a leading player on the global innovation scene. The programme is designed to facilitate access to finance for start-ups and growing companies, create "deep tech innovation valleys" and train talent... Read more

Parliament : Debate on the priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala presented the programme of the Czech Presidency of the Council to MEPs on 6 July, with the priority being to reach agreement on measures to mitigate the negative effects of the crises. The Czech Presidency will focus on the reconstruction of Ukraine and the preparation of the REPowerEU plan to free Europe from its energy dependence on Russia. It intends to improve Member States' defence capabilities, shorten supply chains, strengthen free trade, ensure food security and strengthen the resilience of democratic institutions... Read more
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Debate with the Greek Prime Minister
In a debate with MEPs on 5 July, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called for the enlargement of the EU to the Western Balkans and for greater integration, especially in the fields of energy and defence. He also called for coordinated action to "curb soaring energy prices" and for greater solidarity in managing migration... Read more
Adoption of the DMA and the DSA
In a final vote on 5 July, MEPs adopted the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Marketplace Act (DMA) following an agreement reached with the Council on 23 April and 24 March. The texts must now be finally adopted by the Council in July (DMA) and September (DSA)... Read more
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Inclusion of gas and nuclear in the taxonomy
On 6 July, MEPs rejected a resolution opposing the Commission's proposal to include gas and nuclear power in the list of environmentally sustainable economic activities included in the EU's taxonomy. If the Council does not veto, the delegated act on the taxonomy, which includes a time limit on the inclusion of nuclear and gas activities, will enter into force on 1 January 2023... Read more
Vote in favour of Croatia's entry into the euro zone
In a resolution adopted on 5 July, MEPs gave a favourable opinion to Croatia's entry into the euro area as of 1 January 2023. However, they expect "sustained efforts by the Croatian government" to ensure further price convergence. The Parliament's opinion is being forwarded to the eurozone Member States, which must now give Croatia the final green light... Read more
For greener fuel in aviation
On 7 July MEPs adopted a proposal to increase the share of sustainable fuels in aviation. They want suppliers to make sustainable fuels available from 2025 and to reach 85% in all EU airports by 2050. Hydrogen and renewable electricity could be included in the energy mix. MEPs propose the creation of a sustainable aviation fund from 2023 to 2050 to accelerate decarbonisation in the aviation sector... Read more
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Aid to fisheries and aquaculture sectors
On 6 July, MEPs gave the green light to the payment of financial aid to the EU's fisheries and aquaculture sectors in response to the consequences of the war in Ukraine. Member States will be able to use the remaining resources available under the European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fund for the period 2014-2020. The measure still has to be adopted by the Council... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting of G20 Foreign Affairs Ministers
A meeting of G20 foreign ministers was held on 7-8 July in Bali, chaired by Indonesia. Ministers discussed collective responses to the war in Ukraine. The repercussions of the conflict, such as rising energy prices and the food crisis, were high on the political agenda. The Russian minister left before the end of the meeting... Read more
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ECB : New measures to take on board climate change
The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on 4 July that it will now take climate change into account in its corporate bond purchases, collateral arrangements, reporting requirements and risk management, building on its Climate Action Programme. The ECB's new measures aim to support the green transition and the decarbonisation of the economy by promoting transparency and reducing the financial risk of climate change in the Eurosystem's balance sheet... Read more

European Agencies : Fight to counter illegal migration
Eurojust announced on 8 July that it had assisted authorities in Belgium, Poland, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic in dismantling a criminal organisation involved in smuggling migrants from Vietnam to France and the UK. Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, supported by Europol and Eurojust, announced on 6 July that they had arrested 39 people involved in a network smuggling migrants on small boats across the English Channel... Read more
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Estonia : Kaja Kallas has a new majority coalition
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' Reform Party reached an agreement on 8 July with the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Conservative Party (Isamaa) to form a coalition after the departure in early June of the Centre Party ministers who voted against the government in parliament. The SDE and Isamaa will each receive five ministerial portfolios in the new coalition government... Read more
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Greece : Inauguration of the gas pipeline IGB
The Greek and Bulgarian Prime Ministers Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Kiril Petkov inaugurated on 8 July the IGB gas pipeline that will connect their two countries. The pipeline strengthens the interconnections between the south-eastern countries and the southern gas corridor. It is 182 km long and provides a reliable natural gas distribution network that will diversify the EU's supply sources... Read more
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Ireland : Report on the Irish economy
In a report published on 7 July, the IMF notes strong recovery of the Irish economy since the pandemic, with growth of 7.5% expected by 2022. In light of the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the IMF recommends that Ireland strengthen the sustainability of its fiscal policy and the resilience of its financial sector, while undertaking structural reforms to foster growth. It also recommends increasing efforts to promote more inclusive and green growth... Read more

The Netherlands : Submission of the recovery plan
The Netherlands submitted its recovery plan under the NextGenerationEU programme to the Commission on 8 July. It is the last Member State to submit its plan, which must now be analysed and approved by the Commission. They will be eligible for up to €4.7 billion... Read more
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UK : Boris Johnson resigns as head of the Conservative Party
Weakened by a series of scandals and numerous resignations within his government, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 7 July his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party. He said he wanted to remain Prime Minister until a new party leader is elected and a new government is in place. Eleven candidates have declared themselves to be his successor, the results of the election will be announced on 5 September... Read more
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Prize/Fields : Winner of the Fields Medal 2022
The Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics, was awarded on 5 July to four recipients, including Hugo Duminil-Copin of France, Maryna Viazovska of Ukraine, James Maynar of Britain and June Huh of the United States... Read more
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Council of Europe : Report on overcrowded prisons in the UK
On 7 July, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture published its report on prisons in the UK. It expresses concern about overcrowding in the country's prisons and persistent violence among inmates and against staff. The Committee stresses the need to strengthen legal safeguards for psychiatric patients. The CPT notes that the confinement of prisoners has led to a temporary reduction in overcrowding and has lowered the level of violence, but the structural causes of both phenomena remain to be determined... Read more
GRECO report on Serbia
In a report published on 5 July, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) called on Serbia to step up measures to prevent corruption among senior executive and police officials. It calls on the Serbian authorities to develop a public strategy with integrity checks for individuals in high executive positions and a public strategy for the prevention of corruption within the police. It expects to receive a report on the implementation of these recommendations in September 2023... Read more
Decision by the ECHR in the Kavala Affair
In its judgment of 11 July, the European Court of Human Rights confirmed the Committee of Ministers' position that, by failing to secure the release of Osman Kavala after the Court's first judgment in this case, Turkey has failed to comply with its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. It calls for the immediate release of Mr Kavala. Turkey is invited to execute the judgment. This matter will remain under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers until then... Read more

NATO : Signature of the accession protocols of Sweden and Finland
The NATO member countries signed the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland to NATO on 5 July, launching the membership ratification process. The two countries, which announced their application in May, were invited to join the Alliance at the Madrid Summit on 29-30 June... Read more

Studies/Reports : How to strengthen Europe's economic strategy towards China
On 6 July, the Council for Economic Analysis in France published a study on the reassessment of the European Union's strategy towards China. It recommends to obtain coordination from China on industrial subsidies, to use trade and investment policies to fight against human rights violations, to ensure the enforceability of sanctions, to engage in a dialogue on the consideration of Chinese climate policies, to help European companies to obtain industrial data transferability with China as well as to strengthen the EU's economic analysis capacity to favour an integrated approach to the challenges of economic security and sovereignty vis-à-vis China... Read more
Six-monthly report on the NextGenerationEU recovery plan
According to the second biannual report on the NextGenerationEU recovery plan, published by the Commission on 8 July, the EU has raised €121 billion since June 2021, of which €50 billion was raised between January and June 2022. The Commission has distributed €100.4 billion to 21 Member States, including €67 billion in grants and €33.4 billion in loans... Read more
Agricultural Market Outlook
The consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine are having a real impact on world commodity markets and pose a major threat to global food security, according to the Commission's latest short-term outlook report on EU agricultural markets published on 7 July. However, the report assures that food availability in Europe is not threatened... Read more
Report on research and innovation achievements.
The Commission's Research and Innovation Performance Report published on 5 July shows that the EU accounts for around 18% of R&D investment worldwide and 21% of the most cited scientific publications internationally. The EU leads the world in climate-related patent applications (23% of applications) and plays an important role in the bioeconomy (23%) and health (17%). However, R&D investment in the automotive (-7.2%) and aerospace (-22.6%) sectors declined during the pandemic... Read more
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Culture : Photographs and lacquerware from Japan
Until 4 September, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is presenting an exhibition of 70 pieces of Japanese lacquerware from the 19th and 20th centuries in collaboration with the Museum of German Lacquer Art in Münster. At the same time, the museum is presenting an exhibition of photographs by Antoon Bauduin, a Dutch amateur photographer, offering a glimpse of Japan in the second half of the 19th century, as the country began to open its borders... Read more
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Photography Meetings in Arles
For the 53rd edition of the Rencontres d'Arles, until 25 September, the public is invited to discover some forty exhibitions. Often produced in collaboration with French and foreign museums and institutions, they are on display in different places in the city... Read more
Witkiewicz Exhibition Warsaw
Until 9 October, the National Museum in Warsaw is hosting an exhibition on the Polish painter, photographer and philosopher Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. The artist's work, consisting of paintings, photographs and drawings, shows a closeness to the avant-garde movement and painters such as Kandinsky and Ernst.. Read more
Summer Festival in Baden Baden
Until 17 July, the Summer Capital, Baden-Baden's classical music festival, is underway. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the "old world" orchestra will perform works by Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann and the French composer Louise Farrenc on the theme of romanticism... Read more
Carcassone Festival
The Carcassonne Festival will run until 27 August. It combines pop and classical music, dance and theatre. Festival-goers will be able to see Calogero, Julien Doré, Deep Purple, as well as La Traviata and Renaud Capuçon... Read more
Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro
Until 24 July, the historic city of Almagro is hosting the 45th edition of the International Classical Theatre Festival, offering plays, dance performances, exhibitions and workshops in the performing and visual arts... Read more
Classical Music at Linz Cathedral
Until 29 July, the Klassik am Dom festival offers classical music and jazz concerts in front of Linz Cathedral. The concerts bring together musicians from all over the world at the foot of the largest church in Austria... Read more
Colours of Ostrava
From 13 to 16 July, the Colours of Ostrava festival in the Czech Republic will be held in a former industrial site offering a diverse programme of jazz, pop and rock concerts, as well as lectures and workshops... Read more
Super Bock, Super Bock Festival
The 26th edition of the Super Bock Super Rock festival is taking place from 13 to 16 July near Lisbon. Although the programme focuses on rock, other musical genres are also represented with young talents from pop, hip-hop, electro and alternative music... Read more
Electric Castle Festival in Romania
From 13 to 17 July, the Electric Castle festival is being held to the backdrop of Romania's Banffy Castle in Bonțida. More than 300 artists, including the Twenty-One Pilots, Gorillaz and Disclosure, will perform at the festival, which was created with the idea of enhancing the heritage of small Romanian towns... Read more
Tomorrowland Festival
From 15 to 17 July, 22 to 24 July and 29 to 31 July, the town of Boom in Belgium will host Tomorrowland, the largest international electronic music festival. Bringing together artists from all over the world, the festival is committed to the education of underprivileged populations throughout the world with its foundation, Tomorrowland Foundation... Read more
Festival G! in the Faroes Islands
From 14 to 16 July, the Faroe Islands are hosting the G! music festival, featuring artists from all over the world, on the islands' beaches. Local musicians are given the opportunity to develop their talents on the international scene... Read more
30th Festival "Vielles Charrues"
From 14 to 17 July, the Vieilles Charrues festival celebrates its 30th anniversary. The festival welcomes to Brittany a quality programme, mainly from the French contemporary scene. Rock and pop bands as well as rappers and DJs are present to offer a mix to suit all tastes... Read more
Culture rallies for Ukraine
Cultural activities in support of Ukraine are continuing this summer. From July onwards, the Körber Foundation in Hamburg will donate 10,000 books by Ukrainian authors to refugee families in northern Germany, so that they can maintain a link with their culture. Until 27 July, as part of the "Untold Ukraine" project, a series of cultural events in support of Ukraine is being organised in Dublin. The Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris is demonstrating its support for Ukraine by including two photographs from the "Case History" series by Ukrainian photographer Boris Mikhailov in its permanent collection. In Warsaw, the facade of the Royal Castle is illuminated in the national colours of Ukraine and Poland every day from 6pm to 2am... Read more

11-12 July 2022


Informal Meeting of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs

12 July 2022


Economic and Financial Affairs Council

12-14 July 2022


Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers

14 July 2022


EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council

14-15 July 2022


Informal Meeting of Ministers for European Affairs

18 July 2022


Foreign Affairs Council Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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