The Letter n°989

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The Letter n°989
The Letter
Tuesday 19th July 2022
issue 989
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The entire Foundation team wishes you a wonderful summer and looks forward to seeing you again on 12 September.
"It is high time to light up Europe's stars again"
Author : Paolo Levi
Paolo Levi
At one stage, Europeans lost their shared sense of belonging to an unparalleled project. But now, after the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine is rekindling tangible solidarity among them, says Italian journalist Paolo Levi.
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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 it here... Read more
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The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
For a better understanding of Europe in 2022, the Permanent Atlas of the European Union is a unique book that provides a comprehensive and easily accessible view of the European Union, the eurozone and each of its 27 Member States. It is available in paper format on our website and in bookshops in French, as well as in digital format in French and English. Order it here... Read more
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Ukraine/Russia : Measures for the implementation of sanctions against Russia
On 15 July the Commission proposed measures to secure and strengthen the implementation of sanctions against Russia. The text clarifies provisions on sanctions already in place so as to facilitate their implementation by Member States. It further aligns EU sanctions with those of its partners, introduces new bans on the import of Russian gold and strengthens controls on exports of advanced and dual-use technologies. The Commission also proposes to extend the current sanctions until January 2023... Read more
Funding under the health programme
On 15 July, the Commission and the Ukrainian government signed an agreement to include Ukraine in the EU Health Programme, with a budget of €5.3 billion for the period 2021-2027, with the aim of reducing war damage to the health system and financing Ukrainian public and private projects contributing to the country's post-war reconstruction... Read more
Informal meeting of Home Affairs and Justice Ministers
Meeting in Prague on 11 July, Home Affairs Ministers exchanged information on war-related crimes in Ukraine and discussed the prevention and fight against the sexual abuse of children, in the context of the regulation proposed by the European Commission. They discussed the reform of the EU's common immigration and asylum policy and launched the support platform for Moldova in the areas of security and border management. On 12 July, the Justice Ministers discussed the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, the digitalisation of international judicial cooperation and the protection of vulnerable victims of crime... Read more
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Dutch Prime Minister's visit and Ukrainian President's speech on international justice
On 11 July, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky who thanked him for the €200 million in aid. Mark Rutte reiterated the importance of resolving the issue of the interruption of Ukrainian agricultural exports due to the Russian blockade of Black Sea ports. On 14 July, Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by video to the International Conference in The Hague to reiterate that all Russian war criminals should be tried for their actions in Ukraine since 2014. He said that the survival of international law was at stake... Read more
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Support for Ukraine in its proceedings before the International Court of Justice
In a joint statement issued on 13 July, 43 countries and the European Union repeated their support for Ukraine in its proceedings before the International Court of Justice and called on Russia to cease its military operations. The signatories stress that Russia must be held accountable for violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. They call for full and urgent reparation by Russia... Read more
Ukrainian refugees hope to return as soon as possible
On 13 July, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published a study which highlights that a majority of Ukrainian refugees hope to return to the country as soon as possible. Of the refugees surveyed, 16% intend to return to Ukraine within the next two months. In addition, according to a UNHCR count on 5 July, 3.2 million of the 8.7 million Ukrainian refugees have already returned to Ukraine. UNHCR also considers it essential to support the Ukrainian government in ensuring safe accommodation and economic opportunities for people who are there or who wish to return... Read more

Commission : Economic Forecasts Down
According to the economic forecasts published by the Commission on 14 July, the European Union is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2022 and 1.5% in 2023, down from previous forecasts due to the impact of the war in Ukraine. Growth in the euro area is expected to reach 2.6% in 2022 and 1.4% in 2023. Inflation is expected to peak at 7.6% in the euro area and 8.3% in the EU in 2022, falling to 4% and 4.6% respectively in 2023... Read more
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New rules to improve the safety and quality of blood
On 14 July, the Commission proposed a regulation to facilitate the cross-border movement of vital substances of human origin (SoHO) such as blood, tissues or cells. The proposal includes rules for innovation based on the creation of a coordination committee for substances of human origin and a common procedure for the evaluation and authorisation of SoHO preparations. It provides for better protection of patients, donors and offspring... Read more
Recommendations regarding vaccinations against COVID
In response to the new wave of Covid, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency recommended on 11 July that a second booster dose of the vaccine be considered for people aged 60-79 and for those most at risk of developing severe forms of the disease that could lead to complications... Read more
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Council : Croatia's accession to the eurozone and new aid totalling one billion € for Ukraine
On 12 July, the Ministers of Economy and Finance adopted the last three legal acts necessary for Croatia to switch to the euro on 1 January 2023. The conversion rate between the euro and the Croatian kuna is set at HRK 7.53450 per €1. This will make Croatia the 20th country in the euro area. The ministers also decided to provide additional macro-financial assistance (MFA) of €1 billion to Ukraine. The assistance, which takes the form of a long-term loan and will be available for one year, is intended to support the reconstruction of the country and ensure the functioning of critical infrastructure... Read more
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Eurogroup Meeting
At the Eurogroup meeting on 11 July, euro area finance ministers discussed current developments and emerging challenges for the euro area with input from the International Monetary Fund, which presented the results of its interim visit. They also discussed the potential impacts of a digital euro on the financial system and the use of cash. Finally, the Ministers discussed the proposal for a Council Regulation on the conversion rate between the Croatian kuna and the euro, in view of Croatia's accession to the single currency in 2023... Read more
Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers
On 13 and 14 July, the Environment Ministers discussed climate protection and the EU's mandate for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in November. They also discussed with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans the implementation of the Fit for 55 adjustment package... Read more
Informal meeting of European Affairs Ministers
At the informal meeting of European Affairs Ministers on 14-15 July, the Czech Minister presented the priorities of the Czech Council Presidency in the presence of the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanychyna. The Ministers discussed the strengthening of the Union's democratic institutions, the potential reform of the European Parliament elections and the protection of independent journalists. Finally, they discussed the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe... Read more
Union 2023 Budget Position
On 13 July, the Council adopted its position on the EU budget for 2023. It wants to set it at €183.95 billion in commitments and €165.74 billion in payments. This represents an increase of 8.29% and a decrease of 3.02% respectively. The Council also expressed reservations about the state of the Parliament's expenditure and its wish to increase its staff numbers for 2023... Read more
Agreement on the Digital Agenda
The Council and the Parliament reached agreement on 14 July on the 2030 Agenda for Action " the path to the digital decade". It sets out the digital goals to be achieved by the EU by 2030 in the areas of skills, secure and sustainable digital infrastructure, digital transformation of businesses and digitisation of public services. The agreement emphasises the strengthening of fundamental rights, transparency and security and clarifies the concept of "multinational projects" encouraging cooperation between Member States on "large-scale" projects... Read more
Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers
On 18 July, the Agriculture Ministers discussed the implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy and the approval of the Member States' strategic plans. They debated the market situation, particularly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They asked the Commission to review its proposal on the use of pesticides, which was considered too strict... Read more

Diplomacy : EU-Montenegro Council of Association and Stabiisation
Meeting on 14 July for an Association and Stabilisation Council, the European Union and Montenegro exchanged views on the progress made towards accession. Montenegro must continue its efforts in the areas of freedom of expression and media freedom, the fight against corruption and organised crime. It also has to make reforms regarding the independence, professionalism and accountability of the judiciary... Read more
Partnership with Niger against migrant trafficking
On 15 July, the European Union and Niger launched an operational partnership to combat migrant smuggling. The partnership includes the strengthening of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Niger to combat the business model of smugglers and criminal networks, information and awareness campaigns on the risks of irregular migration and migrant smuggling, and a working agreement between Frontex and Niger. On 18 July, the EU also approved €25 million in aid under the European Peace Facility to strengthen the capacity of the Nigerien army... Read more
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Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers
On 18 July, the Foreign Ministers discussed the strengthening of sanctions against Russia proposed by the Commission on 15 July, in particular with regard to the gold trade, and aid to Ukraine. They also discussed relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, and the resumption of meetings on the Association Agreement with Israel. They approved conclusions on digital diplomacy, the fight against information manipulation, and the EU's priorities for the next UN General Assembly. They took stock of the situation in Tunisia, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo... Read more
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Court of Justice : Volkswagen found guilty over diesel cars
On 14 July, the European Court of Justice ruled that software fitted to Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles, which reduces the efficiency of the control system by between 15 and 33 degrees during most of the year, is illegal. Consumers who bought vehicles equipped with this software between 2011 and 2013 will therefore be able to demand that the seller repair or replace the vehicle. The case was brought by the Austrian Supreme Court and two regional courts... Read more

European Agencies : Maiden flight of the European Vega-C rocket
On 13 July, the Vega-C rocket, built by the Italian group Avio, successfully carried out its inaugural launch from the Guiana space centre in Kourou. The rocket launched the LARES-2 scientific satellite into orbit. The European Space Agency (ESA), which is responsible for the programme, plans 15 launches by 2025... Read more
First pictures from the James Webb space telescope
On 12 July, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) unveiled the first images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Launched in 2021 by an Ariane-5 rocket, the Webb telescope is the largest ever designed and can photograph space in infrared images at greater distances than its predecessors Hubble and Spitzer... Read more
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Europol Annual Report on Terrorism
In 2021, 15 successful, foiled or failed terrorist attacks were recorded in the European Union and 388 individuals suspected of terrorism-related offences were arrested, mainly in Austria, France and Spain, notes Europol's annual report on terrorism published on 13 July. The report shows that terrorist propaganda disseminated online in 2021 reflected themes related to the pandemic. Anti-Covid-19 and anti-government extremism, not affiliated with traditional terrorist activities, has emerged in some Member States. Finally, terrorism remains a danger, although the current terrorist threat to Member States does not appear to have been directly affected by the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan... Read more
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Estonia : New government
The new government of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was sworn in by the Estonian Parliament and President on 18 July. It is a coalition between K. Kallas' Reform Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Conservative Party (Isamaa). The government comprises 14 ministers including 6 women... Read more
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France : European armies for the 14 July parade
On the occasion of 14 July, and in the context of the war in Ukraine, the armies of nine Central and Eastern European countries - Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - marched alongside French troops engaged in Europe's Eastern flank... Read more
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Italy : Political crisis a few months before the elections
On 14 July, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi tendered his resignation after the 5-Star Movement, a member of the government coalition, boycotted a vote of confidence in the Senate. Mario Draghi stressed that the conditions were no longer met for the performance of his duties. His resignation was refused by President Sergio Mattarella, who invited him to come to Parliament for an appraisal of the situation. A new vote is scheduled for 20 July... Read more
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The Netherlands : Ratification fo the free trade agreement with Canada
On 12 July, the Dutch First Chamber approved the adoption of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA) by 40 votes to 35. Strongly criticised by farmers, it had been approved by Dutch MPs in February 2020 but was first rejected by the First Chamber. Following this new vote by the senators, the Dutch ratification of the agreement is final. Ten Member States still have to approve the agreement, which is only partially applied on a provisional basis... Read more
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North Macedonia : Agreement with Bulgaria to unblock EU accession
North Macedonia and Bulgaria signed an agreement on 17 July to resolve a bilateral dispute over language and history, thus opening negotiations for North Macedonia's accession to the European Union. The day before, the Macedonian parliament had approved the agreement, proposed by France. In particular, the country undertakes to amend its constitution to take better account of the Bulgarian minority. On 18 July, the Member States gave the green light for the opening of negotiations. On 19 July, the accession negotiation process for Albania and Northern Macedonia was opened... Read more
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UK : Four candidates left to succeed Boris Johnson
The election to choose Boris Johnson's successor as leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister began on 13 July. After the first three rounds of voting by the party's MPs, four candidates remain in the running: Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss and

Kemi Badenoch. Voting continues until only two candidates remain, who will be put to a vote by party members. The results will be announced on 5 September... Read more
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Council of Europe : Report on Human Trafficking
Child trafficking continued to increase in 2021 despite legislative measures and public policies adopted by the States Parties to the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, according to the annual report of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on the Convention (GRETA) published on 13 July. The report highlights the role of technological tools and telephone services in identifying and helping victims. Due to the use of ICTs by traffickers, GRETA recommends that states establish data-sharing procedures and cooperation protocols with companies that hold data relevant to detecting suspicious activities... Read more
Resolution against fraud in education
The Council of Europe's Council of Ministers adopted a recommendation on 13 July to combat fraud in education. It recommends, among other things, to protect pupils, students, researchers and staff from organisations and individuals selling fraudulent services, to monitor technological developments that could encourage new forms of fraud, and to support the implementation of anti-fraud prevention and protection measures... Read more
Report on the reception of refugees by Czechs and Slovaks
In a report assessing the reception of refugees fleeing Ukraine published on 13 July, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on Migration and Refugees, Leyla Kayacik, praises the work of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Both countries have been particularly affected by the consequences of the war and have received large numbers of people fleeing Ukraine. Kayacik proposed further assistance, supported by the Council of Europe, to identify more accurately the vulnerabilities of certain groups, to strengthen psychological support, and to combat abuse and exploitation... Read more

OECD : Survey on the confidence in democracy
On 13 July, the OECD released the findings of its 2021 study on the determinants of trust in public institutions. Out of 50 000 respondents across 22 OECD countries, 41.4% said they trust their government and 41.1% said they distrust it. The organisation finds that the level of trust varies from one institution to another, as well as according to the age, education, income, gender and location of the respondents. It concludes that representing all citizens and addressing their diverse concerns would increase trust in institutions... Read more

Eurobarometer : Survey into the use and perception of the media
Public television and radio services are perceived as the most reliable sources of information by European citizens (49%), followed by the written press (39%) and private television and radio channels (27%), according to a Eurobarometer survey published on 13 July. Television is the main source of information for respondents (75%), but 88% of people find out information on their phone or computer. One in four people believe they have been exposed to misinformation and false information in the last 7 days. In Bulgaria, this is 55% of people, compared to 12% in the Netherlands... Read more
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Eurobarometer survey on how corruption is perceived in the Union
Corruption is a major concern for EU citizens and businesses, according to two Eurobarometer surveys published on 13 July. 68% of citizens and 63% of businesses believe that corruption is widespread in their country. Three quarters of Europeans surveyed consider that corruption is widespread in national public institutions and only 31% consider that their national government's efforts to fight corruption are effective. The same proportion considers that transparency and control of political party funding is sufficient in their country... Read more
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Studies/Reports : Publication of the annual report on the Rule of Law
The Commission published on 13 July its third annual report on the rule of law, tracing developments in each State since July 2021 in the following areas: judicial systems, the fight against corruption, media pluralism and freedom, and other institutional issues related to the principle of checks and balances. For the first time, the Commission makes recommendations to individual Member States. In particular, the report points out that structural concerns persist in some Member States regarding the independence of the judiciary and the abnormally long time span of anti-corruption investigations, and recognises the value of public service media... Read more
Peace and Security in 2022 forecast for the future
The Peace and Security in 2022 report published by the European Parliament summarises all the actions taken by the European Union in the context of the war in Ukraine, but also to address threats to peace, such as climate change, economic crises and technological developments... Read more
Report on monitoring the application of EU law
On 15 July, the Commission published its annual report on monitoring the application of European Union law, covering the implementing measures taken by the Commission to ensure the protection of citizens' and businesses' rights and freedoms in the 27 Member States. In 2021, the Commission opened 847 infringement proceedings, including for delays in transposing directives, or incorrect application of the law. The report highlights that almost half of the cases for incorrect application of EU law or non-conformity of national rules with EU law concerned the environment, employment, transport and mobility or the single market... Read more
Report on the consequences of the pandemic on employment
According to a Commission report published on 12 July, young people have been the most affected by job losses during the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic. Recovery has been slower for young people, which can be explained by the high proportion of fixed-term contracts (45.9% of employment, compared to 10.2% for all workers) among young people and the difficulties they face in finding a first job after leaving school. Young women earn on average 7.2% less than their male colleagues... Read more

Eurostat : Decline in the European population and increase in the world population
According to data published on 11 July by Eurostat, the population of the European Union decreased in 2021 from 447 million inhabitants on 1 January 2021 to 446.8 million inhabitants on 1 January 2022. Negative natural change (more deaths than births) outweighed positive net migration for the second year, probably due to the impact of the pandemic. The number of inhabitants on the planet will exceed 8 billion by the end of the year, according to a UN report published the same day... Read more
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Euro zone trade deficit
The euro area recorded a trade deficit of €26.3 billion in May, compared with a surplus of €12 billion in May 2021, and the European Union a deficit of €35 billion according to an estimate published by Eurostat on 15 July. Intra-euro zone trade is up by 33% compared to May 2021... Read more

Culture : Culture rallies for Ukraine
The world of culture rallies in times of war. Until 15 August, Aude is hosting the Odessa photo festival, which cannot be held in Ukraine this year. On 28 July, the inaugural concert of the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra is being held in Warsaw and will mark the beginning of a concert tour. From 29 to 31 July, a music festival in Bracknell, Berkshire, is being organised by the All Together Ukrainian Community to raise funds for Ukrainian aid. The European External Action Service (EEAS) is hosting an exhibition of contemporary art by 42 Ukrainian artists, "Unfolding Landscapes", which was prevented from returning to Ukraine because of the war, and which will be on display from 19 July at the Brussels Museum of Art and History... Read more
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Rijksmuseum drawings in Dublin
Until 6 November, the National Gallery of Ireland in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is offering an opportunity to view works by 17th century Dutch artists. Visitors will be able to view drawings and prints by artists such as Rembrandt, Hendrik Avercamp, Jan van Goyen and Jacob van Ruisdael... Read more
Sculptures by Janis Aivars Karlovs in Riga
Until 4 September, the works of sculptor Janis Aivars Karlovs are on display at the Lithuanian National Art Museum. A specialist in granite sculptures, the 20th-century artist's minimalist style is known for its introspective play on form... Read more
The fall of the Roman Empire in Trier
Until 27 November, an exhibition attempts to trace the events that led to the decline of the Roman Empire during the period from the 3rd to the 5th century CE. Organised in several locations in the city of Trier, the exhibition follows the history of the Roman Empire in three parts, from the Empire at the height of its wealth, to the long period of its decline, to its continuation through the cultural heritage and the rise of Christianity... Read more
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Ao Largo Festival in Lisbon
The Ao Largo Festival in Lisbon is an opportunity to discover a varied classical repertoire with some prestigious concerts and performances by the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, the Choir of the Sao Carlos National Theatre and the National Ballet Company. The concerts and performances are being held in the open air in front of the Sao Carlos National Theatre until 30 July... Read more
Dance Festival in Vaison-la-Romaine
Until 26 July, the town of Vaison-la-Romaine is hosting its dance festival with internationally renowned choreographers. The festival is taking place in the town's ancient theatre, which dates back to the 1st century and was restored in the early 20th century... Read more
Spa Francofolies
From 20 to 23 July in Spa, the Francofolies will host nationally and internationally renowned French-speaking artists for 3 days of concerts. Calogero, Vianney and Clara Luciani are among the headliners... Read more
Midsummer Festival Vilnius
Until 22 July, Vilnius is hosting a summer festival featuring local and international musicians of various styles. It features classical, jazz and rock concerts in the gardens of the Grand Duke's Palace and aims to combine the traditional with the contemporary... Read more
Bowie at the ballet in Berlin
From 26 to 31 July, the Admiralpalast theatre in Berlin will host Star Dust by the prestigious New York-based company Complexions Contemporary Ballet. This tribute to the singer David Bowie is a unique show where the melodies of the songs blend with the elegance of ballet... Read more
Jazzaldia Saint-Sebastian
Created in 1966, the San Sebastian International Jazz Festival is the oldest jazz festival in Spain. From 20 to 25 July, there will be a wide range of concerts on several stages in some of the city's most emblematic locations... Read more
Jazz in Marciac
From July 22nd to August 6th, the Jazz in Marciac festival offers a programme that includes young talents and big names such as Diana Krall, Nile Rogers, Herbie Hancock, Rhoda Scott and Jeff Beck... Read more
Tauron Nowa Music Festival in Katowice
From 21 to 24 July, the city of Katowice is hosting the "Tauron Nowa Muzyka" festival, which offers a mix of electronic, rock and pop music. Many concerts featuring artists from all over the world will take place on the festival's various stages... Read more

18 July 2022


Foreign Affairs Council Agriculture and Fisheries Council

19 July 2022


EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council

19/20 July 2022


Informal Meeting of Ministers responsible for Competitiveness

21 July 2022


ECB Council of Governors

21/22 July 2022


Informal meeting of Ministers responsible for Research

26 July 2022


Extraordinary meeting of Ministers responsible for Energy

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