The Letter n°994

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The Letter n°994
The Letter
Tuesday 11th October 2022
issue 994
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The European Union's declining influence in the South
Author : Pierre Mirel
Pierre Mirel
The New Mediterranean Agenda, presented in 2021, proposes excellent cooperation measures to address the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East. But the European Union must have the means to match its ambitions if it is to reverse its declining influence in the region.
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Elections : Who will succeed Borut Pahor in Slovenia?
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Slovenians are due to go to the polls on 23 October to choose a successor to Borut Pahor, President of the Republic since 2012, who is not eligible for re-election. The candidate of the Democratic Party, Anze Logar, is expected to lead in the first round with 28.2% of the vote, followed by the independent Natasa Pirc Musar with 23.6% and the independent supported by the Freedom Movement, Milan Brglez (18.9%)... Read more
Alexander Van der Bellen re-elected in the first round
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Austrian incumbent President Alexander Van der Bellen was re-elected in the first round on 9 October with 56.7% of the vote. The turnout was 52.5%, 16 points lower than in the first round of the previous election in 2016... Read more

Foundation : Energy Crisis, European Measures
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In response to rising energy prices, Member States and the EU have taken action and developed plans to reduce consumption. On 6 October, the EU adopted a plan that includes a revenue cap for sub-marginal producers and a solidarity levy for the fossil fuel sector. On the same day, the French government presented its "energy sobriety" plan to reduce consumption by 10% within two years. The Foundation offers you a map to understand everything. It will be regularly completed, updated and refreshed... Read more
Retirement systems in the European Union
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Pension systems are regularly the subject of debate in the Member States and discussions at European level because of their impact on budgets and the demographic evolution of Europe. While each country has its own system, the Foundation offers a comparative table to provide a better understanding of the situation in each country and the issues involved... Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
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The Council adopted the Dutch recovery plan on 4 October and Latvia received a first payment of €201 million under the EU's NextGenerationEU programme set up to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The €672.5bn recovery fund, known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, is designed to provide grants and loans to Member States. The plans of 27 countries have been approved, and 11 countries have received disbursements. The Foundation provides an interactive map of the plans country by country, including amounts, timelines and priorities... Read more

European Council : Informal Meeting of Heads of State and Government
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Meeting informally in Prague on 7 October, the 27 heads of state and government discussed the energy crisis and ways to limit prices. They also discussed the situation in Ukraine and reaffirmed their support for the country... Read more
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Ukraine/Russia : Further sanctions against Russia
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On 6 October, the Council agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia, in response to the illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions. The new sanctions include additional import restrictions worth almost €7 billion. In addition, the Council introduced the basis for the legal framework for the implementation of the oil price cap envisaged by the G7. Restrictions on exports, a ban on EU nationals taking up positions in certain Russian state-owned companies, and an extension of the blacklist were also agreed... Read more
Nobel Peace Prize to Belarusian opponent and Russian and Ukrainian NGOs
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The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on 7 October to the Russian NGO Memorial, the Centre for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, and the Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski. In the context of the war in Ukraine, the jury wished to reward their fight for "peaceful coexistence in the neighbouring countries of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine"... Read more
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IMF Aid of 1.3 billion $
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The IMF Executive Board granted $1.3 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine on 7 October through its fast-track financing facility to address the food shock and the expected decline in GDP of 35% by 2022... Read more
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Speech by Volodymyr Zelenskyy
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave speeches on 6 and 7 October at the first meeting of the European Political Community and the informal meeting of the European Council. At the Nuit du Droit organised by the French Constitutional Council on 4 October, he called for the creation of a special tribunal to judge Russian war crimes and called on the Constitutional Council to participate in its creation. He also announced his intention to propose a UN resolution obliging Russia to pay reparations to Ukraine... Read more
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Call to boost military aid to Ukraine
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In a resolution on 6 October, MEPs urged Member States and international partners to offer increased military assistance to Ukraine, recalling the EU's unwavering support for Ukraine... Read more
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Energy : Council adopts measures to reduce prices
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On 6 October, the Council adopted measures to reduce energy costs. Member States will have to reduce overall electricity consumption by 10%, and by 5% at peak times. The EU is introducing a market revenue cap for sub-marginal producers, a solidarity levy for the fossil fuel sector and measures to help SMEs by setting a temporary energy price... Read more
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EPR reaches full capacity
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On 30 September, the Olkiluoto EPR in Finland reached full capacity and produced 1600 MW of low-carbon electricity. It is the third EPR in operation in the world and the largest in Europe. An EPR is a pressurised water reactor that produces green energy... Read more
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Commission : 2022 Report on migration and asylum
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On 6 October, the Commission published its annual report on the situation and challenges in 2022 in the field of migration and asylum. It outlines developments relating to the adoption of the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, highlighting the agreement reached on the implementation of the voluntary solidarity mechanism. It also discusses solidarity with Ukraine, the change in the external border management system, the strengthening of international cooperation and the instrumentalisation of migrants by the Belarusian regime... Read more
Youth action plan
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On 4 October, the Commission presented its action plan for youth, which aims to mobilise and integrate young people into the European Union's external work. The plan focuses on three areas: a partnership for youth participation in the decision-making process, an empowerment partnership focusing on the fight against inequalities and the development of skills, and a partnership to connect young people in the world... Read more
Changes to the rules on antitrust practices
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On 3 October, the Commission adopted a Communication enabling it to provide informal guidance to companies in cases that raise new or unresolved issues with regard to antitrust practices with a view to providing greater legal security. The Commission withdrew the temporary framework for the assessment of antitrust practices introduced during the pandemic in 2020... Read more

Parliament : New measures to improve health care
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MEPs gave the green light on 5 October to the adoption of new rules strengthening the EU's cooperation and capacity to prevent, prepare for and manage outbreaks of communicable diseases, especially in the context of health crises. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will be given a new mandate to cooperate with national, European and international authorities.. Read more
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Single Window for Customs
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On 4 October, MEPs adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing the European Union's single window for customs, which will shorten customs clearance times and reduce the risk of fraud... Read more
Regulation in terms of toxic chemical products
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On 4 October, MEPs voted to tighten the rules on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention. With the aim of supporting the circular economy, waste containing such pollutants will no longer be able to be recycled and new substances have been added to the list of toxic products... Read more
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Resolution for ocean dynamics
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On 6 October, MEPs adopted a resolution aimed at strengthening ocean governance and biodiversity. They call on the EU to take the lead in protecting the oceans and to support an international moratorium on deep sea mining... Read more
Additional aid to regions in view of the war
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On 4 October, MEPs approved access to additional emergency assistance for Member States facing waves of migration or problems of delayed investment. The legislation will facilitate access to cohesion policy funds. The assistance, known as FAST-CARE, is estimated to amount to €3.5 billion in additional pre-financing in 2022 and 2023... Read more
Universal charger for electronic devices
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On 4 October, MEPs gave the green light to the adoption of the directive introducing the universal charger. From autumn 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras will be equipped with a similar USB port that will allow them to share the same charger. Computers will be covered in 2026. The legislation has an environmental objective, to reduce electronic waste and to simplify the use of mobile devices for consumers. The directive must now be formally adopted by the Council... Read more
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Council : Meeting of Finance and Economy Ministers
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On 4 October, Finance Ministers approved the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan and reached agreement on the REPowerEU plan to gradually end the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports, including the distribution of the €20 billion allocation among Member States... Read more
Eurogroup Meeting
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On 3 October, the Eurogroup discussed the budgetary guidelines and priorities for the euro area in 2023 to address the energy crisis and inflation. Ministers agreed on the need for exceptional income measures to protect vulnerable people and solidarity measures for companies suffering from rising energy prices. Regarding the situation in the euro area, they mentioned an additional €20 billion for the recovery fund through REPowerEU... Read more
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Final adoption of legislation on digital services (DSA)
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On 5 October, the Council adopted the Digital Services Act (DSA), which aims to create a safer online environment for digital users and businesses. The text aims to ensure the protection of fundamental rights online, in particular by combating illegal content and strengthening surveillance and transparency. The new rules will apply to all users offering their services in the single market, whether they are based in the EU or outside... Read more
Adoption of the minimum wage directive
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The directive on adequate minimum wages was finally adopted by the Council on 4 October. After its entry into force, Member States will have 2 years to transpose it into national law... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting of the European Political Community
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The first meeting of the European Political Community took place on 6 October in Prague. The leaders of 44 countries discussed energy, security, climate and economic issues, as well as the future of this new format. Bilateral discussions were also held between the heads of state and government present. The next meeting in six months' time will take place in Moldova, and subsequent meetings will be held in Spain and the UK... Read more
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Agreement on a EU civilian mission in Armenia
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On the sidelines of the European Political Community meeting in Prague on 6 October, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel brought together Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to re-launch the normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia will facilitate the establishment of an EU civilian mission along the border with Azerbaijan, which will start in October for a maximum of 2 months, with the aim of "building confidence" and "contributing to the border demarcation commissions"... Read more
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EU-Israel Association Council
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The European Union and Israel held their first Association Council since 2012 on 3 October. In addition to Ukraine, the global energy crisis and food insecurity, the two sides discussed their concerns, notably related to the Middle East peace process. They said they wanted to revive political dialogue and improve their "crucial" cooperation on the international scene... Read more

Court of Justice : Air passenger compensation applies to flights with connections
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On 6 October, the Court of Justice confirmed passengers' right to compensation in cases where the entire flight from a Member State is covered by a single ticket but is operated by different air carriers with no legal relationship... Read more

Germany : Meeting between Olaf Scholz and Mark Rutte
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On 4 October, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met in Berlin for an interministerial climate council with the aim of intensifying their relationship on climate and energy policy, starting with enhanced cooperation in the fields of offshore wind energy and hydrogen. Both partners are exploring the possibility of investing in new hybrid wind farms in the North Sea and the Netherlands intends to participate in the German "H2Global" initiative... Read more
Elections in the Land of Lower Saxony
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The 9 October regional elections in Lower Saxony were won by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's SPD party, which garnered 33.4% of the vote, ahead of the Christian Democrats of the CDU with 28.1%. The Greens came third with 14.5% of the vote, which may lead to the formation of a coalition with the party of outgoing Minister President Stephan Weil. The far-right AfD won 10.9% of the vote, improving its score by 5 points compared to the last elections; the FDP liberals only obtained 4.7%... Read more
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Denmark : Snap election 1 November
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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on 5 October that early parliamentary elections would be held on 1 November, following threats by a party allied in parliament to bring down the government. The left-wing coalition, led by the Social Democrats, will face a right-wing coalition of the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party and three right-wing nationalist parties. Opinion polls on the election are very close... Read more
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France : Announcement of a Franco-British Summit in 2023
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French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Liz Truss held talks on the sidelines of the European Political Community meeting in Prague on 6 October. They agreed to hold a Franco-British summit in France in 2023 to boost bilateral cooperation... Read more
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Hungary : Anti-corruption law passed
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On 3 October the Hungarian parliament adopted an anti-corruption bill, to comply with commitments made to the European Commission. The law introduces a new procedure for criminal offences related to the management of public assets, allowing for judicial review in case of "closure of an investigation without indictment or rejection of a crime report". It is the first of 17 measures Hungary must adopt to unlock EU funds... Read more

Sweden : Five Europeans win a Nobel Prize
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On 3 October, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Svante Pääbo, a Swedish researcher and pioneer in paleogenetics. On 4 October, Frenchman Alain Aspect, Austrian Anton Zeilinger and American John F. Clauser were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering experiments on quantum entanglement. On 5 October, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Morten Meldal from Denmark and Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Clauser from the United States. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless for their discoveries on the development of 'click' and bio-orthogonal chemistry. On 6 October, the Frenchwoman Annie Ernaux was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature... Read more

Council of Europe : Report on the future of the Council of Europe
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A High-Level Reflection Group chaired by former Irish President Mary Robinson delivered a report on the future of the Council of Europe on 5 October. It puts forward 30 recommendations and invites the institution to invest more in human rights and their protection, to increase pan-European cooperation, to work on relations with Russian and Belarusian civil society, and to strengthen the fight against violence against women... Read more
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Report on the protection of women in Germany
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On 7 October, the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on combating violence against women and domestic violence (GREVIO) published its first report on Germany, in which it welcomes the country's progress in the field of criminal law. Germany does not fulfil all the obligations of the Istanbul Convention. The quality of support services for women varies considerably between the Länder... Read more
Evaluation report on European judicial systems
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On 5 October, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) published its new report evaluating the judicial systems in 44 of the Council of Europe member states. This report is the result of the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collected concerning the budgets of judicial systems, legal professionals, the organisation of judicial systems, the development of new technologies as well as the efficiency and quality of the public service of justice provided to users... Read more

OECD : Report on the implementation of the reform of the international tax system
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On 6 October, one year after an agreement signed by OECD countries on the tax challenges of digitalisation and globalisation, progress continues to be made. A new multilateral agreement is to be finalised by mid-2023. A new report on "Tax Incentives and the Global Corporate Minimum Tax" was presented. Finally, Mongolia became the 100th jurisdiction to accede to the Multilateral Convention... Read more

Culture : Hilma af Klint Exhibition Stockholm
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For the first time since 2013, the Moderna Museum in Stockholm is devoting an exhibition to Hilma af Klint until 8 January 2023. The ten paintings from her series "The Ten Largest" are on display. These works, measuring 3.28 x 2.40 metres, represent the evolution of man and the four ages of humanity: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Watercolours and photographs are also on display... Read more
Donatello Exhibition Berlin
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The Gemäldegalerie in Berlin is hosting an exhibition of the work of one of the founders of the Italian Renaissance, Donatello, until 8 January 2023, in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation and the Musei del Bargello in Florence... Read more
Lucien Freud Exhibition London
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Until 22 January 2023, the National Gallery in London is hosting a major exhibition dedicated to Lucian Freud. He is one of the greatest British figurative painters. About sixty paintings are presented, from his early works to his large-scale canvases and portraits. This exhibition is organised in partnership with the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum... Read more
Picasso-Chanel Exhibition at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
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Until 15 January 2023, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid is presenting a joint exhibition of the work of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French fashion designer Gabrielle Chanel, where art and fashion meet... Read more
Monet-Mitchell Exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation
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The Fondation Louis Vuitton is presenting an exhibition until February 27, 2023, featuring some 60 works by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet and American Expressionist painter Joan Mitchell. The Foundation is also organizing a retrospective dedicated to Joan Mitchell in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art... Read more
Robert Doisneau in Turin
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More than 130 images from the Atelier Robert Doisneau collection are on display until 14 February 2023 at the Camera Gallery in Turin. The exhibition celebrates the work of the French artist considered one of the founding fathers of humanist and street photography... Read more
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Shows and entertainment in Corsica in the time of the Bonapartes (1769-1870)
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Until 15 January 2023, the Maison Bonaparte in Ajaccio is presenting an exhibition on shows and entertainment in Corsica at the time of the Bonapartes. It presents dance and music shows, theatre and concerts that structured the cultural life of the time... Read more
International Cinema Festival in Warsaw
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The 38th edition of the Warsaw International Film Festival will take place from 14 to 23 October and will present a selection of new international films in the fields of narrative features, documentaries and short films... Read more
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European Cultural Solidarity with Ukraine
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The world of culture is mobilising for Ukraine. In France, the Bloosmüsik group of conductor Pierre Schneider is organising a solidarity concert on 22 October in Sélestat. On 16 October, Versailles will host a concert to benefit Ukrainian refugee families in France. In Germany, a concert for refugees from Ukraine and around the world will be held at the Konzerthaus in Berlin on 27 October. Ukrainian duo Harmony and violinist Vasyl Hrynkiv will play a fundraising concert for Ukraine on 15 October at the Golden Jubilee Hall in Hereford, UK... Read more
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11Oct
11-12 October 2022

Prague

Informal Meeting of Energy Ministers

12Oct
12-13 October 2022

Prague

Informal Meeting of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers

13Oct
13-14 October 2022

Luxembourg

Justice and Home Affairs Council

14Oct
14 October 2022

Brussels

Eurogroup Meeting

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The Letter n°994
The European Union's Declining Influence in the South
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Reception of Ukrainian refugees. Between emergency responses and long-term solutions
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Global food crisis: Europe must choose between retreat and responsibility
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The Eastern Partnership under the test of war in Ukraine
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"Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a moment of truth for Europe"
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The Letter n°969
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 European Strategy for a "New Deal" with Africa
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"If only ageing Europe had chosen the easy option of more immigration"
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"The European strategy in the Indo-Pacific is subtle and perfectly adapted"
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