The Letter n°996

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The Letter n°996
The Letter
Tuesday 25th October 2022
issue 996
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70 years on, it's time to reinvent the ECSC
Author : Thierry Lepercq
Thierry Lepercq
Faced with rising prices and the need for diversification to ensure a balanced energy mix, it is important for Europe to provide itself with the means to guarantee its independence and ensure the security of its supplies. The hydrogen revolution offers Europe a historic opportunity: to re-found itself around an "Energy Union" by finally fulfilling the promises of Robert Schuman's ECSC, according to Hydeal's president.
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Elections : Anze Logar comes out ahead in the first round of the presidential election
Anze Logar, Democratic Party (SDS), came out ahead in the first round of Slovenia's presidential election on 23 October with 33.96% of the vote. In the second round, to be held on 13 November, he will face the independent candidate Natasa Pirc Musar, who obtained 26.86% of the vote. The turnout totalled 51.06%... Read more

Foundation : Energy Crisis, European Measures
In response to rising energy prices, Member States and the European Union have taken action and drawn up plans to reduce consumption. On 20 October, the 27 Heads of State and Government agreed on a roadmap to limit price increases and asked the Commission to come forward quickly with measures to pool gas purchases. On 17 October, Germany decided to keep three nuclear power plants in operation until April 2023. The Foundation offers you a map to help you understand the situation. It is regularly completed, updated and upgraded... Read more

European Council : Conclusions of the European Council
The European Council, which met on 20-21 October, asked the Commission to propose emergency measures on energy (joint purchase of gas on a voluntary basis, dynamic price corridor and temporary cap on gas prices). EU leaders condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the Russian attacks, as well as Iran's support. They asked the Commission to propose a solution to better ensure financial assistance to Ukraine. The leaders exchanged views on current international affairs... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Swiss President and EBRD President visit Kyiv
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis visited Ukraine on 20 October to identify humanitarian needs and to discuss Swiss support, including reconstruction, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. On 21 October, the Ukrainian President met with EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso to discuss financial support to Ukraine and the need to urgently allocate financial resources for a rapid recovery. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Kyiv on 19 October... Read more
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Declaration of French, UK and USA Foreign Affairs Ministers
In response to Russia's allegations that Ukraine might use "a dirty bomb" on its own territory, France, the UK and the US jointly declared on 24 October that they rejected "any pretext for escalation on the part of Russia"... Read more
Additional aid of 175 million € for Ukraine and Moldova
The Commission announced on 20 October to provide an additional €175 million in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable people in Ukraine and Moldova. The EU Rescue Strategic Reserve will be deployed for this purpose. EU Commissioner Janez Lenarčič visited Ukraine to help coordinate this operation... Read more
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Non-recognition of Russian passports and asylum
On 20 October, MEPs adopted amendments to the legislative proposal on the non-recognition of travel documents issued by Russia in the regions it illegally occupies in Ukraine and Georgia. MEPs said that the Commission, after consulting Member States, should draw up a list of Russian travel documents that should no longer be accepted. They also insisted on ensuring access to asylum for those fleeing war... Read more
The Estonian Parliament qualifies Russia a terrorist state
On 18 October, the Estonian Parliament adopted a declaration by 88 votes condemning Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territories and calling the Russian regime a terrorist. It expresses its support for the investigations of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court and calls for the creation of a special tribunal to judge Russia's crime of aggression... Read more
UN Meeting on the situation in Ukraine
At a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine on 21 October, two senior officials called for free passage for humanitarian teams. The scale of the humanitarian disaster is staggering," said UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Denise Brown, "with 40% of the Ukrainian population in need of humanitarian assistance. However, humanitarian support to Ukraine is the highest in the history of the UN. At the meeting, concern about the price of gas and electricity and the risk this poses to the Ukrainian population in the coming winter was highlighted. Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN's head of political affairs, welcomed the exchange of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners, and recalled the need to punish Russian crimes... Read more
IMF Report on the Ukrainian economy
The International Monetary Fund released its report on Ukraine's wartime economy on 21 October, which indicates a severe contraction in GDP, down 35% from 2021, as well as rising inflation, severe disruptions to trade, and an unprecedented budget deficit. The IMF has also provided the Ukrainian authorities with financing amounting to about €1.3 billion under its Rapid Financing Facility (RFF)... Read more
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Sakharov Prize 2022 for the Ukrainian people
On 19 October, the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the Ukrainian people. The jury highlighted the efforts of citizens, initiatives of civil society representatives, its President and elected leaders in resisting Russian aggression... Read more

Commission : Work programme for 2023
On 18 October, the Commission published its work programme for 2023, which sets out 43 strategic initiatives, including the creation of a European Hydrogen Bank, a proposal to define the principles of a digital euro, the presentation of a European space strategy for security and defence and measures on the defence of democracy. The Commission must now establish common legislative priorities with the Parliament and the Council... Read more
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Parliament : Vote on the 2023 budget
MEPs adopted their position on the 2023 budget, opposing the Council's proposed €1.6 billion budget cuts. As a priority, they want to allocate an additional €853 million to deal with the consequences of the war in Ukraine. MEPs said they wanted to increase funding for energy independence with an additional €533 million. In addition to increased financial support for the Erasmus+, Horizon and Life programmes, they proposed increasing the EU4Health programme by €25 million to ensure the resilience of European health systems to pandemics. MEPs called for the cancellation of plans to renovate the Parliament building in Brussels... Read more
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Debate with Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova
In a debate with MEPs on 19 October, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova affirmed the need for solidarity in the face of threats to European democracy, values and solidarity. She expressed her hope that Ukraine would one day become a member of the EU. She also mentioned the rise in energy prices. She also warned about the rise of extremism in Europe and called on MEPs to defend democracy and the rule of law... Read more
Call for Romania and Bulgaria to join Schengen
MEPs adopted a resolution on 18 October calling on the Council to give the green light for Romania and Bulgaria to join the Schengen area of free movement by the end of 2022. They stress that both Member States meet the criteria... Read more
Guidelines for employment
On 18 October, MEPs approved the introduction of new employment guidelines for Member States to protect the most vulnerable workers and ensure a fair green and digital transition... Read more
Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism
On 19 October in Parliament, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize 2022 was awarded to freelance journalists Clément Di Roma and Carol Valade for their documentary "Central African Republic: Russian soft power." The journalists documented the influence and abuses committed by the Russian mercenary group Wagner which protects the regime in exchange for mineral resources... Read more
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Council : Provisional long-term agreement on the European Investment Fund
The Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on 19 October on the revision of the European Long Term Investment Fund (ELTIF) Regulation. This measure is part of the process of creating a single capital market, the aim of which is to ensure the circulation of investments and savings in all Member States... Read more
Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers
On 17-18 October, the agriculture and fisheries ministers reached a political agreement on total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for Baltic Sea fish stocks for 2023. The ministers discussed the situation on the agricultural markets and the food crisis... Read more
Meeting of Ministers responsible for European Affairs
With regard to the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Ministers for European Affairs, meeting on 18 October, considered that up to 95% of the proposals drawn up could be implemented within the framework of the current treaties and did not, for the time being, follow up on the Parliament's requests for treaty revision. They also took stock of the rule of law in Poland in the context of the Article 7 procedure... Read more
Tripartite Social Summit
On 19 October, the Tripartite Social Summit brought together the heads of the institutions and the social partners to discuss measures to deal with the energy crisis, in particular those dedicated to the protection of companies and individuals... Read more
Meeting of Transport Ministers
On 21 October, Transport Ministers discussed energy prices and concrete measures to reduce energy consumption. They discussed the development of rail transport, the improvement of interconnections and the revision of the TEN-T network in the context of the war in Ukraine... Read more

Diplomacy : Entry into force of the framework agreement with Australia
The framework agreement between the European Union and Australia, which aims to strengthen cooperation in many areas, entered into force on 21 October... Read more
New sanction for the use of Iranian drones in Ukraine
On 20 October, the Council added three Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity to the list of persons subject to restrictive measures because of their involvement in the development and delivery of drones used by Russia against Ukraine. The restrictive measures include an asset freeze and a ban on entry into and travel within the European Union... Read more
Annual dialogue with Moldova
The 13th annual human rights dialogue with Moldova was held on 19 October. The European Union highlighted positive developments in Moldova, such as the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on Combating Violence against Women, the adoption of hate crime legislation and the ongoing work to reform the electoral code. Nevertheless, transparency and media ownership rules as well as detention conditions need to be improved... Read more
Green partnership with Morocco
The European Union signed its first green partnership with a partner country, Morocco, on 18 October. The three areas of cooperation are climate and energy, the environment, including marine and maritime issues, and the green economy. Decided in advance of COP27, the aim is to establish an external dimension of the European Green Pact... Read more
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Germany : Conference on the Western Balkans in Berlin
The Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkans met in Berlin on 21 October for the annual conference of the Berlin Process. At the summit, they identified climate, energy and energy security, and the development of the regional common market as priorities. Furthermore, Germany welcomed the agreements between these countries on free movement measures that would lead to the creation of a regional Balkan common market... Read more

Denmark : Latest polls as the general elections approach
In the run-up to the Danish parliamentary elections on 1 November, the Social Democratic Party leads the polls with 25-27% of voting intentions, followed by the Liberal Party (14.5-15%), the Socialist People's Party (8-9%) and the Moderates (7-9%)... Read more
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France : Agreement on energy with Spain and Portugal
French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced on 20 October the creation of a green energy corridor between Barcelona and Marseille (BarMar) linking them to the EU energy network. The MidCat project, requested by Germany, has been abandoned. The three leaders agreed to implement new electricity interconnection projects linking France and Spain. They will meet again in Alicante on 9 December... Read more
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Cooperation in the fight to counter mines
On 18 October, the Netherlands, Belgium and France agreed to establish a synergy for 'national mine warfare capabilities'. French ships will be built following the model of the bi-national Belgian-Dutch MCM programme. The aim is to enable joint activities in the field of mine warfare... Read more
Journey by Catherine Colonna to the USA
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna visited Washington on 20 and 21 October. She was hosted by her counterpart Anthony Blinken, with whom she discussed the war in Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, and the Indo-Pacific... Read more
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Italy : New government led by Giorgia Meloni
Following the parliamentary elections on 25 September, the leader of the far-right Fratelli d'Italia party, Giorgia Meloni, was appointed President of the Italian Council by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella on 22 October. She presented her government, which includes 25 ministers, 10 from Fratelli d'Italia, 5 from the League, 5 from Forza Italia and 5 independents. The Italian government led for the first time by a woman includes 7 women... Read more
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Interview with the French president
Italy's new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met French President Emmanuel Macron on 23 October in Rome. Emmanuel Macron said he had a "frank and demanding" conversation with the head of the Italian government, whom he expected to judge "on her actions". He stressed the importance of Franco-Italian relations and cooperation at European level. Giorgia Meloni welcomed the convergence of views between France and Italy on the main European issues and said she wanted to work with the French "on an equal footing"... Read more
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UK : Resignation of the Prime Minister and appointment of Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak was appointed British Prime Minister on 25 October, after being named leader of the Conservative Party the day before. He was the only candidate after Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt decided not to run. He succeeds Liz Truss, who resigned on 20 October, having lost the support of the party... Read more
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Sweden : New government led by Ulf Kristersson
The leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, was appointed Prime Minister of Sweden on 17 October by the members of the Riksdag, winning 176 votes to 173. He also won an absolute majority thanks to the support of the far-right Sweden Democrats. The government took office on 18 October. It comprises 12 Moderate, 6 Christian Democrats and 5 Liberals Ministers, including 10 women... Read more
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Council of Europe : Report by the anti-torture committee regarding Bulgaria
The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture published a report on Bulgaria on 18 October. It calls on Bulgaria to address inter-prisoner violence, health problems, poor material conditions and understaffing... Read more

IMF : Economic outlook for Europe
On 23 October, the International Monetary Fund published its economic outlook for Europe, warning against the "noxious cocktail" of high inflation and low growth facing European countries. The IMF forecasts growth of 0.6% in 2023 for advanced European countries and 1.7% for emerging countries, down from its July forecast. It considers that a tightening of monetary policy is necessary... Read more
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Eurostat : Inflation rate rises
According to figures published on 19 October by Eurostat, the annual inflation rate in the European Union was 10.9% in September, compared with 10.1% in August. The euro area inflation rate was 9.9% in September, compared to 9.1% in August and 3.4% last year. The lowest rate was observed in France at 6.2% and the highest in Estonia at 24.1%. Energy is the main component of inflation, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco, services and industrial goods excluding energy and services... Read more

Culture : European cultural solidarity with Ukraine
In a resolution adopted on 20 October, MEPs call on the Commission to take measures to support cultural actors in the protection of cultural heritage in Ukraine and in reconstruction. They also recommend the adoption of a joint emergency response mechanism for cultural recovery in Europe to build partnerships to maintain a creative ecosystem... Read more
Jantar Jazz Festival in Gdansk
The city of Gdansk is hosting the Jantar Jazz Festival, one of the oldest jazz festivals in the country, until 13 November. It presents new trends in the world of jazz... Read more
Turner in Dublin
A large collection of works by the English artist J.M.W. Turner is on display at the National Gallery in Dublin until 6 February 2023. The main theme is the painter's fascination with the forces of nature, as well as the sun, moon and clouds... Read more
Friendships, collective creativity at the Marseille Mucem
Until 13 February 2023, the Mucem in Marseille is devoting an exhibition dedicated to friendship and collective creativity. 117 collaborative works are on display, from all types of art, ranging from the 19th to the 21st century. This exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Kunstmuseum of Wolfsburg... Read more
Gaudi in Madrid
The Centrocentro in Madrid is devoting an exhibition to Gaudí until 5 February 2023. More than 150 works are on display, including plans, drawings, models, furniture, architectural elements, ceramics and photographs... Read more
Alice Neel at the Pompidou Centre
Until 16 January 2023, the Centre Pompidou in Paris is devoting an exhibition to Alice Neel. Known for her paintings of marginalized people in American society, this committed feminist emancipated herself from the artistic trends of her time with her figurative painting. 75 paintings and drawings are presented... Read more
25-year anniversary of the Beyeler Foundation
The Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an exhibition that will run until 8 January 2023. Around 100 works by 31 different artists, ranging from classical to contemporary art, will be on display in almost the entire museum. The American artist Duane Hanson is a special guest at this exhibition, with several of his sculptures on display... Read more
Mondrian Düsseldorf
Until 12 February 2023, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf presents the exhibition "Mondrian: Evolution", showing the development of the work of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, from the landscapes and other figurative motifs of his first decade of career, to the iconic geometric compositions with black and white lines and coloured fields in red, yellow and blue... Read more
Art and global warming in Rome
Until 26 February 2023, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome is showing the exhibition "Hot Spot - Caring for a burning world", which takes its title from Mona Hatoum's work of the same name ("Hot Spot III", 2009) denouncing the impact of human society on the planet. The environmental activity of the international artists present is expressed through the prism of aesthetics... Read more
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24 October


Environment Council

25 October


Energy Council

27 October


ECB Council of Governors

30-31 October


Informal Meeting of Trade Ministers

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From the Russia Pact to the Green Deal?
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Global food crisis: Europe must choose between retreat and responsibility
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European unilateralism as a tool for regulating international trade
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Has Europe's Hour Come?
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The Eastern Partnership under the test of war in Ukraine
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The Letter n°969
A few truths about Ukraine and Russia
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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"
published on 07/02/2022
The Letter n°965
"The European strategy in the Indo-Pacific is subtle and perfectly adapted"
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European sovereignty, strategic autonomy, Europe as a power: what reality for the European Union, and for which future?
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For a new European growth strategy
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The Challenges of the French Presidency of the Council
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