The Letter n°998

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The Letter n°998
The Letter
Tuesday 8th November 2022
issue 998
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What is President Putin afraid of?
Author : Francisco Juan Gomez Martos
Francisco Juan Gomez Martos
More than eight months after the invasion of Ukraine, it is even more difficult to guess the Russian President's final intentions. But it seems that Vladimir Putin fears democratic contagion in Ukraine far more than NATO missiles.
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Elections : The Leftwing forces win by a narrow margin the General elections in Denmark
The Red Bloc of left-wing parties came out on top in Denmark's snap parliamentary elections on 1 November, with 48.11% of the vote and 90 of the 179 seats in parliament. The Social Democratic Party of outgoing Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen remains the largest party in the country with 27.54% of the vote. The Blue Bloc, which includes the right-wing parties, secured 41.06% of the vote and 72 seats. The Moderates (M) won 16 seats. The turnout stood at 84.1%... Read more

Foundation : Energy Crisis, European Measures
In response to rising energy prices, Member States and the European Union have taken action. In Germany, the government announced on 2 November that gas prices will be frozen from 1 January for 25,000 large companies, 2,000 hospitals and all schools, and from 1 March for households and SMEs. The Foundation offers you a map to explain the situation. It is regularly completed and updated... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : IAEA inspection of nuclear installations
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed an inspection of the Kyiv, Zhovti Kody, and Dnipro nuclear sites in Ukraine on 3 November. This was requested by the Ukrainian government after Russia accused it of activities at the three sites. IAEA inspectors found no evidence of undeclared nuclear material or activities. The results of the environmental sampling will be published as soon as possible... Read more
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Visit to Kyiv by the Energy Commissioner
On 1 November, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson visited Ukraine to discuss support for the energy system with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his energy minister Herman Halushchenko. In response to the increasing number of Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, the EU has provided €25.5 million in emergency equipment. In this context, the Commissioner announced that €13 million has been made available for the reconstruction of the Chernobyl nuclear site and another €3.5 million will be added to support this sector... Read more
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Meeting with the Greek President
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hosted Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on 3 November for discussions on cooperation between their two countries. They exchanged views on the upcoming package of EU sanctions against Russia, as well as on the energy crisis situation. The Greek President reiterated Greece's support for Ukraine and stressed the need to restore its territorial integrity... Read more
Visit by the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister
On 2 November, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, hosted the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, to whom he expressed his gratitude for the delivery of 30 ambulances, the reception of Ukrainian refugees and the sending of air defence systems. They discussed the reconstruction of Ukraine's energy infrastructure, as well as possible progress in the process of Ukraine's accession to the European Union during the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2023... Read more

Council : Meeting of Trade Ministers
At a meeting in Prague on 30-31 October, trade ministers discussed the geostrategic aspect of digitalisation and the EU's trade agreements, with a view to reducing dependence on "supplies from unpredictable authoritarian countries". They discussed trade relations with the United States, which are seen as a geostrategic priority... Read more
Eurogroup Meeting
On 7 November, the Eurogroup continued its discussion on fiscal policy to mitigate the impact of high energy prices. In particular, they reviewed and analysed the measures taken to support vulnerable households and companies while reducing inflation. Euro area expenditure on energy support is estimated to have amounted to 1.25% of euro area GDP to date. The ministers examined the new draft budget plans submitted by the Member States and discussed the Banking Union. They agreed to elect the President of the Eurogroup on 5 December. In addition, the political priorities of the new Italian government were outlined by the new Italian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, Giancarlo Giorgetti... Read more
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Parliament : Joint Parliamentary Assembly with ACP countries
At a meeting from 29 September to 2 October with their counterparts from 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in Mozambique, MEPs called for the signing of the post-Cotonou agreement, the new legal framework for relations between the EU and ACP countries. They addressed a wide range of issues such as the fight against climate change, maritime safety, the food crisis and access to the European market for commodity producers... Read more
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Diplomacy : Meeting of G7 Foreign Affairs Ministers
The G7 foreign ministers met on 4 November in Münster. They pledged to set up a "coordination mechanism" to help Ukraine repair and protect its vital infrastructure. They condemned Russia's "unacceptable nuclear rhetoric" and renewed their support for the Ukrainian people. The Ministers condemned the recent missile launches in North Korea, as well as the repressive actions in Iran in response to protests. Finally, they called on oil-producing countries to increase production to help bring down prices... Read more
Declaration regarding tension between Serbia and Kosovo
On 5 November, Josep Borrell, the European Union's Head of Diplomacy, reported on rising tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, which threaten security in the region, following a decision by the Kosovo authorities that obliges Serbs to change their license plates to those of the Republic of Kosovo. He urged both sides not to take unilateral action that could lead to violence and called on Kosovo Serbs not to withdraw from Kosovo's institutions. He recalled Kosovo's obligation to establish an Association/Community of Municipalities... Read more
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EU-Western Balkans Forum on Justice and Security
At the EU-Western Balkans Justice and Security Forum in Tirana on 3 and 4 November, the EU and the six countries of the region agreed on enhanced cooperation, through the exchange of information, to counter the increased criminal threats in the context of the war in Ukraine. They discussed cooperation on migration, asylum and border management, including ensuring the presence of Frontex in the region. The EU insisted on following up recommendations to fight organised crime and corruption. Furthermore, the Balkan representatives pledged to intensify their efforts to implement the sanctions against Russia... Read more
Inauguration of an international bridge between Cameroon and Nigeria
A bridge over the Cross River linking Cameroon and Nigeria, funded with €25 million from the European Union's Global Gateway initiative, was inaugurated on 3 November... Read more

European Agencies : Report on cybersecurity threats
The European Cyber Security Agency (ENISA) published on 3 November its annual report on the state of cyber security threats in 2022. It underlines that the main threat is ransomware, the taking of data hostage, and observes a strengthening of the capacities of actors and the emergence of new hybrid threats, notably due to the war in Ukraine and the geopolitical situation... Read more
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Germany : Western Balkan Summit
On 3 November, a Western Balkans Summit was held in Berlin. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz repeated the commitments regarding the EU accession process of the countries in the region, although improvements in the protection of the rule of law and environmental standards are still needed. The six countries also signed three agreements that will allow mutual recognition in the region of identity cards, university degrees and professional qualifications. Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced €1bn in aid to tackle the energy crisis in the region... Read more
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Hungary : Visit by the President to Austria
Hungarian President Katalin Novák visited Vienna on 27 October for an official visit to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen. She welcomed Austria's efforts to reduce illegal immigration, including cooperation with Serbia on the border with northern Macedonia. Both leaders condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine... Read more
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Italy : Brussels visit by the President of the Council
Italian Council President Giorgia Meloni visited Brussels on 3 November, where she met with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Parliament President Roberta Metsola, European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, and Council President Charles Michel. She welcomed a "very frank and positive" exchange with EU leaders and said she had defended Italy's point of view on the issues of the war in Ukraine, energy prices and immigration... Read more
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Portugal : 33rd Hispano-Portuguese Summit
The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and his Portuguese counterpart, Antonio Costa, met on 4 November in Portugal for the 33rd Spanish-Portuguese summit. 11 agreements were signed, including one on the creation of an Iberian research centre on energy storage and another on the development of an "Atlantic Constellation" of satellites. They agreed on a practical guide for border residents, a common cultural agenda, a strategy to combat gender-based violence and collaboration on tourism. They repeated their commitment to build a green energy corridor to transport hydrogen and gas between the Iberian Peninsula and Central Europe... Read more
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UK : Bank of England raises rates
On 2 November, the Bank of England raised its bank rate by 0.75 percentage points to 3% to support growth and employment in the face of inflation. This is the biggest interest rate rise for over 30 years... Read more
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No elections in Northern Ireland before 2023
The British Minister for Northern Ireland, Christopher Heaton-Harris, announced on 4 November, after discussions with Northern Ireland party leaders, that there will be no elections in December. These should have been held because of the failure to form a government six months after the last election. They will be held in 2023... Read more
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Slovenia : Recent polls just a week before the presidential election
A few days before the second round of the presidential election in Slovenia, on 13 November, the polls announce Natasa Pirc Musar as the winner. She enjoys 61.3% of voting intentions, against 38.7% for her opponent Anze Logar... Read more

Armenia : New head of government in the High Nagorno-Karabakh
Ruben Vardanian, a Russian-born banker who recently became a naturalised Armenian, was appointed on 4 November to head the government of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian-populated enclave in Azerbaijan... Read more

Council of Europe : 30th anniversary of the Charter for Regional Languages
The Council of Europe celebrated on 5 November the 30th anniversary of the signing of the European Charter for Regional Languages, which promotes the use of 80 minority or regional languages in education, justice, administration, media, culture, economic and social life and cross-border cooperation. The 25 signatory countries of the Charter receive regular recommendations on how best to protect these languages, some of which have avoided extinction... Read more

UN : Extension of the European Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina
On 2 November, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the EU peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina by one year to ensure the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Agreement... Read more
The launch of COP27
The 27th UN climate conference, COP27, opened on 6 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and runs until 18 November to discuss the implementation of commitments made at previous conferences to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature increases... Read more

NATO : Visit by the General Secretary to Turkey
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Istanbul on 3 November to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu and Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan. They discussed Turkey's participation in NATO security, the situation in the Aegean, the common fight against terrorism, Finland and Sweden's membership of NATO, and support for Ukraine... Read more

IMF : Report on Kosovo's economy
In a report on Kosovo's economy published on 4 November, the IMF says the country is suffering from inflation and a slowdown in growth. It calls for measures such as a return to the deficit ceiling of the fiscal rule or the introduction of temporary and targeted programmes to bring down prices... Read more

OECD : Report on Carbon Prices
In its latest report, published on 3 November, the OECD says that carbon prices are covering a growing share of greenhouse gas emissions. There are more and more carbon taxes and more countries using them. In 2021, more than 40% of greenhouse gas emissions were covered by carbon prices, up from 32% in 2018... Read more

Eurostat : Increase in the GDP in the third quarter
According to Eurostat, GDP in the European Union and the euro area increased by 0.2% in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. The countries with the largest increases were Sweden, Italy, Portugal and Lithuania... Read more
Decrease in unemployment in September
According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate has risen to 6% in the European Union and 6.6% in the euro area in September 2022. However, young people are more affected by unemployment with the rate rising to 14.6% in September 2022... Read more
Euro zone inflation rate above 10%
According to an estimate published on 31 October by Eurostat, the annual inflation rate in the euro zone was 10.7% in October, compared with 9.9% in September. Energy is the main component of inflation, followed by food, alcohol & tobacco, industrial goods excluding energy and services... Read more

Culture : European Cultural Solidarity with Ukraine
The world of culture is mobilising for Ukraine. In France, the Ukraïnka association will present its third charity concert of classical music on 12 November in Limoges. Another concert is being held on 15 November at the town hall in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. In the UK, violinist Diana Tishchenko plays on 18 November at the Barbican Centre in London. In Germany, the town of Altdorf bei Nürnberg is hosting a concert on 19 November in aid of the St Nicholas Children's Hospital in Lviv. In Spain, the Kyiv Ballet will present its version of Swan Lake at the Ciudad Real municipal theatre on 9 November. Part of the ticket sales will go to support UNICEF's work in Ukraine... Read more
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Bath Cinema Festival
The Bath Film Festival will run until 13 November and features around 50 film screenings in a variety of genres: recent films, black and white classics, arthouse films and cartoons are all part of the programme... Read more
Luxembourg Art Fair
The International Contemporary Art Fair, Luxembourg Art Week, takes place until 13 November. Numerous galleries will present sculptures, lectures, performances, screenings, workshops and guided tours.. Read more
Paris Photo Festival
From November 10 to 13, the ephemeral Grand Palais will host the Paris Photo exhibition. It brings together 77 artists and 200 art galleries from around the world. It also features a zone, Curiosa, devoted to emerging artists, and a space dedicated to apprentice photographers with the Carte blanche Etudiants programme. A jury will choose 4 students to exhibit their work in the stations of Paris... Read more
Portrait of Warsaw in the 90's
Until 19 February 2023, the Warsaw Museum is hosting the exhibition "Gloss, Matt, Colour", which brings together pictures by a number of photographers, as well as films and maps depicting elements of everyday life in the city of Warsaw in the 1990s... Read more
Anne Schönharting in Berlin
The photographs of German artist Anne Schönharting are on display until 11 December at the 'Haus am Kleistpark' in Berlin as part of the "Habitat" exhibition, which depicts individuals and their flats in unusual, sometimes almost cinematic situations... Read more
Maria Teresa Hincapié in Barcelona
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona is devoting an exhibition to the Colombian artist María Teresa Hincapié until 26 February 2023. Her performances focus on the poetic aspects of everyday life and the "search for the sacred" through artistic creation... Read more
Fabienne Verdier's Song of Stars
Until March 27, 2023, the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar is hosting an exhibition devoted to Fabienne Verdier. It contrasts paintings by this contemporary artist and works by "the great masters of the museum", both ancient and modern. It includes her work Rainbows, comprising 76 canvases, and the Grand Vortex of Unterlinden... Read more
Paintings by the Von Alt brothers on show in Vienna
Until 29 January 2023, the Albertina Palace in Vienna is hosting an exhibition devoted to the paintings of Jakob, Franz and Rudolf von Alt, who are recognised as masterpieces of 19th-century Austrian watercolour painting... Read more
The unpublished part of Lucia Balacescu's work
More than 100 works from the collection of the artist Lucia Dem. Balacescu's collection are on display for the first time at the National Art Museum in Bucharest until 26 March 2023. The exhibition will be completed by family photographs, manuscripts and other memorabilia of the artist... Read more

7 November 2022


Eurogroup Meeting

8 November


Economic and Financial Affairs Council

9-10 November 2022


Mini session of the European Parliament

11 November 2022


Budget Council

13 November 2022


Presidential Election (second round)

14 November 2022


Foreign Affairs Council

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