The Letter n°999

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The Letter n°999
The Letter
Tuesday 15th November 2022
issue 999
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Energy: great hope for the 21st century
Author : Jean-Luc Alexandre
Jean-Luc Alexandre
In this period of the quest for solutions to make the energy transition a success and to guarantee European energy independence, particularly in terms of resources and supplies, new nuclear technologies may allow Europe to lead the future energy revolution.
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Front page! : Protecting Europe
French President Emmanuel Macron's reminder of the European dimension of France's nuclear deterrent underlines the need for a frank and in-depth European consultation on this issue to guarantee Europe's security, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

Elections : Natasa Pirc Musar becomes the first female President of the Republic of Slovenia
Natasa Pirc Musar was elected President of the Republic of Slovenia on 13 November with 53.86% of the votes in the second round of the presidential election. She defeated Anze Logar of the Democratic Party (SDS) who secured 46.14%. The 54 year old lawyer is the first woman to become President of Slovenia. She will take office on 23 December... 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 Bundestag has approved the extension of the operation of 3 nuclear power plants until 15 April 2023. In Finland, the government decided to reduce VAT rates for energy and transport. The Foundation offers you a map to help you understand the situation. It is regularly completed and updated... Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
In response to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union has set up a €672.5 billion recovery fund, known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, for Member States in the form of grants and loans. On 8 November, Italy received a second instalment of €21 billion after meeting 45 targets. On 7 and 10 November, the Commission approved preliminary assessments for payments to Bulgaria and Croatia. The Foundation provides an interactive map of the country-by-country plans, including amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Proposed financial assistance of 18 billion € for Ukraine
On 9 November, the Commission proposed a new €18 billion assistance package for Ukraine for 2023. The assistance will take the form of "highly concessional" loans and will be delivered in monthly instalments of €1.5 billion to ensure the payment of salaries and pensions and to keep essential public services running, such as hospitals, schools and housing for resettled people. To cover short-term funding needs, this assistance should be matched by similar efforts from other major donors.. Read more
Solidarity corridors to strengthen global food security
The Commission and the Member States bordering Ukraine announced on 11 November the payment of €1 billion to facilitate the functioning of the trade routes linking Ukraine to the European Union. These corridors were created in May to ensure the export of Ukrainian agricultural products, particularly cereals, and the import of products needed by the country... Read more
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Road transport agreements with Ukraine and Moldova
On 10 November, MEPs approved two agreements aimed at facilitating the cross-border transport of goods between the European Union and Ukraine and Moldova. The aim is to provide alternative transit routes to air and sea routes for the export of grain, fuel and foodstuffs. In this sense, an agreement includes the recognition of Ukrainian driving licences within the territory of the Union... Read more
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Meeting between the Ukrainian president and the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hosted on 11 November the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, who was visiting Kyiv as part of the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Ukraine and Lithuania. He praised Lithuania's military, financial and humanitarian support. They discussed the European energy crisis and the idea of using seized or frozen Russian funds to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine... Read more
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Rejection of Russian passports delivered in Ukraine and Georgia
The Council and the Parliament agreed on 10 November on the plan not to accept Russian passports issued in the occupied regions of Ukraine and Georgia in the EU. The measure must be formally approved by both institutions... Read more

Commission : Economic forecasts: the economy at a turning point
The Commission presented its economic forecasts on 11 November, which predict a recession in the last quarter of the year, but also growth for the year 2022 of 3.3% in the European Union and 3.2% in the euro zone, and only 0.3% for the year 2023 for both the European Union and the euro zone. The European Union is expected to see its inflation peak at the end of 2022, at 9.3%. It is expected to fall to 7% in 2023 and recover to 3% in 2024... Read more
Proposed reform of economic governance
On 9 November, the Commission presented its proposals to reform the EU's economic governance framework, with the aim of simplifying it in order to strengthen Member States' ownership of and compliance with budgetary rules. It proposes to maintain public deficit ceilings at 3% of GDP and debt at 60% of GDP, and suggests defining a budgetary trajectory for each Member State over a period of four years, adjusted to its financial situation, to restore its finances... Read more
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Emergency measures to reduce dependency on Russian gas
The Commission proposed on 9 November the adoption of a regulation for the deployment of renewable energy sources to accelerate the process of independence from Russian gas. In this context, renewable energy installations would be deemed to be of overriding public interest. In addition, it includes an acceleration of the procedures for the authorisation of the installation of solar energy equipment, the granting of heat pump permits and the renovation of power plants... Read more
Fisheries management and control agreements in the Mediterranean
At the annual meeting of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) on 11 November, the European Union and the neighbouring countries of the Mediterranean agreed on the establishment of five multi-annual joint management plans (JMPs). They aim to limit overfishing and ensure a level playing field between Mediterranean fleets. In addition, the GFCM adopted 21 measures for fisheries control, aquaculture and the protection of sensitive habitats and the new GFCM 2030 strategy supported by an annual grant of €8 million... Read more
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Parliament : Energy measures in the resilience plans
MEPs gave the green light on 10 November to the inclusion of energy measures, as set out in REPowerEU, in national recovery plans to boost support for vulnerable households, SMEs and micro-enterprises. Member States will have to include measures to save energy, produce clean energy and diversify sources of supply. In addition, MEPs suggested that the €20 billion in additional subsidies proposed by the Commission should be distributed taking into account the dependence on and increase in expenditure and the share of fossil fuels in each country's energy consumption. These rules will apply from 1 February 2023... Read more
New legislation regarding cybersecurity
MEPs adopted stricter cyber security standards for businesses, administrations and infrastructure on 10 November. The new legislation aims to harmonise different national standards and includes new obligations on risk management, including supply chain security, and information sharing. The critical sectors of energy, transport, banking, digital infrastructure, public administration and the space sector are now covered. The text must now be adopted by the Council... Read more
New rules governing foreign subsidies
On 10 November, to close a legal loophole, MEPs approved a new tool to ensure that competition in the single market is rebalanced when foreign subsidies distort competition. The Commission will be able to monitor and take action to prevent direct aid from non-EU countries or preferential tax treatment from benefiting certain companies... Read more
Transparency of the environmental and societal impact of businesses
On 10 November, MEPs adopted the Sustainability Reporting Directive, which obliges companies to regularly share data on their societal and environmental impact. With a view to combating greenwashing, the new rules require more detailed data to be published and for the information to be subject to independent certification and auditing. The Council now has to adopt the proposal... Read more
Vote in support of Croatia's entry into the Schengen Area
MEPs voted in favour of Croatia's accession to the Schengen area on 10 November and called on the Council to adopt a final decision to this effect. They reaffirmed that the country meets all the conditions for full membership. However, they urged Croatia to ensure respect for human rights in its management of the external borders and called for an evaluation by the Commission in this context... Read more

Council : Agreement on greenhouse gas emission reduction targets
The Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on 8 November on tightening up the greenhouse gas emission rules in the Fit for 55 package, notably by raising the mandatory reduction target for 2030 to 40%, instead of 30%, compared to 1990 levels. To achieve their national targets, Member States are following a stricter timetable, including an obligation not to exceed the annual quota. The new rules also restrict the possibilities to transfer, borrow and save emission allowances and aim to increase transparency... Read more
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Meeting of Economics and Finance Ministers
The Finance Ministers agreed on 8 November on the implementation of the Basel III Accord, which aims to strengthen the resilience, supervision and risk management of the banking sector; they also gave political guidance on the structural aspect of the financial assistance to Ukraine and endorsed the Commission's target to start monthly disbursements to Ukraine in January 2023. They agreed on a revised code of conduct on business taxation and suspended the visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu due to its golden passport policy. They discussed, among other things, truck taxation, stimulus funds and the US Inflation Reduction Act... Read more

Diplomacy : European action plan regarding cyber defence
On 10 November, the Commission, together with the High Representative, presented its new cyber defence policy, which aims to strengthen cooperation between military and civilian cyber communities, particularly in response to recent cyber-attacks on energy networks, transport infrastructure and space assets. The aim will be to strengthen EU-wide coordination mechanisms, secure the defence ecosystem and consolidate investment and dialogue in this area... Read more
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Easter Mediterranean: extension of sanctions against Turkey
The Council decided on 8 November to extend sanctions against Turkish individuals and entities for unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea until 23 November 2023. The sanctions include a ban on entering the territory of the Union and a freeze on the assets of listed individuals... Read more
Signature of international agreements
In the margins of COP27, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed a strategic agreement with Kazakhstan on batteries, renewable hydrogen and feedstock supply on 7 November. On 8 November, she concluded a strategic partnership with Namibia on sustainable raw materials and renewable hydrogen. On the same day, the EU launched a forest partnership with Guyana, Mongolia, Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zambia, which have committed to take action to reverse deforestation... Read more
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Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting
On 14 November, the Foreign Ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine, food security, individual sanctions, protection of critical infrastructure and European military assistance. They discussed a new EU approach to the African Great Lakes region and agreed to intensify work on the Western Balkans region, which is suffering from various crises. They also discussed the situation in Iran and chemical weapons. They also adopted conclusions on women, peace and security, recalling in particular the importance of gender equality and human rights in all EU policies... Read more

Court of Justice : The Court of Justice annuls a Commission decision
On 8 November, the Court of Justice annulled a Commission decision which had found that a tax measure taken by the Luxembourg authorities in favour of a company affiliated to Fiat constituted State aid incompatible with the internal market. According to the Court, the Commission erred in law as regards the identification of the "normal" tax regime applicable in Luxembourg. Commission Executive Vice President for Competition Margrethe Vestager said that the decision provides important clarifications on the application of the EU's state aid rules and that its implications will be studied by the Commission... Read more
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Cyprus : Rejection of the observer status of the northern part of Cyprus in a Turkish organisation
The European Union officially refused on 12 November to recognise the observer status of the Turkish Cypriot secessionist entity, the Turkish occupied and internationally unrecognised "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", in the Organisation of Turkish States. The European Union only recognises the Republic of Cyprus as a subject of international law, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions... Read more
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France : France's new strategic review
On 9 November, French President Emmanuel Macron presented France's new strategic review, which takes into account the increased risk of conflict between powers and technological developments. He stressed that "France's vital interests have a European dimension" and called for a new security framework to be built after the war in Ukraine... Read more
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Joint declaration with the British Ministers for Foreign Affairs
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and her British counterpart, James Cleverly, met in Paris on 11 November. They recalled the stakes of the bilateral summit to be held next year. Environmental, energy and migration issues will be at the centre of discussions. They also reiterated their willingness to continue to support Ukraine, pledged to strengthen cooperation to support peace in the Indo-Pacific region, and condemned the repression in Iran... Read more
Franco-German call for a capital Union
On 14 November, Banque de France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau and Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel published an opinion piece on the need to accelerate the EU's Capital Markets Union project to promote financial stability... Read more
Macron hosts Iranian women
On 11 November, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted several Iranian dissidents at the Elysée Palace: Masih Alinejad, Ladan Boroumand, Shima Babaie and Roya Pirayi. This is the first meeting between the leader of a major power and Iranian women dissidents since the beginning of the protest movement against the condition of women imposed by the Iranian regime... Read more
Immigration: towards a vital European policy
Following the affair of the Ocean-Viking ship that France welcomed in Toulon on 11 November with its 234 passengers, 175 of whom will be taken care of by 11 Member States in the framework of European solidarity, 4 countries (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta), which are the most exposed to the arrival of migrants along with Spain, called on 12 November for the European Union to reform the system for managing migratory flows. In a statement on 14 November, the French and Italian presidents, Emmanuel Macron and Sergio Mattarella, stressed "the need to create the conditions for full cooperation in all areas, both bilaterally and within the European Union". On 14 November, the French and British interior ministers, Gérald Darmanin and Suella Braverman, confirmed the implementation of measures to combat all forms of irregular immigration, including crossings of the Channel, in accordance with international law... Read more
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Moldova : European Union Financial Assistance
Moldovan President Maia Sandu hosted Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 10 November in Chisinau. The latter announced that the European Union will provide €250 million to help Moldova meet its gas supply needs. A further €50 million will be provided to support the most vulnerable people... Read more
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Council of Europe : Iceland takes the presidency of the Committee of Ministers
On 9 November the Irish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe came to an end. The Organisation recalls the Committee's decision to hold a fourth summit of Heads of State and Government in May 2023 in Reykjavik, the creation of the Contact Group on Belarus and the work on a common legal response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Iceland succeeds Ireland in the chair... Read more
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First meeting of the Contact Group regarding Belarus
On 7 November, the first meeting of the Contact Group on Belarus was held in Strasbourg with the representative of the democratic opposition Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. The aim is to establish cooperation between the Council of Europe and Belarusian democratic forces and civil society, with a view to passing on the Organisation's expertise and fundamental values, such as human rights, the rule of law and democracy... Read more

UN : European leaders' speeches at COP27
On 7 November, European leaders spoke at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh. French President Emmanuel Macron and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called on states to continue their commitments to the environment, despite the war in Ukraine and the energy threat from Russia. Polish President Andrzej Duda denounced delays in energy transition targets caused by the Russian invasion. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that "there must be no global renaissance of fossil fuels. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to provide £11.6 billion in climate finance and triple his adaptation funding to £1.5 billion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the link between peace and climate action... Read more
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8 billion inhabitants
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has announced that the world's population will reach 8 billion on 15 November, mainly due to population growth in Asia and Africa, which is now negative in Europe. India, with 177 million additional inhabitants, will have the highest population growth in 2023... Read more

NATO : Meeting with the president of the Italian Council
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on 10 November in Rome, where he praised her "strong personal commitment" to the transatlantic alliance and the key role Italy plays in the organisation. They discussed support for Ukraine and challenges from the South... Read more
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Culture : Traces of the war on the city of Kharkiv
Until 30 November, the National Museum in Wroclaw is hosting an exhibition of photographs taken by photographer Vasyliy Holosnyy who, since February 2022, has documented the destruction of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and the crimes committed by the Russian army... Read more
Tribute to Ingeborg Bachmann in Vienna
The Austrian National Library is presenting an exhibition dedicated to the Austrian writer and poet Ingeborg Bachmann until 5 November 2023. Manuscripts, books and objects from the author's house are on display... Read more
Rosa Bonheur at the Musée d'Orsay Paris
In Paris, the Musée d'Orsay is devoting an exhibition to Rosa Bonheur for the bicentenary of her birth, until 15 January 2023. 200 works are on display. Rosa Bonheur was committed to the emancipation of women and the recognition of animals... Read more
Female Pioneers of Modernism
Until 12 February 2023, the Royal Academy of Arts in London is hosting an exhibition on the hidden female pioneers of 20th century modernism: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin. 65 works are on show representing various subjects: still life, childhood, landscapes and the female body... Read more
José de Ribera in Toledo
The El Greco Museum in Toledo is devoting an exhibition to José de Ribera until 19 February 2023. It is organised in partnership with the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts... Read more
Pier Paolo Pasolini in Rome
The MAXXI Museum in Rome is devoting the exhibition "Tutto è santo. Il corpo politico" (Everything is sacred. The political body) to the Italian writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, until 12 March 2023, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth... Read more
Scots Fiddle Festival in Edinburgh
The Scots Fiddle Festival, Scotland's prestigious fiddle festival, is being held in the city of Edinburgh from 18 to 20 November to celebrate traditional Scottish music through concerts, lectures and workshops led by musicians... Read more
Film Festival of Mannheim-Heidelberg
The 71st edition of the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival will take place from 17 to 27 November and will present new productions that have never been screened elsewhere, bringing together great names in cinema and young directors... Read more

14 November 2022


Foreign Affairs Council

15 November 2022


Defence Council EU-Kyrgyzstan Cooperation Council

15-16 November 2022


G20 Summit

18 November 2022


General Affairs Council

21 November 2022


Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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Records of the Letter
année 2022
The Letter n°1000
Issue 1000
published on 21/11/2022
The Letter n°999
Energy: great hope for the 21st century
published on 14/11/2022
The Letter n°998
What is President Putin afraid of?
published on 07/11/2022
The Letter n°997
Greco-Turkish Relations at their lowest ebb
published on 31/10/2022
The Letter n°996
70 years on, it's time to reinvent the ECSC
published on 24/10/2022
The Letter n°995
Which direction for China?
published on 17/10/2022
The Letter n°994
The European Union's Declining Influence in the South
published on 10/10/2022
The Letter n°993
A change of era in Germany and its implications for European integration
published on 03/10/2022
The Letter n°992
Nationalism, sovereignism, virilism: the sources of the Russian war against Ukraine
published on 26/09/2022
The Letter n°991
The end of European dependence on Russian hydrocarbons
published on 19/09/2022
The Letter n°990
"In Russia today the whole media sphere has been destroyed"
published on 12/09/2022
The Letter n°989
"It is high time to light up Europe's stars again"
published on 18/07/2022
The Letter n°988
"The energy crisis shows the importance of European solidarity in response to asymmetric shocks".
published on 11/07/2022
The Letter n°987
The Black Sea, the spectre of a new Iron Curtain?
published on 04/07/2022
The Letter n°986
France at the head of the Council: positive results despite the war
published on 27/06/2022
The Letter n°985
Conference on the future of Europe: the complex implementation of great ambitions
published on 20/06/2022
The Letter n°984
Outlook for agriculture in the new European context
published on 13/06/2022
The Letter n°983
"Russia's war in Eastern Europe is a central threat to the international architecture"
published on 07/06/2022
The Letter n°982
Europe in a perfect storm
published on 30/05/2022
The Letter n°981
In support of a new approach to the Western Balkans
published on 23/05/2022
The Letter n°980
"Open Conflict between the West and Russia is not an Option"
published on 16/05/2022
The Letter n°979
Europe Day: 72 years of European Integration
published on 09/05/2022
The Letter n°978
The challenges in Protecting Maritime Areas of Common Interest, from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific
published on 02/05/2022
The Letter n°977
Strategic dependencies, a question of sovereignty
published on 25/04/2022
The Letter n°976
Reception of Ukrainian refugees. Between emergency responses and long-term solutions
published on 19/04/2022
The Letter n°975
From the Russia Pact to the Green Deal?
published on 11/04/2022
The Letter n°974
Global food crisis: Europe must choose between retreat and responsibility
published on 04/04/2022
The Letter n°973
European unilateralism as a tool for regulating international trade
published on 28/03/2022
The Letter n°972
Has Europe's Hour Come?
published on 21/03/2022
The Letter n°971
The Eastern Partnership under the test of war in Ukraine
published on 14/03/2022
The Letter n°970
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a moment of truth for Europe"
published on 07/03/2022
The Letter n°969
A few truths about Ukraine and Russia
published on 28/02/2022
The Letter n°968
Russia, Ukraine and international law
published on 21/02/2022
The Letter n°967
The European Strategy for a "New Deal" with Africa
published on 14/02/2022
The Letter n°966
"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"
published on 31/01/2022
The Letter n°964
European sovereignty, strategic autonomy, Europe as a power: what reality for the European Union, and for which future?
published on 24/01/2022
The Letter n°963
For a new European growth strategy
published on 17/01/2022
The Letter n°962
The Challenges of the French Presidency of the Council
published on 10/01/2022