RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUNDING REFORMS IN UKRAINE

Since 2014 the EU and the Financial Institutions have mobilised more than €17 billion in grants and loans to support reforms in Ukraine. But grand corruption and state capture are still widespread in Ukraine despite EU action. Despite varied support the EU has offered to Ukraine, oligarchs and vested interests continue to undermine the rule of law in Ukraine and to threaten the country’s development.

BILATERAL TREATY BETWEEN ITALY AND FRANCE

In late drafts of the new pact, France and Italy committed to coordinate in a true laundry list of areas. The zones for partnerships include security, defense, European affairs, migration, industry, strategic sectors (including 5G, AI and the cloud), justice, venture capital in start-ups and innovative businesses, macroeconomics, culture and youth. The treaty could include a common commitment to develop the space launchers Ariane 6 and Vega-C.

TRACKING INFLUENCERS IN THE NEWS IN NOVEMBER 2021

ABB: Simas Gerdvila is joining the EU government relations office at engineering giant ABB. 

THE NEW FOREIGN MINISTER OF GERMANY: ANNALENA BAERBOCK

Annalena Baerbock was one of the Greens’ leading foreign-policy voices: staunchly pro-European, tougher on big authoritarian powers, and focused on human rights and climate issues, yet keen to strike a pragmatic tone on issues such as NATO and military spending. Here below her views on key issues:

Trans-Atlantic Relationship

EUROPE’S CAR MAKERS SWITCH TO ELECTRIC

  1. BMW Group: Goal of at least 50 percent of sales to be electrified by 2030. BMW subsidiary Mini is on track to become fully electric by the beginning of the coming decade.
  2. Daimler (Mercedes Benz): Full electric version of every car from 2025
  3. Ford: By 2030 all passenger vehicles sold in Europe will be all electric. Two thirds of commercial vehicles will be either electric or hybrids by 2030
  4. Honda: Honda has committed to selling only electric or hybrid vehicles in Europe by 2022

NEW GERMAN COALITION PACT

Scholz's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), the ecologist Greens and the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) want to accelerate the transition to a green economy and digitalisation while maintaining fiscal discipline.

WHO NOVEMBER 2021 REPORT ON COVID

The European branch of the World Health Organization warns that up to  700,000 more may die from Covid-19 by March 22 in Europe and Central Asia in addition to the 1.5 million who have already succumbed to the virus. Europe is by far the region currently worst hit by the virus.

The WHO said it expected "high or extreme stress" in intensive care units (ICUs) in 49 out of the 53 countries that comprise its European region this winter.

BIDEN’S SUMMIT FOR DEMOCRACY

On December 9-10, 2021, President Biden will host a virtual Summit for Democracy, which will bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.

The summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.

COST OF HOLDING PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL

On average Member States spend between € 65 and € 100 million to run the presidency ( Poland € 120 million, Italy € 68 million, Latvia € 70 million, Luxembourg € 93 million broken down as follows: cost of equipment, meetings and entertainment € 35 million, cost of personnel € 20.9 million, travelling and food and lodging expenses abroad € 4 million, cost of furniture and computers € 100,000).

Costs covered by the Presidency’s member state

THE FRENCH PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

During its term, the French Presidency will have to manage many contacts with the  European Parliament. During its semester, the Presidency has to carry out a number of specific tasks in the context of relations and negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament. They aim at facilitating interinstitutional relations.

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