Exactly 71 years ago, Robert Schuman laid the first stone that would build the European Union that we know today. On May 9, 1950, he declared: “Europe will not be built in one fell swoop, nor will it be built as a whole: it will be built through concrete achievements that first create a de facto solidarity”. This year, the celebration of Europe is mainly manifested by the Conference on the future of Europe and the event “Let’s talk to the youth”.
– The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have together launched the Conference on the Future of Europe, a topic raised by Emmanuel Macron on May 9th 2019. They invite all European citizens to express their thoughts and opinions on their personal future as well as the one they see for the European Union. An online platform was opened for this occasion. Several categories were available to accommodate all possible ideas and remarks. The results and conclusions of this exercise will be available during the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will start on January 1st 2022.
-A consultation was launched exclusively with young people by the Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune. This consultation is in addition to the conference on the future of Europe and particularly asks young European citizens to share their ideas, wishes and other needs so that the European Union can rebound in the best possible way while promising them a future full of promise.
At the end of this day full of good wishes for the future, the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa spoke on behalf of the Council Presidency: “The time has come for our citizens to actively share their greatest concerns and ideas. This discussion could not have come at a better time. We need to prepare now, so that we emerge from this crisis even stronger and are ready for the future when we have overcome the pandemic. We hope to continue to build together the Europe of the future, a fairer, greener and more digital Europe that meets the expectations of our citizens.
THE NEW BRITISH CO2 TRADING MARKET
New consequence of Brexit for Europe: UK authorities have launched their own carbon market. It is based on allowances paid per ton with higher prices than the European market, which is likely to penalize UK companies. Today, the introductory price is 50 pounds per ton of CO2, which is about 40% higher than the price of the Californian market, the third largest in the world after South Korea, which stands at 20 dollars. However, this market is becoming one of the world’s leading and most closely watched tools in the fight against global warming. London is aiming for a 78% reduction in polluting emissions by 2035 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
According to many experts, these carbon trading markets are “the cornerstone of the ecological transition”. RedShaw Advisors founding principal Louis Redshaw adds, “The only way to fix climate change is to address the capitalist system that got us into this mess. And that means putting a price on pollution in all its forms.
CONTROVERSIAL UPDATE FOR WHATSAPP
Since the beginning of the year, WhatsApp announced an important update that did not seem to be unanimously approved. It decided to put it into effect from May 15. People who do not accept the conditions of the update will be able to continue using the application until, little by little, the application is no longer usable.
Some countries are fundamentally against this update. The Hamburg Data Authority said on May 11: “The information on data transfers is scattered in different parts of the privacy statement, lacks clarity and it is difficult to distinguish the text for European citizens from that for the rest of the world. In addition, it asks Facebook not to apply this update in Germany. The Italian police express the same feelings. However, WhatsApp does not agree with their thoughts and imposes the update on other countries.
Although this event is detrimental to WhatsApp, it is very beneficial for other conversation applications, such as the French application Olvid, Telegram developed by Russians and the most important Signal. This last application, developed by Americans, is very attractive for its total confidentiality and is used by more than 47 million people to date.
As every year, May 10th is, for Israel, the date of commemoration of the conquest and annexation of the eastern part of the city by the Israelis in 1967. However, this “reunification” day did not go exactly as planned. Early that morning, thousands of Palestinians pelted and fought with Israeli police on the Esplanade of the Mosques. Rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip as well; Israel retaliated with strikes in the Palestinian enclave.
The Red Crescent counted about 200 injured and the Israeli police about 20. Hamas reported 22 dead, including 9 children in the Gaza Strip.
RYANAIR PLANE HIJACKED IN BELARUS
On May 23, a Ryanair plane coming from Greece to Lithuania was forced to land in Minsk by the Belarusian authorities, who arrested one of the passengers (and his girlfriend). President Alexander Lukashenko’s office explained that the passenger was the journalist and opponent Roman Protasevich, who was said to be involved in “terrorist activities”.
This fact is really serious for civil aviation and an unprecedented event since the fall of communism.
. The European Union and the United States view this hijacking very negatively and have launched an investigation to determine whether or not this hijacking was legal. It could be if “the aircraft does not have a permit to fly over the territory” or if there are realistic reasons to believe that it was diverted from its function as a civil transport by bad intentions and acts of people on board, such as planting a bomb or crashing on purpose. And although the Belarusian president maintains that a message was sent to him warning him of the presence of a bomb on the plane, Newlines magazine has shown that this message was received 20 minutes after the flight was intercepted.
Only after the investigation of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) will we know if the Belarusian authorities had a good reason to hijack this plane or if all this stratagem was only in order to arrest Roman Protasevich.
This young man of 23 years old is nevertheless not a prominent opponent: therefore, we cannot exclude a manipulation within the manipulation. Such as spurring Belarus to commit a criminal act in order to be able to blame it (or Russia, the real sponsor of this rogue state). As always, the answer lies in the only question that is worth asking: “Who benefits from the crime? “
SPANISH REGIONAL ELECTIONS
On May 4, Spain’s right-wing party was able to celebrate its victory in Madrid at the expense of the current socialist Prime Minister (Pedro Sanchez) and the radical left-wing party Podemos. The leader of the latter has announced his withdrawal from politics.
The Popular Party has been supported throughout the elections by the new Vox Party, a conservative party that seems to be gaining in importance in the minds of the Spanish people. It can be compared with “VIA” in France, la Lega en Italie ou Reform UK en Grande-Bretagne.
FRANCE: PRESIDENTIAL PRE-CAMPAIGN
The French Head of State, Emmanuel Macron, seems to be already preparing for the next presidential elections in 2022. He is looking to reach out to the younger generation. To reach that aim, he organized in May a YouTube show with two French Youtube influencers Mcfly and Carlito. The success was real with the youngest population of France: this video has already reached 13 million views.
COVID: LIFTING OF RESTRICTIVE MEASURES
With the arrival of summer, different countries allow themselves more freedom in the fight against COVID. In France, curfews are gradually being lifted. The Italian authorities accept more and more tourists, provided they have a negative test. Soon the mask will not be mandatory in Belgium.
However, some countries remain afraid and prefer to keep their distance. The United Kingdom, much impacted by the Indian variant, still imposes strong restrictions, even if the number of deaths linked to COVID is in reality very low. In the United States, many states have still not lifted their restrictions and are refusing tourists in their territory.
Finally, new investigations have started to find out if the Chinese laboratory is not the cause of the current crisis. Stay tuned.
BOJO REVEALS HIS MARRIAGE AND HIS CATHOLICISM
Very recently, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reveals he is catholic as well as his first religious marriage, but third in total, with the former head of communications of the Conservative Party Carrie Symonds. Such disclosure is creating turmoil in Britain. How can one imagine that the Prime Minister of Her Majesty, a man who must select the Anglican faith bishops and archbishops, is a member of a religion with which the kingdom has been cut off for several hundred years?
SPORT IN EUROPE
The 66th edition of the Champions League was won by the London club Chelsea with a score of 1 to 0 against Manchester City.
The Roland Garros Tournament has just started for its 120th edition. Let’s wish good luck to the players to do their best.