Foreign Affairs Council & Eurogroup : Conclusions


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Main results – Foreign Affairs Council

Today the Council decided that we would step up our strategic cooperation with the Sahel countries. Clearly we have to do more, and we will be talking about that in March in the margins of the next European Council.
Josep Borrell,
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Current affairs

The Foreign Affairs Council was informed about the outcome of the Berlin conference on Libya of 19 January. The Council discussed how the EU can engage more forcefully in the process towards a political solution, in particular to help implement the agreed ceasefire and enforce the UN arms embargo.

The Council then touched on the situation in Bolivia. Ministers restated their support for the process that will lead to general elections on 3 May 2020.

Ministers also referred to Venezuela, following a further escalation of the crisis related to recent events in the National Assembly. They restated their support for Juan Guaidó as President of the National Assembly.

Finally the High Representative briefly reported on his trip to New Delhi, India, where he participated in the Raisina Dialogue and discussed with the Indian authorities preparations for the upcoming 15th EU-India Summit, scheduled for 13 March.

[The Berlin Conference on Libya: Conference conclusions]

[Joint Statement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell Fontelles on the Berlin conference, 19 January 2020]

[Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the situation in Bolivia, press release 15 November 2019]

[Remarks;Borrell + Modi]

[Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell]

Sahel

The Council exchanged views on the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel and the role the EU can play as leading partner and donor in the region, following the France – G5 Sahel summit that took place in Pau on 13 January.

The Council expressed support for renewing and scaling up the existing Sahel Strategy with a view to increasing the impact of EU’s action in support of security, stability and development. Ministers emphasised the importance of an integrated approach ensuring maximum synergies between the different actors involved and resources deployed, as well as ensuring ownership of the G5 Sahel countries.
In their interventions, ministers also touched on the upcoming meeting with the G5 Sahel, which the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, intends to organise in the margins of the March 2020 European Council.

[G5 Sahel – Pau Summit – Statement by the Heads of State, 13 January 2020]

[Council conclusions on the Sahel, press release 13 May 2019]

[Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the EU on South Sudan]

Climate diplomacy

The Council discussed ways to step up and enhance its climate diplomacy, and adopted conclusions on the matter.

Ministers referred in particular to possible concrete actions to effectively reach out to third countries, generate more climate ambition at global level and enhance implementation from key partners and emitters.

[Climate diplomacy: Council renews the EU’s commitment to place climate action at the centre of external policy, press release 20 January 2020]

[European Council Conclusions, press release 12 December 2019]

Middle East peace process and the wider region

Over a working lunch, EU foreign ministers informally discussed the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) and the wider Middle East. These discussions built on the outcome of the 10 January 2020 extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council, which focused on the current situation in Libya and Iraq. In this context ministers also touched on the future of the JCPoA, the Iran nuclear deal. The High Representative stressed that he would continue to engage with all relevant actors in the region.

[Statement by High Representative Borrell as Coordinator of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Dispute Resolution Mechanism]

[Foreign Affairs Council, 10 January 2020]

[Middle East Peace Process (EEAS)]

EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council

The Cooperation Council welcomed the adoption today by the Foreign Affairs Council of the Council Decision on the Conclusion of the EU –Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), signed in 2015. Our Agreement which has now been ratified by all EU Member States and the European Parliament will fully enter into force on 1st March 2020. [Following]

Main results – Eurogroup

Economic and Financial Affairs Council, 21/01/2020: ☛ [Main results]

In regular format, the Eurogroup discussed the euro area recommendation proposed by the European Commission. In inclusive format, ministers exchanged views on the organisation of the further work on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). [Following]

[Eurogroup statement on the updated draft budgetary plan of Portugal for 2020]

[Remarks by Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni]

[Opening speech by President von der Leyen at the World Economic Forum]

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