Tag Archives: diplomacy

MEPs debate energy crisis

Strasbourg 19.10.2022 In a debate with Council and the Commission on the October European Council, MEPs urged leaders to not waste any more time and take urgent action to tackle the energy crisis. (Image: illustration)

For the Czech Presidency, Minister for European Affairs Bek announced that the summit will give a “strong, common European response” to Russia’s war against Ukraine and soaring energy prices. He reiterated the EU’s “unwavering support for Ukraine”, stressed that Russia will be held accountable for the war crimes it is committing and announced that, with regard to the energy crisis, Europe will protect the most vulnerable, while staying competitive.

Commission President von der Leyen called Russia’s attacks on civilians and civil infrastructure “acts of pure terror”. The EU will back Ukraine “for as long as it takes”. The best response to the Russian war on energy is “European solidarity and unity” she said, pointing to the Commission’s proposals to address the energy crisis. Buying gas together and pooling demand, saving energy and sharing gas are absolutely critical. “Energy solidarity is a fundamental principle of our treaties”, she said. With regard to electricity prices, she said that the “Iberian model needs to be considered at EU level” and called for massive investment into infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewables.

In their responses, MEPs urged EU leaders to take bold and determined actions to address the energy and cost of living crises without further delay. Most called for European solidarity and unity in the face of what they labelled a Russian attack on Europe using energy supply as a weapon. Some welcomed the Commission’s proposals to contain energy prices, in particular the mechanism for joint gas purchases, while many considered that they come late and fall short of what is necessary.

Beyond the actions in the energy field, several MEPs asked for stronger EU social initiatives, including a new support instrument for the most vulnerable, as well as a European investment fund, to consolidate Europe’s energy and industrial autonomy and support the green transition, among others aims.

EU military training mission for Ukraine

Brussels 17.10.2022 Today in Luxembourg European Union top diplomats are expected to formally establish a mission to assist in the training of Ukrainian military personnel, known as EUMAM Ukraine as agreed at the EU Council in Prague earlier.

In Luxembourg the European diplomats will announce it to the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who has been invited to participate in the meeting.
Initially, Europe planned to train, on its own territory, about 15,000 members of the Ukrainians.

https://twitter.com/MattiMaasikas/status/1581895318752595969?s=20&t=g3jEFMSqSt69Gf70aNWC8g

“Twelve thousand Ukrainians will receive basic military training and 2,800 more specialized training,” said a European official, Le Monde newspaper writes. “This is an initial objective, which can be increased later,” added another diplomatic source in Brussels. The EU training plan will be complementary to the UK programme, which has been ongoin since June, with the aid of several European armies, including Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.

“At the moment, many member states are offering training, but in a somewhat disparate way. The mission will better coordinate everyone’s efforts, by centralizing Ukraine’s requests and the offers of European countries. We will also pool costs and facilitate logistics,” said a European diplomat. All volunteer countries, whether they already offer or plan to offer training in their own countries, will be able to do so under a single banner. And “although technically, the mission will not be launched until November,” added a Brussels source, “military training is already underway.”

These new arrangements have long been awaited by Josep Borrell, the EU top diplomat, whose establishment has already put forward the concept of a mission a few weeks prior to the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On Monday, October 10, in front of all the EU ambassadors, Mr. Borrell lamented: “We should have done it” at the beginning of the year. “And now we are doing it quickly – well, quickly for European standards. Quickly for European standards means a couple of months. But unhappily, the war is still there, our training mission will have had the possibility of acting.”

The mission will be administrated from Brussels by the Military Planning and Conduct Capability, a body of the EU Military Staff that already offering the training courses to a African armed forces in Mozambique and Somalia.

Two main operational headquarters of the EU training programme will be located in Poland and Germany.

EU: sanctions against Nicaragua

Brussels 16.10.2022 This week The Council has prolonged the framework for imposing targeted restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua for an additional year, until 15 October 2023. (Image: Europa Building, EU Council)

The restrictive measures currently in place apply to a total of 21 persons and three entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

This decision takes place following the unjustified decision of the Nicaraguan regime to expel the Head of the EU Delegation from the country, and cut diplomatic ties with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as the EU reciprocal response to declare the Head of the Mission of the Republic of Nicaragua to the EU as persona non grata.

The EU reaffirms its continued commitment to the Nicaraguan people and to defending democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The current political crisis in Nicaragua should be resolved through genuine dialogue between the government and opposition. The EU remains open to dialogue with Nicaragua, provided that this dialogue is conducted in a respectful manner.

EU-Iraq: congratulations to President

Brussels 14.10.2022 “The European Union congratulates Abdul Latif Rashid (pictured) on his election as President of the Republic of Iraq and Mohammed Al-Sudani for his nomination as Prime Minister designate.

“These are positive steps towards the long awaited government formation, one year after the October 2021 elections for which the EU deployed an Electoral Observation Mission.

“The EU also condemns the rocket attacks nearby the Iraqi parliament shortly before Thursday’s Presidential vote. Violence has no place in the democratic process and differences must be resolved peacefully through constructive dialogue within the constitutional framework.

“It is now crucial for Iraq to swiftly form a constitutionally mandated and fully empowered government that can implement urgently needed reforms, responding to the needs and aspirations of its people.

“The EU remains committed to further strengthening its partnership with Iraq in support of economic growth, job creation and stabilisation of the society.

“A peaceful, prosperous and democratic Iraq is essential for its people, for the region and for Europe”.

Borrell addresses EU Ambassadors

Brussels 10.10.2022 The annual European Union Ambassadors Conference will be between 10 and 18 October in full physical format again and after two years of pandemic.(Image: illustration).

The Ambassadors’ Conference takes place against the background of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its global consequences, and as the world recovers from the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss with the EU Principals and other high-level speakers on the European Union’s response to global developments and challenges.

The conference brings together EU Ambassadors from the EU’s 145 EU Delegations and Offices around the world, in addition to the Heads of EU military and civilian operations and the Heads of the European Commission Representations in all 27 EU Member States. It offers an opportunity to review EU’s outreach in the world and to discuss main challenges and tasks for the next months.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Josep Borrell will open the conference with a public address on Monday at 09:30. He will be introduced by the EEAS Secretary General Stefano Sannino. The address will be broadcast live on the European Commission’s audiovisual service, Europe by Satellite.

European Council President Charles Michel will talk to the Ambassadors on the same day at 14:00, also broadcast live.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola’s address will be broadcast live on Tuesday 11 October followed by the keynote speech of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on Wednesday 12 October at 14:00 also broadcast live.

EU: Ambassadors conference online

Brussels 09.10.2022 “The EU diplomatic corps is on the frontline of the many crises around the world, serving the interests of EU citizens. We are called to do our part in an impactful way” European External Action Service Secretary General Stefano Sannino message ahead of this week’s EU Ambassadors Conference.

The Ambassadors’ Conference takes place against the background of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its global consequences, and as the world recovers from the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss with the EU Principals and other high-level speakers on the European Union’s response to global developments and challenges.

The conference brings together EU Ambassadors from the EU’s 145 EU Delegations and Offices around the world, in addition to the Heads of EU military and civilian operations and the Heads of the European Commission Representations in all 27 EU Member States. It offers an opportunity to review EU’s outreach in the world and to discuss main challenges and tasks for the next months.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Josep Borrell will open the conference with a public address on Monday at 09:30. He will be introduced by the EEAS Secretary General Stefano Sannino. The address will be broadcast live on the European Commission’s audiovisual service, Europe by Satellite.

European Council President Charles Michel will talk to the Ambassadors on the same day at 14:00, also broadcast live

EU: diplomatic appointments

Brussels 17.09.2022 High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced today the following appointments for senior positions in the European External Action Service (EEAS):

Hélène LE GAL as Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), starting in October. She is currently Ambassador of France to the Kingdom of Morocco. She was previously Ambassador of France to Israel.

Benedikta VON SEHERR-THOSS as Managing Director for CSDP and Crisis Response, starting in October. She currently serves as Security Policy Director at the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany. She was previously Head of the EU division and coordinator for the Ministry of Defence during the German EU Council Presidency in 2020.

Stefano TOMAT as Managing Director for Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC). He took up his duties on 16 September. He was previously Director for Integrated Approach for Security and Peace (ISP) at the EEAS. He was previously Head of Division for Integrated Approach: Methodology and Implementation and Head of Division responsible for the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

High Representative Borrell also announced today the appointment of two new Heads of Delegation of the European Union:

Pedro Antonio SERRANO DE HARO SORIANO as Head of the EU Delegation to the United Kingdom. He is currently Head of Cabinet of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice- President of the European Commission. Previously, he held a number of senior positions within the EU institutions, more recently Deputy Secretary-General of the EEAS for CSDP and Crisis Response.

Cristian TUDOR as Head of the newly opened EU Delegation to Qatar. He took up his duties on 1 September. He was previously Head of the EU Delegation to Kuwait and Ambassador of Romania to Qatar.

Russia: Kuril travel regime ends

Brussels 05.09.2022 Russia terminated the agreement with Japan on facilitated visits to the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and the Lesser Kuril ridge by Japanese citizens – former residents of these islands. The corresponding order of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is published on the official portal of legal information.

“In accordance with Article 37 of the federal law “On International Treaties of the Russian Federation”, terminate the agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan on the procedure for mutual trips dated October 14, 1991 and the agreement between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of Japan on the organization the most facilitated visit to the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and the islands of the Small Kul ridge (Sakhalin region) by Japanese citizens – former residents of the islands and members of their families (in the form of an exchange of notes) dated September 2, 1999, ”the document says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry was instructed to notify the Japanese side of the decision.

EU Ambassador left Moscow

Brussels 05.09.2022 The European Union changed the Ambassador to Moscow on a scheduled basis and German diplomat Markus Ederer, who has already left Russia, will be succeeded by Roland Galharague of France, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS New Agency on Sunday, September 4.

“The rotation of the head of the EU delegation to Russia is carried out on a schedule basis. Markus Ederer has left Russia and this post will soon be taken by France’s former Ambassador to Malaysia Roland Galharague. His appointment was endorsed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in June,” the source said.

The diplomat noted that despite the unprecedented crisis in relations with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, “the European Union upholds the position that diplomatic channels of communication with Moscow should be kept open.”

In an interview with RTVI recorded on August 31 and released on Friday before the departure H.E. M.Ederer said that August 31 was his last working day as the EU Ambassador to Russia.

Ederer was born in 1957 in Germany. In 1988, he started his career in the German Foreign Ministry; between 1990 and 1993 he served in the economic department of the German Embassy in Moscow. After a number of diplomatic offices, he served in the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), where he headed the department of political and economic analysis. Later, he continued his service in the Foreign Ministry. On May 16, 2017, he was appointed the EU Ambassador to Moscow, succeeding Lithuania’s Vigaudas Usackas.

EU-Russia: suspension of visa facilitation

Brussels 31.08.2022 “We have seen a substantial increase of border crossings from Russia into neighbouring states. This is becoming a security risk” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said, concluding the Informal meeting of the EU Foreign ministers in Prague.
“We therefore agree today with EU Foreign Ministers on Full Suspension of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement” he announced.

Agreement between the EU and a non-EU country that facilitates the issuance by an EU Member State of authorisations to the citizens of that non-EU country for transiting through or an intended stay in the territory of the EU Member States of a duration of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of first entry into the territory of the EU Member States.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A22007A0517%2801%29

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