Tag Archives: EEAS

Josep Borrell faces MEPs scrutiny

The MEPS of Foreign Affairs Committee questioned Josep Borrell, Spanish candidate for High Representative/Vice-President for foreign affairs and security policy.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Josep Borrell, candidate EU top diplomat job.

During his introductory speech  Borrell stressed his intention to engage in reforms in the Western Balkans, support democracy and the integrity of Ukraine, address the challenges in the southern neighbourhood, develop a new strategy towards Africa, work on political relations with Asia, step up cooperation with Latin America and reinstate transatlantic relations (US-EU). “The world has changed for the worse…There are few agreements, more vetoes”, he said.

MEPs enquired how he intends to reach consensus among member states on decisions regarding e.g. Russia or generally related to security and defence. “We need shared strategic culture and empathy to understand the different points of view”, he replied. MEPs also asked about the role the EU could play in creating global security, when non-proliferation agreements are being breached. They also raised the issue of protecting EU maritime interests worldwide.

Asked about Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Borrell replied that negotiations have lasted too long and Europe has to engage in helping Kosovo and Serbia out of the deadlock. His first visit as High Representative/Vice-President would be to Pristina, Commissioner-designate announced.

MEPs also asked how he intends to achieve a more strategic and coherent union, as announced in the Mission letter of the Commission President Borrell said that the EU has tools for foreign policy, such as a powerful common trade policy or diplomatic power. “The EU has to learn to use the language of power”, he stressed.

EU “extremely concerned” about Iran decision

The European Union is “extremely concerned” about Iran’s announcement on stepping out of nuclear deal (JCPOA), and starting to enrich uranium above internationally-approved levels. The bloc calls on Islamic Republic to “stop and reverse” any action that goes against the nuclear deal, the European Commission spokesperson said on July 8.

EU offers condolences to Sri Lanka

“A series of coordinated attacks hit churches and hotels in Sri Lanka this morning, causing extreme devastation. With men, women and children, from all walks of life and from different nationalities among the victims, this is a truly sad day for the country and for the world” says the statement of the EU top diplomat Federcia Mogherini.

“The European Union offers its most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have been killed and wishes a speedy recovery to the many wounded.
“Easter Sunday is a special moment for Christians around the world. It is a time to give thanks, for remembrance, celebration, and peaceful prayer. Such acts of violence on this Holy Day are acts of violence against all beliefs and denominations, and against all those who value the freedom of religion and the choice to worship. 
“The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan authorities at this difficult time. The European Union is also ready to offer support.”

AMENDED:

Seven suspects were arrested later in the afternoon, Sri Lanka‘s defense minister said.  However there were no immediate claims of responsibility.

AFP news agency reports that Sri Lanka‘s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit “prominent churches“.

A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” the alert said.

The NTJ is Sri Lanka radical Muslim group that was linked last year to the vandalism of Buddhist statues.

AMENDED

An unprecedented wave of strikes since the end of the civil war in 2009, which occurred in the context of the excessive ethnic and religious violence. More than 100 kg of explosives were found in January”, writes French leading expert in terrorism Jean-Charles Brisard. 

Mogherini for “open new avenues” in Mediterranean

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini calls Mediterranean countries to work together on issues of migration: “we share a challenge and we can only solve and address this phenomenon if we take a cooperative approach based on partnership among equals”.

“…What happens around the Mediterranean and in the Mediterranean matters to the whole of Europe and not just to the countries that are around the coasts of our common sea.

“It is not just about migration – it made itself evident that we need to come together to manage the phenomenon -, it is also about security; about economic development; about climate change..”

“…Some of us have experienced war inside their countries or at their borders and we have all seen how difficult a transition can be – be it a transition from war to an inclusive peaceful reconciliation and the building of state institutions or be it from a war economy to a solid peace economy. These trends have fostered migration from our countries, through our countries and towards our countries.”

“.. I believe that it is high-time today to try to find and open new avenues of cooperation across the Southern shore of the Mediterranean, in particular in the Maghreb, as a win-win exercise, starting on practical matters” – Mogherini concluded.

Above the extracts from Federica Mogherini speech at “Working together: A sustainable future for the Western Mediterranean“, at the 15th meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue. France, Italy,  Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia gathered inValletta  January, 18.

EU points to China HR violations of Canadians

“The declared motive for the arrest and detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, both Canadian nationals, raises concerns about legitimate research and business practices in China. The denial of access to a lawyer under their status of detention is contrary to the right of defence” – says the text of the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson.

The European Union calls on the Chinese authorities to answer these concerns. The EU supports the efforts of the Canadian Government.

“As raised at the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue in July 2018, the EU has concerns about the implementation of the NGO law and its impact on our people-to-people relations and the operations of international NGOs operating in China.”

EU delegation in Turkmenistan

Following a decision of Federica Mogherini, the head of the European External Action Service (EEAS) the EU will open a Delegation in Turkmenistan. This will take the number of EU Delegations around the world to 141 in total.

Fast changing regional dynamics and the growing importance of sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia bring Central Asia to the centre of our attention. Countries in the region, especially Turkmenistan, are increasingly looking to the EU as a reliable partner for reforms, modernisation and to face the global challenges of today”, Federica Mogherini said. ‘And the European Union is keen as well to strengthen its cooperation with the region. By opening a new Delegation, we are responding positively to this demands and sending a strong signal to the Turkmen and European citizens about our engagement.”

“The establishment of a new Delegation in Ashgabat will enable the European Union to step up political, economic and sectoral dialogue and cooperation with Turkmenistan. The decision reflects the EU’s wish to fully engage with Turkmenistan in areas of strategic interest such as security, human rights, energy, climate, and the rule of law” EEAS. 

“The decision by the High Representative/Vice-President follows the agreement of the Commission and the Council of the European Union and will be implemented in the course of 2019” EEAS.

EU arranges financial transactions with Iran

“EU Member States will set up a legal entity to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue trade with Iran, in accordance with European Union law, and could be opened to other partners in the world” – EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, promising to deliver “more technical information” in the coming days.  (Image above: illustration).

The decision was taken at Ministerial Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom, the EU and as the Islamic Republic of Iran amid UN General Assembly week in New York.

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