Tag Archives: Foreign Affairs Council

EU diplomacy focus on Belarus

Brussels 15.11.2021 “First, we are going to have the Foreign Affairs Council. After [this] we are going to have the meeting with the Ministers of the Eastern Partnership. And after this, we will have the Jumbo meeting with Foreign and Defense Ministers to start talking about the Strategic Compass” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell at doorstep of the meeting of the ministers in Brussels.(Image: Europa building, archive)

“On the Foreign Affairs Ministers Council: we are going to review the whole set of problems starting certainly with the situation in Belarus. Yesterday, I had phone calls with my Polish [Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau], Lithuanian [Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis] and Belarusian Minister [Vladimir Makei] also with the Secretary General of the United Nations [António Guterres] in order to prepare the meeting. We had the opportunity to share with the Secretary General of the United Nations how things are going on the ground. I talked to the Belarussian Minister to tell him that the situation was totally unacceptable that humanitarian help has to be provided. And that we have to think about how we can solve the problem starting by stopping the [migration] flow. Stopping the flights. This is almost done.

“During these days we have been talking with countries of origin and transit. My colleague [Vice-President Margaritis] Schinas is in Bagdad. And I think that from my point of view, the inflow of things are becoming under control. But we have to provide humanitarian assistance to these people and to prevent any kind of hybrid attack against the European Union border. This is something that will take an important part of our meeting.

“But there are many other issues. The situation in the Western Balkans, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where there are tendencies which are undermining the unity of the country and hampering its development, and its way towards the European Union. The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina also. And in general, the situation in the Balkans, which is not especially good.

“The Sahel will also be part of our work today. Last night, there was another attack in Burkina Faso. 20 more people dead, killed. Our security starts in the Sahel and we had to engage more with the region.

“We will talk also about the situation in Varosha, in Cyprus, in Syria; but mainly in Sudan and Ethiopia. We have to try to avoid [an] implosion of the country. The situation in Ethiopia is becoming worse by every moment and we will try to avoid the implosion of the country”.

EU diplomats focus on Belarus

Brussels 21.06.2021 “Today, at this meeting in Luxembourg, the first thing is to talk about Belarus. We are first going to have a meeting with the Belarus opposition leader, Ms [Sviatlana] Tsikhanouskaya. She will explain the situation in the country; there will be a debate; and then we will approve the package of new sanctions, which is a wide package. I think it is about 86 people or entities. Not only people, but also entities” said the High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival to the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

“Then we will also discuss about the economic sanctions, which will be presented to the European Council at its next meeting. The European Council, as you know, does not take decisions, but gives political guidelines. The economic sanctions, which affect the economy of Belarus, are going to be discussed here today and will be approved after consideration by the European Council.

“Then we are going to have a meeting also with the Foreign Affairs Minister of Iraq, in a lunch with him. The situation in Iraq is also worrisome and we will see what we can do in order to help this country.

“Latin America will be the third issue. Since I am here [in the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy], I have been trying to make people understand that Latin America is not on our political agenda enough. The COVID-19 situation in Latin America is really appalling. Frankly speaking, it is decreasing everywhere in the world, but not in Latin America where it continues to increase. And we have to do more for Latin America. There are two Association Agreements on the way and we have to accelerate them. And then, for sure, there is the issue of Mercosur. We are going to take stock of the whole relationship with Latin America.

“There are many other issues on which we have to put our attention: Ethiopia, Turkey. I am coming back from Turkey and Lebanon. In Lebanon, I sent a clear message about the need for the political class to be able to agree on a government, because the country cannot stay without a government in such a difficult situation.

“We will have an overview of the situation in the world, but the main issues are Belarus, Iraq and Latin America”.

EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence

The Foreign Affairs Council, 18.05.2017, will take stock of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence.

Defence ministers will examine the implementation of initiatives agreed in the Council conclusions of 6 March 2017. The discussion is expected to focus on: the possibility of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO); the possibility of a member state-driven coordinated annual review on defence (CARD); strengthening the EU’s rapid response tools, including the EU battle groups; partnerships in the Common Security and Defence Policy.

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. These conclusions and the ministers’ discussion will feed into the implementation report to the European Council due in June 2017.


Horn of Africa in focus of EU foreign ministers

The Foreign Affaris Council, 15.05.2017 will take stock of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence, in particular on the civilian aspects. Defence ministers will also have a discussion on this topic at the Foreign Affairs Council (Defence) on 18 May.

The Council will discuss the situation in the Horn of Africa, a region facing destabilisation, in particular in Somalia and South Sudan. The discussion is expected to focus on the political and security challenges, including the implications of the situation in the wider region, across the Red Sea.

The Council will examine EU-Africa relations based on a joint communication by the High Representative and the Commission for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership. The discussion will feed into the preparation of the EU-Africa Summit in November.

Foreign Affairs ministers will have a lunch discussion with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission who took office on 14 March 2017.

Foreign ministers will also review the Eastern Partnership ahead of the Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting on 19 June in Luxembourg and the Eastern Partnership Summit foreseen on 24 November in Brussels.

Foreign affairs Council agenda


The Foreign affairs Council will start with a joint session of defence and foreign affairs ministers on security and defence. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions assessing progress achieved since the European Council of 15 December 2016.

The conclusions will form the basis of a report for the European Council on 9-10 March 2017. Ahead of the meeting, the High Representative Federica Mogherini will hold a working breakfast with defence ministers to allow a strategic outlook of EU engagement in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

The Council will have a discussion on migration. Ministers will take stock of the Malta Summit and the Valletta Senior Officials Meeting of February 2017, ahead of the upcoming reporting on the Migration Partnership Framework at the March European Council.

EU ministers will discuss political developments and economic reforms in Egypt, as well as the country’s role in the region, with Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry.

The situation in the Western Balkans will be reviewed by the Council. The High Representative will debrief ministers on her visit in the region planned for 1-4 March. This discussion will feed into the preparations of the European Council on 9-10 March 2017.

The Council will examine the Middle East peace process to take stock of recent developments and contacts, including with the new US administration.

Mogherini heads to Western Balkans


EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini will travel to the Western Balkans from first to forth March, visiting Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

For the European Union the work with the Western Balkans, a region in the heart of Europe, is a key priority. I work to see every single one of the Western Balkans partners move forward on the reform path, towards the European Union, to ensure the process is irreversible. Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations remain essential in this context,” – Mogherini said ahead of the trip.

During her visit to the region Mogherini will meet with political authorities, including representatives of governments, of political parties and of Parliaments. The results for the trip will be presented at EU Foreign Ministers on the visit at the 6 March Foreign Affairs Council.