The EU’s southern neighborhood will be a major topic of discussion, in particular the situation in Syria following the meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People group in Istanbul on April 20. The Council will return to the question of lifting the arms embargo and easing the oil embargo in order to revitalize economic activity in the liberated zones. The ministers will also discuss the political situation in Lebanon and Egypt.
The European Council brings together the heads of state or government of the European Union and the president of the Commission. It defines the general political guidelines of the European Union.
The General Affairs and External Relations Council brings together the ministers of foreign affairs of the Member States once a month. The ministers of European affairs, defence, development and trade may also participate in this Council, in accordance with the agenda.
Informal meetings of the ministers of foreign affairs (Gymnichs) bring together the ministers of foreign affairs about once every six months. The name “Gymnichs” comes from the German castle, which provided the setting for the first type of such meeting in 1974.
- Presidency of the Council of the European Union
- Irish Presidency of the Council of European Union, 2013