Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will take part in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on March 6.
The discussions will focus on the following points:
- Security and defense: the ministers will, together with the defense ministers, report on the revitalization of European defense in accordance with the decisions made by the European Council in December 2016. The discussions will focus on the high representative’s initial proposals and will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the need for better funding (European Defense Fund, action by the European Investment Bank in this area, Athena mechanism for the funding of military operations in the areas of security and defense). The European Council will examine this issue on March 9 and 10;
- Western Balkans: The ministers will take stock of the situation in this area, EU support for the reforms and support in the area of security;
- Migration: Following the informal summit in Malta in February, the ministers will prepare for the discussions by the European Council on March 9 and 10 by sharing their assessments of the situation in the central Mediterranean region and of the initial results of the tools that the EU has put in place (trust fund and migration pact in particular);
- Middle East peace process: The ministers will discuss the threats to the peace process and the need to support the two-state solution;
- Democratic Republic of Congo: the discussions will focus on the political dialogue process led by the National Episcopal Conference of Congo and the challenges it faces.
On the sidelines of this meeting, the ministers will have a working lunch with their Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.