Mme Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, had a meeting today with Mr Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s Federal Minister for European and International Affairs.
The ministers discussed the latest developments in the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and stressed the need to step up European support for that country, in every sphere. In this respect, France welcomed Austria’s contribution to the solidarity effort for Ukraine.
The two ministers also talked about the need to strengthen Europe’s strategic autonomy, particularly in the areas of industry, trade and energy. They also shared their approaches on the best way of supporting the EU’s enlargement to include the Western Balkans countries, and of speeding up the reforms expected from those countries. The Minister and her counterpart also discussed progress linked to the establishment of the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, based on the principles of responsibility and solidarity.
The two ministers stressed the need to maintain and step up the pressure on those Iranians responsible for the continued brutal crackdown on demonstrators in Iran. They also reiterated their condemnation of the recent executions carried out in Iran, and the need for the European Union to respond to the policy of arbitrary detention of European nationals.
Finally, they discussed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and the next steps in our cooperation in Africa, where Austria is also engaged, with the latter issue featuring on the agenda of the next Council of European Union Foreign Ministers on 23 January.