Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian traveled to Lisbon on September 15 for a working meeting with his counterpart, Augusto Santos Silva.
Held with a view to the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2021, to be followed by the French presidency in the first half of 2022, this meeting confirmed that we are very much on the same page with regard to the priority issues of our two presidencies and how to approach them: the swift implementation of the recovery plan, strategic autonomy, the reindustrialization of Europe, the ecological transition, digital sovereignty, relations between the EU and Africa, especially development in the countries of the Gulf of Guinea, and security in that region. Also on the agenda: the need for close European coordination on borders and the management of health measures in the European space in connection with the Covid-19 crisis, with the shared goal of maintaining free movement in Europe.
Mr. Le Drian and his counterpart discussed the situations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya and our common commitment in the Sahel, areas in which Europe must ensure its own security and preserve its interests.
The minister emphasized the quality of our bilateral relationship, which will be illustrated by the France-Portugal cross-cultural season scheduled for 2022.
During this trip, the minister also visited the European Maritime Safety Agency, which makes an outstanding, concrete contribution to Europe’s maritime sovereignty, the fight against pollution, and all types of trafficking, in conjunction with other European agencies such as Frontex.