Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Madrid on July 9 to meet with his Spanish counterpart, Arancha González Laya. The two ministers will discuss the follow-up to the bilateral commitments made at the 26th Franco-Spanish Summit on March 15, 2021, notably the next steps in the initiatives relating to the French-Spanish cross-border strategy and the bilateral cooperation treaty agreed upon at this summit. These consultations fall within the framework of the coordination between France and Spain on European and international issues, in the run-up to the French presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2022. The ministers will discuss several current European issues, notably including migration issues, the implementation of recovery plans, the handling of the pandemic and relations with the United Kingdom. The ministers will discuss major issues on the international agenda, regarding which France and Spain share common interests, notably the situation in the Sahel, support for the political transition in Libya, the situation in Lebanon, the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, as well as political and trade relations with Latin America. The ministers will also discuss relations with the countries of the Maghreb, which are of strategic importance to our two countries.
During this trip, the minister will visit the European Satellite Center (SatCen) in Torrejón de Ardoz. The main purpose of this European agency, established in 1993, is to support EU decision-making and action by providing strategic aerial and satellite images to EU institutions, as well as to member states. Lastly, the minister will visit Casa de Velázquez to meet with resident artists and researchers. The purpose of Casa de Velázquez, which was opened in 1928 on land given to France by Spain, is to develop creative activities and academic research relating to the arts, languages and societies of Iberian, Latin American and Maghreb countries; it hosts both artists and social science researchers. Together with Villa Médicis in Rome, Villa Kujoyama in Tokyo and Villa Albertine in the United States, Casa de Velázquez forms part of the network of major French cultural residences abroad.