Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, met with European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica on February 14.
The discussions focused on:
- the creation of a unique Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). The minister and the minister of state reaffirmed France’s expectations with respect to the governance of this instrument, within which states must be able to exercise influence in terms of defining strategic directions as well as with respect to their implementation. They also stressed that priority should be given to Africa and the least developed countries, the need for an ambitious implementation of the Paris climate accord and the sustainable development goals, as well as how to respond to the migration challenge.
- the future agreement (the so-called post-Cotonou agreement) under negotiation between the EU and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Mr. Le Drian and Mr. Lemoyne reaffirmed the importance that France attaches to this negotiation and to relations with the countries of these three regions, which must be part of a revised and modernized framework and move toward a partnership based on increased reciprocity and trade.
- the so-called Overseas Association Decision (OAD) establishing the rules governing cooperation between overseas countries and territories and the European Union. For France, these negotiations have major importance. The minister and minister of state stressed the need to take into account the interests and challenges particular to different overseas countries and territories.
- The minister and minister of state reiterated the importance of EU support for the Sahel Alliance. They also stressed the need to continue support for the Central African Republic, particularly through the Bêkou Trust Fund created at the behest of the Commission and France.
Finally, the ministers reaffirmed that the fight against inequality will be a central focus of the French G7 presidency. Two ministerial meetings will be dedicated to development, with the aim of achieving concrete results that benefit populations directly.