Clément Beaune, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, attended the informal meeting of European affairs ministers, held virtually on December 8.
The ministers addressed the following points:
1. European Council of December 10-11: the ministers made preparations for the European Council meeting which will deal with coordination on the Covid-19 crisis, the fight against climate change, security challenges, relations with the United States, and Turkey and the Southern Neighborhood.
Mr. Beaune joined with several of his counterparts in calling for collective responsibility in the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the recovery plan, preserving the compromises reached on rule of law conditionality.
He reiterated the importance of coordination at the European level to roll out vaccines in Europe and in the poorest countries, the mutual recognition of tests and a progressive easing of restrictions. He reaffirmed France’s support for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
Mr. Beaune called for mobilizing all resources, especially those of a regulatory nature, to combat terrorism (citing the removal of online terrorist content and cross-border access to evidence) and emphasized the importance of Schengen area reforms. He also reaffirmed the need for a united response to Turkey’s strategy of heightening tensions with the EU, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean. Finally, the minister stated that the Euro Summit would contribute to progress on the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union.
2. Relations between the EU and the United Kingdom: The ministers revisited the status of negotiations.
3. Legislative programming: The German presidency presented the draft annual statement on the 2021 legislative programming and the draft multiannual conclusions for 2020-2024.
4. European Democracy Action Plan: The Commission presented the action plan disseminated on December 3.
5. Enlargement: France welcomed the efforts by the presidency which resulted in a satisfactory agreement from a methodological standpoint and called for a rapid solution to these issues.