EU – General Affairs Council (Brussels, 22 Mar. 2022)
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is chairing today’s third General Affairs Council of this six-month term.
The ministers are making preparations for the European Council meeting on March 24 and 25, which will focus primarily on the Russian military aggression in Ukraine and on European efforts to make it more onerous for Russia to continue the war that it instigated. The heads of State and government will also vote to adopt the Strategic Compass approved yesterday by the EU’s foreign and defense ministers. In addition, they will address ways to reduce the EU’s vulnerabilities in the areas of energy and the economy and will talk about the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister of State will then present the European Semester timeline and the main work to be accomplished during that period, including the recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area, which will be offered to the heads of State and government for their approval on March 24 and 25.
The ministers will discuss the work carried out by the Conference on the Future of Europe in order to prepare its next steps before its final event on May 9.
European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič will present proposed regulations on the autonomous measures that will provide a framework for the unilateral measures the EU could take to enforce the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Lastly, the ministers will decide on a revision of the regulation on the status and funding of political parties and foundations. The approach they will adopt is based on a compromise presented by the French Presidency of the EU Council and aims to restrict extra-European financial contributions to European political parties and strengthen transparency with regard to those contributions.