European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (by videoconference, 23 Mar. 20)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part in the Foreign Affairs Council by videoconference on March 23; the meeting largely focused on the European and international response to the COVID-19 crisis.

As a follow-up to the statement issued by the G7 heads of state and government on March 16 and the European Council on March 17, France argued for a closely coordinated European response with respect to public health measures, the return of European citizens, reduced contact and international movements and thus the closure of the external borders of the European area, the protection of jobs and the economy, as well as with respect to cooperation in the area of scientific research. Special attention was given to the issue of consular assistance for EU nationals in third countries in order to jointly convince the governments of third countries to keep their air space open in order to allow return flights for European citizens.

The ministers also took stock together with Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, of international issues the EU is working on: consequences of the crisis in Idlib; Libya; situation in the Sahel.