European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the General Affairs Council (via video conference, 22 April 2020)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part in the video conference of EU foreign ministers today.

The following points were addressed:

  • Covid-19: The ministers took stock of the situation regarding the EU’s response to the crisis. They discussed the numerous operations to repatriate European citizens stranded while traveling abroad temporarily and EU mobilization to support the most vulnerable third countries, especially in Africa. Jean-Yves Le Drian called for increased EU mobilization, notably in terms of sending equipment and humanitarian personnel to support the African continent, within the framework of the implementation of the global response announced by the European Commission. The ministers also discussed the consequences of the health crisis for the EU’s eastern neighborhood countries. France welcomed the measures announced by the EU to help the Eastern Partnership countries.
  • Ukraine: The minister reaffirmed the support of France and the EU for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while stressing the need for Kiev to implement the reforms that are crucial to the country’s future. Together with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, he informed his counterparts about the latest developments within the framework of the Normandy format, notably the exchange of prisoners on April 16; he underscored the importance of implementing the commitments made during the conference in Paris.
  • Libya: The ministers addressed the political, security and humanitarian situation, regarding which resolute action is required in order to ensure that all parties implement the so-called Berlin commitments.
  • Eastern Mediterranean: The ministers underscored the EU’s attachment to respect for international law in the eastern Mediterranean, notably with respect to Turkey’s illegal drilling in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone.