Clément Beaune, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part in the first informal meeting organized by the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, today, Monday 18 January.
The Council will provide an opportunity to discuss the following issues:
Presentation of the Portuguese presidency’s priorities
The Portuguese presidency will set out its priorities for the coming six months, which will focus on three pillars: the economic recovery based on the climate and digital transitions; the implementation of the European Social Rights Pillar; and stronger strategic autonomy for a Europe open to the world. France lends its full support to this ambitious programme and will support the Portuguese presidency in its efforts on health, social protection, the management of asylum and migration, the environment and digital regulation.
The ministers will prepare the video conference of heads of State and government dedicated to the fight against the pandemic, to be held on 21 January 2021. Among other things, the discussions should focus on the measures put in place by the Member States, on vaccines policy and on relations with non-EU countries. M. Clément Beaune will set out the health control measures decided on by France, which are part of European coordination efforts to protect freedom of movement and limit the spread of the virus within the EU. The Minister of State will also express his support for the Commission’s decisions aimed at boosting grouped purchases of vaccines and speeding up their deployment, and will call for international solidarity on the matter so that every country can benefit from this global public good.
Conference on the Future of Europe
The presidency will set up an enquiry point. The Minister of State will call for the swift launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe and emphasize the significance of this exercise in citizens’ participation, at a time of crisis which demands that we prepare for the post-crisis period and encourage collective reflexion about the model of European society we wish to promote. It is important that in 2022, the 65th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Conference should be able to lead to initial major political guidelines to shape its implementation phase.