Meeting of EU foreign ministers in charge of development (via videoconference, 8 Jun. 2020)

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Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part in today’s informal meeting of EU development ministers.

This meeting followed on the development ministers’ meeting of April 9 and dealt mainly with the global response to the Covid-19 crisis outside of the EU. France reiterated its backing for the funding effort by the EU and its member states (the “Team Europe” package) in support of the most vulnerable countries, which now equals nearly €36 billion, stressing in particular the increased aid to the African continent.

France and the EU expressed their deep commitment to multilateralism on this occasion, especially in the area of health, in the presence of World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was invited to take part in this discussion. The EU reaffirmed its strong commitment to managing the pandemic, in the aftermath of the donors conference held on May 4 which strengthened support for the Access to Covid-19 Tools-Accelerator (ACT-A) initiative spearheaded by President Macron on April 24 under the auspice of the WHO.

The discussions also focused on the ongoing negotiations led by the European Commission aimed at concluding an agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). France supports the efforts of the European Commission to conclude, as swiftly as possible, an ambitious agreement between the EU and the ACP countries. Through the next agreement, we would like to strengthen our cooperation on education, youth employment, mobility, the fight against climate change and new technologies. The agreement should notably take into consideration the commitments made within the framework of the Paris climate agreement reached in 2015. We also want this agreement to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the ACP countries and to establish a common foundation for democratic values, the rule of law and governance. The ministers also discussed the future architecture of the EU’s financial instruments for development and neighborhood policy.