EU – Jean-Yves Le Drian to attend the informal meeting of foreign ministers (Bucharest, 31 January 2019)

Jean-Yves le Drian will attend the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Bucharest on January 31.

Jean-Yves le Drian will attend the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Bucharest on January 31.

The ministers will consider several points:

  • Venezuela: They will discuss the latest developments in the political, humanitarian and economic crisis in that country. They will look at the measures that the EU will have to take in the absence of any announcement by Nicolas Maduro of new elections, and especially the question of recognizing Juan Guaido as interim president. They will also address the ways in which the EU can be involved, including the establishment of a contact group, which France fully supports; it would promote a negotiated settlement of the crisis, with the cooperation of the countries in the region and regional organizations.
  • Syria: The ministers will make preparations for the Brussels III conference on the future of Syria, which the EU will host on March 13-14. Mr. Le Drian will stress the importance of EU unity for the successful implementation of the political process under Resolution 2254. He will also bring up the EU’s ability to exert pressure – for example, by imposing sanctions and political conditions on the funding of reconstruction aid.
  • The Eastern Partnership: In consideration of its 10th anniversary, the ministers will discuss the policy defining relations between the EU and six countries of the ENP East region: Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. They will make preparations for the EU-Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting that the Romanian Council Presidency will host in May. Mr. Le Drian will encourage the EU to strengthen concrete cooperation with its eastern neighbors, especially with regard to young people.
  • China: The ministers will discuss EU relations with that country before pursuing talks with candidate countries (the Balkans and Turkey). This discussion will highlight the importance of European unity ahead of the EU-China Summit and the New Silk Road Forum to be held in the first half of 2019. Mr. Le Drian will insist on the implementation of the EU-Asia connectivity strategy adopted in the fall of 2018.