EU – Amélie de Montchalin attending the General Affairs Council (Brussels, 18 July 2019)

Amélie de Montchalin, minister of state attached to the minister for Europe and foreign affairs, is attending today’s General Affairs Council in Brussels.

The ministers will focus on the following points:

a) They will hold a public debate on the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The Finnish presidency will present its intentions concerning the continuation of efforts during its term to reach a political agreement by December, in keeping with the wishes of the European Council. During this discussion, the minister of state will reaffirm our ambitions relating to climate change, notably with respect to a 40% environmental goal in the budget, and will emphasize our wish to create new resources specifically linked to the environment.

b) The Finnish presidency will present its priorities for its six-month term. These largely correspond to the ones promoted by the French authorities, especially with regard to climate, the social dimension, and the rule of law.

c) The Finnish presidency will review the situation on the implementation of the strategic program adopted by the European Council on June 20-21, ahead of discussions by the heads of state and government in October. The minister of state will emphasize that the major priorities established by the strategic program for the next five years fully correspond to France’s aims. She will insist on the implementation of these priorities and will present a French proposal to host a Conference for Europe to involve citizens in turning these major priorities into concrete measures. And she will welcome the initiation of a discussion on revising European institutions’ working methods.

d) The Commission will present the ministers with its second communication on the rule of law, which was adopted on July 17. This publication follows an initial communication published on April 3, which identified points to consider in order to consolidate instruments for promoting the rule of law in the EU and preventing and responding to shortcomings in that area, and to which member states contributed. The minister of state will reaffirm France’s support for the EU toolbox, enabling it to take comprehensive actions to promote the rule of law, and to prevent and respond to attacks on it.

e) The Council will review the situation in Poland under the procedure provided in article 7, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union. As before, France and Germany will express themselves jointly, indicating their ongoing concerns over the rule of law and respect for fundamental EU values in Poland. They will propose that the Council continue the dialogue on the situation in Poland and include a new hearing session to be held as soon as possible after the summer.