EU - Nathalie Loiseau to attend General Affairs Council (Brussels, 12 December 2017)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will attend the General Affairs Council in Brussels on December 12.

The main item on the agenda will be preparing the European Council of December 14-15 in Brussels. Ms. Loiseau will reaffirm France’s commitment to progress on security and defense, and in the social sphere, education, and culture. She will ask the EU to support an ambitious message on the fight against climate change in the aftermath of the COP 23 summit in Bonn and the One Planet Summit being held the same day in Paris. She will also reiterate the urgency of acting at the European level to combat tax fraud and tax evasion.

The ministers will adopt a joint statement at the General Affairs Council on the Commission’s legislative priorities through the end of its term. This statement was negotiated in mid-November by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. It identifies seven priorities: security and defense; migration; jobs, growth, and investment; social Europe; the single digital market; energy union and combating climate change; the EU’s democratic legitimacy.

Ms. Loiseau will also attend the General Affairs Council session in the “article 50 format,” to include all 27 members, to prepare for the United Kingdom’s exit. Based on the joint report by the EU negotiator published on December 8, the ministers will examine the state of advancement of the negotiations and the Commission’s recommendation to move ahead with the second phase of talks. It is now up to the heads of state and government to decide whether sufficient progress has been made to move ahead with the second phase dealing with the framework of future relations between the United Kingdom and the EU, as well as a transition period.