EU –Nathalie Loiseau to attend the General Affairs Council (Brussels, 11 December 2018)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will attend tomorrow’s meeting of the EU Council of Ministers (General Affairs) in Brussels.

The ministers will mainly focus on the following points:

  • EU budget for 2021-2027: the ministers will make preparations for the first discussion of heads of state and government, to take place at the European Council of December 13 and 14. Ms. Loiseau will applaud the advances made under the Austrian presidency but will note that progress remains to be made on several points that don’t go far enough: the creation of new resources proper to the EU, especially with regard to the environment; and the establishment of conditions for allocating European funds relating to the rule of law and migratory, fiscal and social commitments. She will underline our other priorities relating to major challenges in the budget negotiations: support for new priorities without jeopardizing the common agricultural policy; and the immediate elimination of rebates.
  • Preparations for the European Council of December 13-14: Ms. Loiseau will reiterate our expectations on other priority issues that will be submitted to the heads of state and government in December: the results of citizen consultations, security and defense, the reform of the common European asylum system – and particularly the Dublin Regulation – and the fight against climate change.
  • Economic and Monetary Union: the minister will stress the goal of December’s euro area summit, which is to give a clear mandate to the Eurogroup to move forward with the establishment of budgetary instruments for the euro area.
  • Rule of law – Poland: the ministers will move ahead with Poland’s third hearing under the process set forth in article 7, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union. Ms. Loiseau and her German counterpart will express themselves jointly. She will applaud recent measures taken by the Polish authorities to comply with the October 19th order handed down by the European Court of Justice, while emphasizing that this is only one aspect of the judicial reform which – as a whole – will continue to raise concerns about Poland’s respect for the rule of law.
  • Rule of law – Hungary: the situation will be raised for the third time at the General Affairs Council since the European Parliament triggered the process set forth in article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. Following discussions, the Council will be asked to take up this matter raised by the European Parliament. Ms. Loiseau will indicate that we share many of the concerns of other European institutions, particularly with respect to the reform of higher education and the specific situation of Central European University, which recently reaffirmed its intention to relocate to Vienna as of the next school year because of this reform.