European Union - Amélie de Montchalin’s participation in the General Affairs Council (Brussels, 16 September 2019)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part in the General Affairs Council in Brussels today.

The minister will address the following points:

  • Multiannual Financial Framework – the Finnish presidency will provide a progress report and brief the Council on the procedure and next steps. An initial costed proposal will be presented at the European Council taking place from October 17 to 18, 2019. The goal is to reach a political compromise among the heads of state and government by the end of the year.
  • Preparations for the European Council from October 17 to 18: In addition to the Multiannual Financial Framework, the ministers will discuss the monitoring of the EU strategic agenda for 2019-2024. This discussion, which France called for, should allow the European Council to ensure the coherence of the incoming Commission’s work program with the priorities set by the heads of state and government. Amélie de Montchalin will call for the European Council on October 17 and 18 to hold a discussion on the EU’s position in the fight against climate change, following the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019, and ahead of COP 25 in Santiago, Chile, at the beginning of December.
  • Respect for the rule of law in the EU: The ministers will have an exchange of views on ways to improve respect for the rule of law in the EU. The minister of state will call for the promotion of synergies between the different tools, in order to strengthen awareness and detection capabilities in advance of lapses in the rule of law and to strengthen trust between member states. Amélie de Montchalin will reaffirm our proposals concerning the strengthening of cooperation between the EU and the Council of Europe with respect to the rule of law.
  • Article 7 TEU proceedings against Hungary: Nearly a year after the adoption by the European Parliament of the Sargentini Report, which triggered the application of Article 7 TEU proceedings against Hungary, the Council will conduct the first hearing with Hungary. The minister of state is notably expected to question Hungary on areas such as the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of expression and the media, as well as respect for academic freedom in Hungary.