European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, 16 July 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on July 16.

The discussions will focus on the following points:

  • The Eastern Partnership: The ministers will prepare for the EU-Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting scheduled to take place on October 15 in Luxembourg. They will take stock of progress on implementing the “20 deliverables for 2020” adopted during the last Eastern Partnership summit on November 24, 2017. These goals constitute the framework for the development of relations with the six partner countries. The most significant progress at this stage is in the area of economic development (more than 5,000 SMEs have received EU financial support since 2016, increased trade with the EU since 2016: +15% with Armenia, +17% with Azerbaijan, +19% with Belarus, +6% with Georgia, +20% with Moldova, +24% with Ukraine). Significant results have been achieved in the area of mobility (opening of an Eastern Partnership school in September 2018). France will notably call for strengthened cooperation in the areas of youth (vocational training), the environment (implementation of the Paris Agreement and support of the Eastern neighbors for the Global Compact for the environment initiative) and security (fight against radicalization and violent extremism);
  • Libya: Following the high representative’s visit to Tripoli and her meetings with the Libyan authorities, Jean-Yves Le Drian will underscore the importance of respecting the election timetable and ensuring the implementation of the commitments made by the Libyan parties in Paris on May 29 and endorsed by the Security Council on June 6. He will call on the EU to strengthen its support for the election process. The minister for Europe and foreign affairs will also reaffirm the importance of strengthened cooperation with the Libyan authorities in the area of migration, in collaboration with the UNHCR and the IOM, and the need to work toward adopting new sanctions against smugglers of migrants and human traffickers;
  • North Korea: The ministers will discuss the situation following the summit in Singapore on June 12 and the visit to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 6 and 7. Our priority remains the launch of a process to ensure the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The EU has a special responsibility with respect to preserving the international non-proliferation regime. France will argue in favor of maintaining a firm approach in order to ensure that North Korea makes concrete and specific commitments and implements its international obligations;
  • Iran: Following the meeting of the Joint Commission in Vienna on July 6, the Council will send a strong political signal in support of preserving the JCPOA by amending the Annex to the 1996 Regulation in order to block - in Europe - the extraterritorial effects of American sanctions against Iran;
  • International Criminal Court: To mark the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute signed on July 17, 1998, conclusions will be adopted to reaffirm EU support for the ICC.