European Union - Nathalie Loiseau’s participation in the General Affairs Council (Brussels, 14 May 2018)

Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, is taking part in the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, which will include the following main points:

1. Budget:

  • The ministers will hold a preliminary exchange of views on the draft Multiannual Financial Framework presented by the European Commission for the period 2021-2027. Nathalie Loiseau will express France’s disagreement with the drastic reduction in the direct payments under the Common Agricultural Policy proposed by the Commission.
  • At the same time, she will welcome some of the improvements contained in this draft: a clearer structure, providing a fresh response to the collective challenges facing the EU, notably in terms of migration, security and defense, as well as environmental challenges; greater support for innovation, the digital sector and research as well as youth mobility. The minister will call on the EU to take a more ambitious approach, notably with respect to the scrapping of rebates and the creation of new own resources.

2. Preparations for the European Council in June:

  • The ministers will prepare for the European Council scheduled to take place from June 28 to 29. Nathalie Loiseau will reaffirm that this summit must maintain an ambitious momentum one year ahead of the forthcoming European elections, notably with respect to the guidelines for the future of the Economic and Monetary Union.
  • The minister will also call on the European Council to provide clear guidelines with respect to defense initiatives as well as the digital strategy and support for innovation.

3. Rule of law in Poland:

The ministers will review the rule of law situation in Poland. In a joint statement with Germany, the minister will reaffirm our two countries’ support for the work of the Commission and will call for the adoption, as soon as possible, by Poland of measures to address the rule of law concerns in the country.

4. Other topics:

  • Nathalie Loiseau will then take part in a lunch during which the ministers will discuss the main challenges in the run-up to the European elections in 2019.
  • Lastly, the minister will take part in the General Affairs Council Article 50 session which will include all 27 members to prepare for the UK’s exit. On the basis of a presentation by EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, the ministers will review the progress achieved in the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement.