Catherine Colonna’s participation in the Gymnich meeting and the Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum (12-13 May 2023)


On May 12 and 13, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will take part in the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers known as the “Gymnich,” and on May 13, she will attend the second edition of the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm.

At the Gymnich, the minister will emphasize the need for us to provide support for Ukraine over the long term by boosting the production capacities of European defense industries and instituting a European war economy. She will also stress the importance of prioritizing the fight against the circumvention of sanctions and strengthening our partnerships with third countries.

With regard to China, the minister will reaffirm the ongoing relevance of the March 2019 European triptych. She will underscore the need to continue rebalancing the EU-China relationship by implementing the agenda that was agreed upon at the European Council in Versailles. Lastly, she will reiterate the importance of maintaining a clear-sighted, rigorous but also constructive approach to China on global matters and international issues such as the Russian aggression against Ukraine, as President Macron did during his recent visit to that country.

On March 13, the minister will take part in the second edition of the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm.

The Stockholm Forum will bring together participants from EU institutions and member states, the European Investment Bank, some 30 Indo-Pacific nations and several regional organizations. It will follow on from the Paris Forum held on February 22, 2022, during the French presidency of the EU Council, and will follow the same procedures.

In an international context marked both by the Russian aggression against Ukraine and rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific, it is essential for EU and Indo-Pacific countries and institutions to have a specific discussion forum where they can work together on issues of common interest in the areas of security, sustainable development and the environment, connectivity, and the resilience of value chains.

The EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum offers that space. The second edition will enable us to measure how far we have come in implementing the commitments taken at the Forum in Paris and to give the necessary political impetus to new areas of cooperation. The minister will speak at the opening of the Forum and at a round table on security issues. She will underscore the advances made in the implementation of such key EU initiatives such as the Global Gateway strategy – identifying concrete connectivity projects – and the implementation of Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) in the northwestern Indian Ocean to contribute to the security of that strategic region. She will present France’s proposals on continuing the roll-out of the European strategy in the Indo-Pacific in the most ambitious, operational manner.