European Union – Mme Catherine Colonna’s participation in the Foreign Affairs Council (20 February 2023)


Mme Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part today in the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

With the war entering a new phase, the Minister will emphasize the crucial importance of stepping up military support for Ukraine, particularly through European instruments such as the European Peace Facility. In the run-up to the first anniversary of the start of the Russian war of aggression, she will signal Europe’s support for Ukraine’s efforts to achieve a just peace, demonstrated by the Ukrainian proposal for a 10-point peace plan. She will call for the swift adoption of a substantial 10th set of sanctions and will reaffirm the need to fully use the tools the European Union has created to target those responsible for bypassing the sanctions.

At a lunch with Mr Nicu Popescu, Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister will stress the importance of European support for Moldova’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and security, and will back the plan to establish a European Union civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission. With Moldova, a candidate for EU membership, having resolutely chosen the European path, she will reiterate France and the Europeans’ support for holding the second summit of the European Political Community in Chișinău on 1 June 2023.

In the face of the serious deterioration of the economic and social situation in Afghanistan, caused by the Taliban and in particular their policy of making women invisible and systematically excluding them, she will emphasize that it is necessary to continue our humanitarian support, in particular for Afghan women and girls, while continuing to put pressure on the Taliban through all the means we have available and in accordance with the five principles agreed by the international community in September 2021.

In response to the climate emergency, the Minister will call for the adoption of an ambitious programme for the European Union’s climate and energy diplomacy, in particular in the run-up to COP28.

Finally, the Minister will review the decisions adopted by the Member States with a view to ending the crackdown on demonstrators in Iran.

This EU Foreign Affairs Council will also provide an opportunity to adopt the EU strategy for the Great Lakes.