Nikos Kotzias to attend the EU General and Foreign Affairs Councils in Luxemburg, June 25-26

Nikos Kotzias to attend the EU General and Foreign Affairs Councils in Luxemburg, June 25-26

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will travel to Luxemburg to attend the EU General and Foreign Affairs Councils on June 25 -26.

On the initiative of the Greek Foreign Minister, on Monday morning, on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council, a working breakfast will take place between the 28 and the Albanian Foreign Minister, Ditmir Bushati.

According to the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council, the participants will discuss EU cooperation in security and defence, including on the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) and other defence initiatives, military mobility and the proposed European Peace Facility. It will also be an opportunity to follow-up to the tasking by the European Council of March 2018 on countering hybrid threats, as a joint communication by the High Representative and the Commission was adopted on 12 June.

The Council will adopt conclusions on security and defence. The Council is also expected to adopt a decision setting out the common set of governance rules for the projects undertaken in the context of PESCO.

Also, Foreign ministers and defence ministers will have a session on EU-NATO cooperation together with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Ministers may refer, in particular, to progress made in cooperation on military mobility.

The agenda also states that Foreign ministers will also discuss Yemen together with UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, who will brief on his peace plan. It will be an opportunity for the EU to reaffirm its commitment to a UNfacilitated negotiated solution and to discuss ongoing EU efforts on the crisis in the country. The Council will adopt conclusions on Yemen.

The Council will also discuss the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, by adopting relevant conclusions, focusing on maritime security, economic development and migration. In addition, High Representative Federica Mogherini will inform the Council of her visit to Jordan and discuss issues related to the Middle East country.

Finally, the Council will take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on the basis of the second annual progress report.

On Tuesday, June 26, the General Affairs Council will be informed by Commission’s Brexit chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, about the progress made so far in the Brexit talks with the UK.

The ministers will discuss the state of play of the negotiations, concerning the completion of the work on withdrawal issues, the issues related to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the discussions on the framework for the future relationship with the UK.

Ministers will prepare the meeting of the EU27 leaders later in the week, on Friday 29 June 2018, by discussing the draft European Council (Article 50) conclusions to be adopted at the summit. The leaders are expected to take stock of the progress made so far in the negotiations.

The Council will discuss the 2018 enlargement package presented by the Commission in April. Ministers will be called upon to adopt conclusions on enlargement and on the Stabilisation and Association Process.

Ministers will continue preparations for the European Council on 28 and 29 June 2018  by examining draft conclusions. They will take stock of the implementation of the previous European Council conclusions. As part of the European Semester process, the Council is expected to approve integrated country-specific recommendations and transmit them to the European Council for endorsement.

Ministers will review the state of implementation of the inter-institutional agreement on better law-making.

The Council will also hold a hearing under Article 7(1) TEU on the rule of law in Poland. It will focus on the most pressing issues identified by the Commission.

Over lunch, ministers will exchange views on the proposals for the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the years 2021 to 2027./IBNA