Brussels 29.09.2020 The African Union – European Union partnership, post-Cotonou agreement were on the top of the agenda of the informal meeting of EU Development Ministers the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell has chaired today.
Within the framework of the German EU Council Presidency, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller, together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, hosted an informal meeting of EU Development Ministers. One important issue for discussion was be the EU’s future relations with Africa. The meeting has also served as basis in preparation of the Formal Meeting of EU Development Ministers in November. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting took place virtually via tele-conference.
Brussels, 18.09.2020 The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on September 21, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, will start at 9.30 with a discussion on current affairs. Among the issues Ministers will discuss relations between the EU and the African Union, in particular in preparation for the next EU-AU Foreign Ministers’ meeting. They will exchange views on the joint EU-Africa priorities ahead, and possible outreach to African partners on the road to the next EU-AU Summit. Ministers will also have an opportunity to be updated on the state of play in the post-Cotonou negotiations.
Under this item ministers will review the most pressing issues on the international agenda, including matters relating to Lebanon, China, Turkey, Russia and Venezuela.
The Council will then exchange views on the latest developments that have taken place in Libya since the announcements made on 21 August 2020 by the Libyan political leaders on the way forward out of the crisis. The High Representative will also debrief ministers on his visit to the country on 1 September 2020.
Finally, the Council will discuss the latest political developments in Belarus and potential EU support for national inclusive dialogue. Ministers will also be updated on EU financial support to the people of Belarus and on the initial findings of the review of EU-Belarus relations.
Over a working lunch, ministers will exchange views on the overall partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood and how it should be framed in the future.
Hungary is “absolutely interested” in negotiation of a new post-Cotonou agreement insured Péter Szijjártó, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, however it has also some expectations concerning the Migration Chapter of the agreement, namely reflecting reality on illegal mass migration. The mandate to the European Commission negotiators led by Neven Mimica can be given by the Hungarian government as soon as the three following issues are included: in general the migration chapter should meet the realities; the acknowledgment of illegal migration as security threat to Europe; the stopping of illegal migration must be a goal.
“We see that there is a chance to agree on this three points” – Szijjártó continued, underlining that the negotiations with the Commission has lasted for some weeks, and there is no objections from the behalf of Mimica. The minister also underlined that both Balkans and Mediterranean routes for trafficking illegal migrants are active, representing security problems to be urgently addressed.
At the margins of the European foreign affairs Council Péter Szijjártó met with Brussels press-corps, sharing the position of the Hungarian government on the range of issues of international agenda, not the least the mandate to negotiate the post-Cotonou agreement to European Commission Neven Mimica.
Today in Brussels the Foreign Affairs Council is expected to discuss the negotiating mandate for the future agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) 79 countries. The current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in February 2020.
The Cotonou Agreement is the overarching framework for EU relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It was adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lomé Convention.
It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering the EU’s relations with 79 countries, including 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Foreign ministers had an initial discussion during January’s Foreign Affairs Council. Development ministers had a discussion on 22 May 2018.