Press Release 174/2012
20 July 2012
The EU Foreign Ministers will gather for a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 23 July. The agenda includes the Union's common security and defence policy, the situation in the southern neighbourhood, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, the EU Eastern Partnership and China. The Foreign Ministers will also discuss energy policy from the foreign policy point of view. Finland will be represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.
As for the Southern Neighbourhood, the agenda includes the current situation in Syria and the efforts for solving the crisis in the UN Security Council in particular. The agenda also includes expanding of the restrictive measures on the Syrian administration. For Libya, the Council will discuss the elections of the 7 July and the Union's support to Libya in building democratic institutions and the judicial system. Egypt is also on the agenda.
The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the situation in Sudan and South Sudan and the European Union's support to the restarted negotiations between the parties. The Council will also discuss the Sahel region, especially the alarming situation in Mali, and the support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to find a solution to the crisis. Other topics include the serious lack of security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Foreign Ministers will also discuss the Union's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The High Representative Catherine Ashton will report to the Council on the CSDP developments. On the basis of the report the Council will discuss the tasks and activities in the near future, particularly the launching of new operations and the cooperation for capacity building. The Council will also pay attention to the objective of discussing CSDP issues on the European Council level next year.
As for China, the Council will discuss the EU-China strategic partnership and the preparations for the EU-China Summit to be organised in the autumn. The Ministers lunch meeting will touch upon the common ground in the energy and foreign policies on the basis of the policies defined in the European Council last year.
After the Foreign Affairs Council Foreign Minister Tuomioja will attend the Foreign Ministers meeting of the European Union's Eastern Partnership, where Ministers of the EU member states and six partner countries will discuss the future work of the Eastern Partnership led by High Representative Ashton.
Further information: European correspondent Tarja Fernández, tel. +358 40 590 9855, assistant to the Cabinet of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Johanna Laine, tel. 040 526 7579, head of the Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Harri Kämäräinen, tel. 040 742 8247