Clement Boone, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Europe and European Affairs, attended an informal meeting of Ministers in charge of European Affairs today.
Discussions focused on the following:
- Preparations for the Council of Europe on 25 and 26 February 2021: Ministers of the European Council on 25 and 26 February 20 to prepare Heads of State or Government’s Discussions on Health, Defense Europe and Partnerships with the Southern Neighborhood. Following the recommendations of the European Commission to strengthen the health care capacity of the European Union, the Ministers adopted vaccine policy and methods for organizing European solidarity with third countries, especially in Africa. They exchanged views on the “Health Europe” agenda, crisis preparedness, response, as well as the implementation of pharmaceutical strategies.
The Secretary of State reminded of the need to expedite the implementation of the recovery plan approved by the Heads of State or Government to support the European economy.
- Action Plan for European Democracy: Ministers discussed this ambitious plan, explaining the integrity of elections, the freedom and pluralism of the media, and the fight against misinformation. The Secretary of State supported the adoption of the Council’s conclusions, the determination of the most urgent priorities, and the clarification of methods of implementation of the action plan.
- Conference on the Future of Europe: The Portuguese Presidency presented the conditions for the launch of this initiative. France hopes to get this conference off to a fast start by adopting the first guidelines by the spring of 2022.
- Relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom: After the temporary implementation of the Cooperation and Partnership Agreement, Ministers participated in its implementation. The Secretary of State underlined France’s special focus on fisheries and the protection of fair competition. Compliance with the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol was also discussed.