Press release 141/2013
20 June 2013
The EU Foreign Affairs Council will convene in Luxembourg on 24 June. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will represent Finland at the meeting. The topics to be discussed are climate change, the EU’s Eastern Partnership and Southern Neighbourhood, the Middle East peace process, the Western Balkans and Afghanistan.
The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss climate change and the EU’s climate diplomacy. Climate change is a global environmental and development challenge, and the Council will consider what action the EU, in cooperation with various partner countries, can take to curb climate change.
As to the EU’s Eastern Partnership, the foreign ministers will discuss preparations for the Vilnius Summit to be held in November and the situation regarding the Association Agreements of partner countries.
The Foreign Affairs Council’s discussion on the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood will focus on the current situation in Syria and the EU’s response to the so-called Arab Spring. With respect to Syria, the discussion will address how the EU can support efforts to realise the Syria conference in Geneva. In addition, the Foreign Affairs Council, in line with the request of the European Council in February 2013, will assess what measures the EU has taken since the Arab Spring and what it still should do. The discussion will also take up the current situation in Egypt.
The foreign ministers’ discussion of the Middle East peace process will concentrate on how the EU can best support advancement of the peace process. The implementation of the jointly agreed EU policy on the issue will also be discussed.
As concerns the Western Balkans, the discussion by the Foreign Affairs Council will focus on the launching of Serbia’s EU membership negotiations and the negotiations for a Stabilsation and Association Agreement with Kosovo. These topics are also on the agenda of the General Affairs Council and the European Council during the same week. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will attend the General Affairs Council’s discussion dealing with enlargement on Tuesday, 25 June.
Afghanistan will be the topic of discussion at the Council’s lunch. Aside from the current situation in Afghanistan, the discussion will deal with the transfer of responsibility for security from international forces to the country’s own security authorities.
Additional information: European correspondent Tarja Fernández, mobile tel. +358 40 590 9855, and Päivi Harju-Heikkilä, Press Attaché to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 40 749 2687