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Foreign Affairs Council: Main results

EU News 336/2015

Council of the European Union

Foreign Affairs - Defence, 17 November
Defence ministers discussed the reaction to the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015. French President François Hollande has invoked article 42§7 of the Treaty of the European Union, requesting bilateral aid and assistance from the other EU member states. Ministers expressed their unanimous and full support to France and their readiness to provide all the necessary aid and assistance.

Capacity building for security and development

Ministers discussed efforts to help partner countries prevent and manage crises. They were joined by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who underlined that while both the EU and NATO were doing a lot for capacity building, more needed to be done. All member states supported this view: Increasing capabilities in partner countries is the best way to create stability and diminish the need for crisis management intervention.

The High Representative concluded the debate indicating that the EU will address these questions in the coming months by:

- starting to implement pilot projects in a few partner countries, including Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia;
- working on the different possible financial instruments, including within the African Peace Facility and a possible future dedicated instrument.

Foreign Affairs - 16 November
At the very start of the meeting, the High Representative referred to the Paris attacks, which took place after terrorist attacks in Beirut, against Russian civilians on the plane in Egypt, and in Iraq and in Syria every day.

Ministers observed a minute of silence at 12.00 in memory of the victims.

Ministers had a discussion on Syria, together with the UN Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura. They discussed the latest developments covering the recent diplomatic efforts, including the discussions in Vienna on 23 October and 14 November.

The High Representative underlined that finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict would offer the best conditions for defeating Daesh. She reported that the sense of urgency, especially for Europe, was felt and understood very clearly by all around the table in Vienna. She also underlined that an ambitious timetable had been set.

The EU stands ready to continue contributing:

- at the humanitarian level, through ongoing projects - the EU is the leading humanitarian contributor in response to the Syrian crisis.
- at the political level, notably by working to bring the opposition groups to the table and also to start the political transition in Syria.

The Council discussed migration, following up on the High Level Conference on the Western Balkans route on 8 October and on the Valletta Summit on migration held on 11-12 November. Ministers discussed follow-up of the decisions already taken on the central Mediterranean route and on the Western Balkan route. They welcomed the frank discussions with African partners in Valletta. On the Western Balkans and eastern route they discussed cooperation with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, which has multiple dimensions, going well beyond the issue of refugees and management of refugee flows and borders.

Updated: 17/11/2015


Source and additional information:

Foreign Affairs Council - November 2015. Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Shoot location: Brussels - BELGIUM Shoot date: 16/11/2015 Copyright: No commercial use. Credit 'The European Union' (C)EU, 2015 URL