Every day we see deepening tensions between the US and China with clashes over a variety of issues. Positions are hardening with advocates of decoupling in the ascendancy in both Washington and Beijing. This US-China strategic rivalry will probably be the dominant organising principle for global politics, regardless who wins the next presidential US elections. In that context, we need to hold our nerve and frame our own EU approach. I would like to reflect here about a few principles that should guide us
The Council today decided to impose restrictive measures against six individuals and three entities responsible for or involved in various cyber-attacks. These include the attempted cyber-attack against the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and those publicly known as 'WannaCry', 'NotPetya', and 'Operation Cloud Hopper'.
The Internet plays a vital role in our lives, which is why we need to protect ourselves against cyber-attacks. Today, the EU imposed its first-ever cyber sanctions, to defend its citizens and companies from cyber threats.
We are celebrating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, raising awareness for an issue many times invisible, but still present in our societies. The EU has been working on the prevention and fight against human trafficking through its actions on the ground and through the collaboration at local and international levels.
Following an initial discussion in the Foreign Affairs Council on 13 July 2020, the Council today adopted conclusions expressing grave concern over the national security legislation for Hong Kong adopted by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress on 30 June 2020.
After tough negotiations, EU leaders agreed an ambitiously funded recovery package. With this deal, the EU demonstrates its internal resilience and solidarity. This is vital for European citizens but it also provides the basis for Europe to engage the wider world. Our internal unity determines our external strength.