No 149 - 25 May 2017
HR/VP offers condolences for Manchester attack
In response to the attack in Manchester on Monday, HR/VP Federica Mogherini expressed her personal condolences, and in the name of the European Union institutions, to all loved ones of the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester and also to all the citizens of the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister and all authorities of the country. "I believe fear will not prevail and the best response to terrorist attacks will continue to be our European youth continuing to live together, enjoying life together and to react in this way,” the High Representative added.
EU Councils on Defence & Development (18 and 19 May)
On 18 May the 28 EU Defence Ministers met to discuss EU Security and Defence. The Council adopted conclusions on Security and Defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy: they decided to strengthen the EU’s rapid response instruments, including the EU Battlegroups, and to deepen cooperation with a number of international organisations. On 19 May HR/VP welcomed Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations to the Foreign Affairs Council on Development. The Council adopted a new European consensus on development, setting out a new framework for development cooperation for the EU and its member states. The consensus is the EU's response to the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development and is expected to be endorsed by the European Parliament on 31 May.
Brexit: Council authorises opening of the negotiations with the UK
The EU27 Council has authorised the opening of the negotiations with the UK and nominated the Commission as Union negotiator with Michel Barnier as Chief Negotiator. The first set of negotiating directives have been adopted and outline the priorities for the first phase of the negotiations together with the European Council guidelines agreed by the leaders of the EU27. This first phase will tackle three main areas: safeguarding the status and rights of citizens – EU27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU27 – and their families; reaching an agreement on the principles of the financial settlement of the UK's obligations as an EU member; providing for the new external borders of the EU and finding imaginative solutions in order to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The Commission aims to ensure full transparency during the whole negotiating process. Formal negotiations will begin as soon as the UK is ready.
EU and Republic of Korea intensify cooperation for denuclearised Korean Peninsula
HR/VP Federica Mogherini welcomed to Brussels Professor Yoon Je Cho, the Special Envoy of President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. The decision of President Moon to send a special envoy to the EU is an indication of the strength of the Strategic Partnership between the EU and Korea and gave them the opportunity to discuss perspectives on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. They agreed to continue to work together and even intensify the work that the EU and South Korea can do to solve the problem, trying to de-escalate the tensions, keeping implementing sanctions placed by the EU together with the rest of the international community, but also and mainly trying to open a political channel for negotiations.
Read more here.
President Trump in Brussels
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump arrived on Wednesday night in Belgium, where he was received by PM Charles Michel and by King Filip of the Belgians and Queen Mathilde. He will meet on Thursday 25 May with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and HR/VP Federica Mogherini. After a lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron, he will participate to a special NATO meeting along with the other 27 NATO Member States and Montenegro. He will fly to a G7 meeting on Thursday night.
EU and 79 African, Caribbean, Pacific countries in joint push to implement global climate deal
The EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) developing countries reaffirmed their strong and steadfast commitment to full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, urging all partners to keep up the momentum created in 2015. The EU and the ACP Group, making together more than half of the signatories of the Agreement, made the call ahead of the upcoming G7 and G20 leaders' summits and the next annual UN climate negotiations COP23 in November. They have agreed common positions on the next steps to implement the Paris Agreement and strengthened cooperation to promote low-emission, climate-resilient development.
Read more here.
The Commission launches the EU Platform on Animal Welfare
The Commission is publishing today the composition of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare announced in January 2017. It brings together 75 member organisations both from the public and private sector and relevant international intergovernmental organisations. The Platform will support all players in the better application of EU rules on animal welfare through exchanges of best practices in the field of animal welfare; the development and use of voluntary commitments by businesses; and the promotion of EU animal welfare standards at global level. The inaugural meeting of the Platform is scheduled for 6 June 2017 in Brussels.
Access the Platform!
New EU strategy for international cultural relations
On 23 May the Council adopted conclusions on culture in the European Union's external relations, aiming at providing guidance on the EU's strategic approach to international cultural relations. The conclusions underline that such an approach should be bottom-up and should respect the independence of the cultural sector. They recognise that international cultural relations can only develop by encouraging cultural diversity within the EU, and they call for consistency and coherence of effort. In order to take forward this work, a working group will be established to draw up a comprehensive EU strategic approach to international cultural relations. This work draws on the existing cultural diplomacy platform which was set up in 2016 to help promote the EU's cultural engagement with third countries.
Read the Commission FAQ.
Exhibition opening on 26 May: 1956 • Poland - Hungary • History and Remembrance
The Embassy of Poland & the Embassy of Hungary in Wellington cordially invite you to the opening of the exhibition "1956 • Poland - Hungary • History and Remembrance" on Friday, 26 May 2017 at 1.30pm at the Victoria University of Wellington, Alan MacDiarmid Lecture Theatre on Kelburn Campus (Alan MacDiarmid Building, level 1, Theatre No. 105). The ceremony will include speeches by both ambassadors, historical background remarks given by Senior Lecturer Alexander Maxwell as well as drinks and nibbles. New Zealand is the only country in the world apart from Poland and Hungary where the exhibition is on display, do not miss it!
Europe Today – an address by Mr Jean-Christophe Belliard from EEAS
We are delighted to invite you to an address on "Europe Today" by Mr Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General at the EEAS! Mr Belliard is one of the most senior figures from the European External Action Service and used to be a senior diplomat at the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The event is organised in cooperation with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. It will be held on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 at 12pm to 1pm at the Wellington Club, 88 The Terrace, Wellington. See you then!
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