Foreign Affairs Council- Iran, Syria and Venezuela
On 28 May, EU Foreign Ministers met to discuss a range of global issues from the Middle East to South America.
Ministers underlined the importance of preserving the JCPOA with Iran, which is key for the security of the region, and in turn, for Europe and beyond. This followed up on the EU leaders' discussion in Sofia on 16 May, when they unanimously agreed that the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it. Read more here on the EU's continued commitment on the JCPOA.
Given the ongoing repression of the civilian population, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters, in line with the EU strategy on Syria. These measures will be in place until 1 June 2019.
The Council adopted conclusions on Venezuela, stressing that the elections and the outcome lacked credibility as the electoral process did not provide the necessary guarantees for inclusive and democratic elections.
Read more here.
EU strengthens security co-operation with Asian partners
Meeting in Brussels on 28 May, EU Foreign Ministers agreed to strengthen work with Asian partners to promote global security and enhanced security in Asia. The EU's approach will build on existing security-related cooperation with its Asian partners that has already delivered positive results, including for example joint efforts to tackle piracy off the coast of Somalia.
"The time when Europeans and Asians could consider themselves distant friends is over. To preserve and strengthen our economic exchanges we must also work together on global security", said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.
Read more here.
Global Tech Panel: HR/VP starts debate with tech leaders
HR/VP Mogherini is launching a Global Tech Panel to bring together leaders from the tech industry, representatives of the private sector, academia and civil society. The aim of the Global Tech Panel is to foster new types of cooperation between diplomacy and technology, and to start a genuine conversation about not just tackling the threats of the digital age, but also unleashing its potential to solve global problems together.
At its first meeting in Brussels on 6 June 2018, the Global Tech Panel will consider several global issues, ranging from new security threats and the weaponization of digital technologies, to harnessing connectivity for development and addressing concrete challenges of digital exclusion.
Read more here.
EU Human Rights Report 2017 adopted
On 28 May 2018, the Council adopted the EU's Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the world in 2017. The 2017 annual report sets out the efforts of the EU, to promote and protect the universality of human rights across the world, including New Zealand.
Just as with other countries, the EU promotes human rights in its relations with New Zealand. Human rights and gender issues are included as areas of cooperation in the EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement for Relations and Cooperation (PARC), the formal agreement that outlines the scope and ambition of the bilateral relationship.
The EU Delegation has regular contacts with relevant stakeholders in NZ, including the NZ Human Rights Commission and the Refugee Council.
Read more about how the EU is promoting human rights in New Zealand here.
New EU rules to reduce marine litter
With the amount of harmful plastic litter in oceans and seas growing ever greater, the European Commission is proposing new EU-wide rules to target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.
European Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development said: "This proposal will reduce single use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products."
European Union Prize for Literature
On 29 May, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, marked ten years of the European Union Prize for Literature which is awarded annually to new and emerging authors, recognising literary talent from all corners of Europe. This anniversary, which takes place during the European Year of Cultural Heritage, is being marked in a different way. All previous winners of the Prize were invited to submit an original short work of fiction focusing on the topic 'A European Story'. 36 previous winners submitted stories in 23 languages to a panel of professional judges, with the ultimate winner being decided by vote, voting is not restricted to Europe but open worldwide.
2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage #EuropeForCulture
As part of the 2018 EYCH the EU has put on an unparalleled series of activities and events to encourage people to discover, engage with, and treasure Europe's shared heritage. We recognise the traces of cultures that once inhabited our continent, so that we may pass them on for generations to come. This year represents a perfect opportunity to reflect upon how to protect our cultural heritage, together. As such, protection is one of the four main themes of the year, alongside engagement, sustainability and innovation.
Find more information about #EuropeForCulture here
German-NZ Chamber of Commerce organises exporters' workshop
The German-NZ Chamber of Commerce is hosting exporters' workshops on 31 May in Auckland & 5 June in Christchurch. This event is designed for those companies who are considering European market entry or have recently done so and are now seeking to maximize their performance.
The workshop will cover all aspects of what should be considered for success, from a clear understanding of markets & customers through to organizational process, leadership and risk.
EU Cultural Events App
The EU Delegation in New Zealand and its Member States have collaborated for the launch of a new events calendar in the form of a mobile App. Register online for public events, find out more information about a specific event, or simply to plan your cultural activities around what is going on. Download the free App direct to your phone (app available via Google or ITunes store). Enjoy all European events in one location as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage!
Member States please contact us to have your events included on the App and on our website and/or weekly Newsletter.
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