New EU rules on short-stay visas apply worldwide from 2 February 2020. They make it easier for legitimate travellers to apply for a visa to come to Europe, facilitating tourism, trade and business, while providing more resources for countering irregular migration risks and threats to internal security.
Today I have the great honour of welcoming you to the historic El Pardo Royal Palace in my new capacity as European Union High Representative [for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy] I would like to extend my deep gratitude to His Majesty the King [Felipe VI] of Spain and to the Spanish Government for hosting this meeting.
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, held bilateral meetings with a number of his Asian counterparts today in Madrid. The meetings took place in the margins of the 14th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) ministerial in Madrid, which will be chaired by the High Representative/Vice-President.
We celebrate this year the 10th anniversary of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights and the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet these rights continue to be challenged around the world. In particular, children and youth continue to be the main victims of human rights violations. They are forced to seek refuge, recruited as soldiers, forced into child labour or torn apart from their families against their will.
The European Union reaffirms today its support to the universal ban on chemical weapons. It is a tribute to all those who have lost their lives or loved ones and suffered harm from chemical weapons as well as a commitment to promoting peace and security.
The Chemical Weapons Convention and the crucial work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have contributed to eliminating 97% of chemical weapons stockpiles declared by possessor states. This makes the Chemical Weapons Convention the world's most successful disarmament treaty.
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history that has helped transform children's lives around the world for the better.