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The European Union and its Member States have progressively put in place a comprehensive external migration policy and strengthened the work along the Central Mediterranean route. Saving and protecting the lives of migrants and refugees, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers and providing legal pathways, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement: these are the aims at the very heart of the EU's policy.

In 2019, the total number of arrivals to Spain via the Western Mediterranean route decreased substantially
(47%) in comparison to 2018. This change reflects the effectiveness of efforts made by the EU, in close
cooperation with Morocco and Spain. The European Union has implemented an integrated approach in its
migration policy, across all migratory routes. This involves saving and protecting people's lives at sea; tackling irregular migration; fighting the business model of smugglers and traffickers, supporting migrants and refugees along the route; and creating legal pathways and economic opportunities as alternatives to irregular migration. This is done in close and mutually beneficial cooperation with partner countries and international organizations.

1-2019 Call for Contributions for Visiting Experts for the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine)- Deadline for applications: Thursday 31 October 2019 at 17:00 hours (Brussels time) - Late applications will not be accepted.

Three young girls from the same family were killed in an attack in Tripoli on Monday, adding to an already too high a number of civilian casualties of escalating violence in Libya. We express our deep condolences to the family of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the family members injured in the attack.

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EU foreign affairs ministers, gathered today in Luxembourg for a Foreign Affairs Council, have condemned Turkey's military action in north east Syria. "We have a common united European Union position … on the developments in the north-east of Syria … there is a clear condemnation from the European Union’s side of Turkey’s military action", said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the Council.

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The Council focussed on the situation in Syria, including north-east Syria, and on Turkey's drilling activities. Foreign ministers discussed Ukraine and had an exchange of views with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

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Thank you very much.

I think that you have already seen the outcome of this Foreign Affairs Council, so we will follow the example of the last [Foreign Affairs] Councils and I will be very short in my introduction to let you have more time for the questions.

The value and virtue of democracy is being challenged more than ever around the world. Even though global levels of democracy remain high, there is growing trend towards authoritarianism. 

In light of Turkey’s continued illegal drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, the Council reaffirms its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law. It recalls its conclusions of 15 July 2019 in all its parts, and notably that delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.

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