European Union External Action

Remarks by HR/VP Mogherini at the joint press conference following the 8th EU-Egypt Association Council

Brussels, 20 December 2018, 20/12/2018 - 15:37, UNIQUE ID: 181220_10

Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference following the 8th EU-Egypt Association Council

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Commissioner [for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes] Hahn and myself were happy today to welcome Minister [for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Sameh] Shoukry, my dear friend Sameh, and his delegation to Brussels for the 8th Association Council between the European Union and Egypt.

We have had a very productive and a very frank meeting, where we discussed a broad set of issues with the Egyptian delegation, including bilateral relations and the political situation in the region. We discussed in particular our common work on the regional crises – unfortunately many – starting from Syria, but also Libya, the Middle East Peace Process, and also our cooperation between the European Union and the African Union, as Egypt will take the chairmanship of the African Union as of February next year, as well as our cooperation in multilateral fora and our common support to multilateralism.

Today's meeting demonstrated once again that the European Union and Egypt are key partners and that Egypt's sustainable stability and economic development are vital for us all; for the Egyptians first and foremost, but also for the European Union, for our Member States and for our entire region.

Following the adoption of the joint EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities at the last Association Council in July 2017, we have established closer cooperation in many areas, notably on socio-economic development, on scientific research, energy, migration, countering terrorism, and as I mentioned, regional issues.

EU-Egypt stronger engagement in the past year and a half has also allowed us to discuss - including today - issues on which we may have different points of view, different perspectives, in a spirit of strong partnership.

We, the European Union and the Member States, recalled the EU's clear interest in Egypt's sustainable stability and security, as well as the fact that establishing a modern and democratic state is essential in this regard. We recalled the European Union position that sustainable security and stability can only be achieved when human rights are fully available, implemented and upheld as guaranteed by the 2014 Constitution and according to Egypt's international obligations.

The implementation of the identified priority areas of our cooperation is well on track – I am sure that Commissioner [Johannes] Hahn will say more about this. Some challenges remain but both sides reiterated their commitment today to continue our work, together, in all areas of our cooperation, to address all the challenges we have to face, for the sake of our citizens and of our common region.

EU Member States reaffirmed their strong interest in continuing to pursue the partnership with Egypt, and I would like to personally thank the Minister [Sameh Shoukry] for having led his delegation today here in Brussels, but also and mainly for our common work – the recent one, the strengthened one in the past one year and a half since our last Association Council, and the one that we are looking forward to carrying out together in the future.

Thank you very much.

Q. Où en est-on dans les discussions pour renforcer la coopération en terme de migration? On sait que l’Egypte est devenue un partenaire clé pour l’Union européenne. La semaine dernière, le Parlement européen a critiqué l’action de l’UE demandant à ce que les droits de l’homme soient au cœur de la discussion, également dans le renforcement de cette coopération. Avez-vous mis les droits de l’homme au cœur de cette discussion?


Les droits de l’homme sont toujours au cœur du travail de l’Union européenne, il n’y a pas d’exception à cela en ce qui concerne notre coopération avec l’Egypte en général, et aussi lorsqu’il s’agit de notre coopération sur le gestion des flux migratoires.


En tant qu’Union européenne, notre interlocuteur principal lorsqu’il s’agit de travailler sur la gestion des flux migratoires reste toujours le cadre des Nations Unies, en particulier l’OIM [Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations] et l’UNHCR [Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés]. Notamment parce que cela garantit d’une part le respect des standards internationaux et des droits de l’homme et d’autre part, pour l’Union européenne – comme vous le savez – nous appuyer sur les institutions et les agences de l’ONU est une garantie de coopération internationale, de partenariat, d’une certaine façon de concevoir la gestion des flux migratoires.


Dans le cas d’aujourd’hui, nous avons aussi discuté brièvement de notre coopération sur la gestion des migrations. Je dis cela parce que, oui, c’est un sujet important, mais nous avons beaucoup d’autres sujets tout aussi voire plus importants à discuter avec l’Egypte, que ce soit bilatéralement ou dans le contexte régional.


Je ne voudrai pas donner l’impression que notre agenda est complétement dominé par les questions migratoires – au contraire. En effet, nous avons surtout discuté de tout le reste, mais il est vrai que l’Egypte est un partenaire important pour l’Union européenne et ses Etats membres dans la gestion des flux migratoires, de façon ordonnée, légale et respectueuse des droits de l’homme – pas seulement depuis quelques mois mais depuis toujours.


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