European Union External Action


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The Council today decided to appoint as EU Force Commander for the EU military naval operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI) Rear Admiral Ettore Socci from Italy, from 6 May 2020 until 18 October 2020. He will be followed by Commodore Theodoros Mikropoulos from Greece from 19 October 2020 until 31 March 2021.

United Nations Security Council: Opening remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations on the maintenance of international peace and security

The Council today extended EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime for one additional year, until 1 June 2021. In line with the EU strategy on Syria, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters, as the repression of the civilian population continues.

On Thursday, 28 May, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell held a phone call with the Commissioner of the African Union Peace and Security Commission Smail Chergui.

The High Representative and Commissioner Chergui exchanged views on the latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Resolving the Nile dispute is a matter of stability for the whole region.

On 28 May, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, had a videoconference with the Indian Minister of External Relations, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The main topics of their conversation were the response to the coronavirus pandemic and preparations for the 15th EU-India Summit, which had been postponed in March due to the outbreak of the virus.

On 28 May, EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will address the UN Security Council on the EU’s role in the preservation of international peace and security at the invitation of Estonia, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month. The High Representative/Vice-President’s address will start at 16:00, Brussels time (10:00, New York time). You can follow the speech live here. A transcript of the speech will be available after.

The European Union and the United Nations are natural partners.
We are the world’s leading proponents and defenders of a multilateral and rules-based global governance system. Together, we respond to global crises, threats and challenges which cannot be addressed by individual nations acting alone, and require cooperation and coordination based on universal values and rules.

The Council adopted two decisions to conclude a visa facilitation agreement and a readmission agreement with Belarus. The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and cheaper for Belarus citizens travelling to the Schengen area and EU citizens travelling to Belarus to obtain a visa.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell held a phone call with the new Foreign Minister of the State of Israel Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday, 26 May.

High Representative Borrell congratulated Minister Ashkenazi on his appointment and recalled that the EU looks forward to continue working with the new Israeli government in a constructive and comprehensive way, in the spirit of the longstanding friendship that binds the EU and Israel together.