European Union External Action

Remarks by High Representative Federica MOGHERINI following the Foreign Affairs Council

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Thank you.
We had quite an intense Council meeting where we held an exchange with Martin Kobler on Libya after the conference in Rome yesterday, and registered unanimous support from all the EU Foreign Ministers to first of all the results of the Rome Conference with a clear engagement to keep the process before the signature, after the signature of the agreement open, to enlarge and to broaden the support for the agreement, and to keep a focus on the need to have a Libyan-led and a Libyan-owned process. 
The second thing on which the Ministers agreed unanimously was to make sure that the EU takes full part in the responsibility of the international community to support this Libyan-owned process. We decided to task services to prepare in the next days the initial measures of the broader package we had already prepared in the last months - you might remember the 100 million package we have put forward in September - so that the first measures can be operationalised from the day one of the agreement taking place, especially on the field of humanitarian support, on some of the economic measures that the country might need. Obviously in discussions with the Libyan authorities and municipalities and local services that have always been one of the fields where the European Union has worked the most. So: unity, action and fast.
We had the Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu joining us after the Summit between the EU and Turkey on 29 November. It was mainly focused on the Action Plan on the common management of the refugee crisis and migration flows, and took place ahead the high level political dialogue that I will have together with Commissioner Hahn in Ankara in the beginning of next year, most probably in late January or beginning of February.

We focused our meeting with the Minister on the foreign policy issues we face together with Turkey as we share a common region and common threats in the region. First of all the threat of Da’esh and terrorism in our societies and in the region. We discussed the common approach to counter-terrorism and common work on foreign fighters, especially on the difficult border between Turkey and Syria - both ways: foreign fighters entering into Syria and foreign fighters getting out of Syria back to Europe. We discussed the issue, obviously, of the political process we started in Vienna to bring an end to the war in Syria. We exchanged views on the fight against Da’esh, on the situation in Iraq, and of course also on Libya as Turkey was also part of the efforts of the international community to bring an agreement there. 
We had then with the Ministers a discussion on counter-terrorism: more than a discussion, we had a report – I reported to them on the measures that we implemented already since February, because you might remember in February just after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris we adopted some decisions that were in these months implemented on the external side of our counter-terrorism activities that complement measures that we take as the European Union on the internal side. 

You might have seen both ECOFIN and the Justice and Home Affairs Council have taken some decisions in the last weeks. To complement them on the external side, we looked at several issues. I will report back to the European Council. If you want to ask more about that, I will go more in detail on these priorities, but again it is mainly an issue of continuing implementation with more focus on some of the priorities we identified. 
Then we had a point on - actually we started with it this morning - Eastern Partnership, all the six different countries we have among our partners. We discussed the need to have a tailor-made, differentiated approach for each and every one of them, as the realities are very different. Again, here if you are interested in one specific country rather than the other, ask - I will go more in detail. But with an overall political message that is also translating into our concrete daily work: as we focus very much on the South we keep our political attention and engagement very high to the Eastern neighbourhood and Eastern partners at the same time and we are united in this.

Let me add two short points that were not part of the discussion or of the agenda but were still debated among us. One is related to the Middle East Peace Process, especially after the adoption of the technical guidelines on indication of origin. We had an exchange of views in this respect with the ministers and we commonly decided that it was important also for me to pass this message publicly that the Council and the European Union stay united on these technical guidelines on indication of origin which is in no way a boycott and should in no way be interpreted as one. The second thing on which the Council was completely united is our continued engagement in the Middle East Peace Process and in broader bilateral relations with Israel. There is full unity and solidarity among Member States and among European institutions on that.

Last but not least, the Council adopted a Decision as an A point… pour cela je vais passer au Français.

Sur la décision du Tribunal de l’Union européenne jeudi dernier relatif à l’accord agricole entre l’Union européenne et le Maroc, nous avons étudié les différentes options. Le Conseil a décidé aujourd’hui de faire appel de la décision du Tribunal et de demander l’introduction des mesures provisoires sous la forme de suspension de l'exécution de l’arrêt afin d'assurer la sécurité juridique complète concernant les effets de l’accord agricole avec le Maroc. Nos engagements internationaux seront respectés.

J’ai rencontré hier le ministre des affaires étrangères, Monsieur Mezouar, à Rome, en  marge de la réunion sur la Libye dossier,  nous allons nous rencontrer maintenant dans notre Conseil d’Association et je vais retourner avec lui pour des déclarations à la presse quand nous terminerons le Conseil d’Association vers 19 heures plus au moins. Merci.
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