A meeting with Foreign Ministers of the 28 European Union Member States and the EU’s six Eastern partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, chaired by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, took place today in Luxembourg to take stock of the progress made under the 20 Deliverables for 2020 to bring concrete benefits for citizens.
At today's Foreign Affairs Council, Ministers discussed – amongst other issues – the external aspects of migration. EU cooperation with partners was one of the key topics: joint work by the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations in Libya which has helped more than 37,000 persons to return safely to their countries of origin shows that the partnership approach continues to deliver.
On 15 October 2018, the Council discussed and adopted conclusions on the Central African Republic.
In its conclusions, the Council underlines that the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is still very fragile and that the EU remains engaged in support of the country. The EU emphasises the need to continue working, through its various instruments, to help the CAR get back on the road to stability, peace and development and to meet the aspirations of its entire population for lasting peace and reconciliation.
Fighting and preventing human smuggling and trafficking is one of the priorities of the European Union and crucial to address irregular migration in a comprehensive way. Criminal networks take advantage of people’s despair and use land, sea and air routes to facilitate irregular migration, putting people’s lives at risk and seek in every way to maximize their profits. While trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are two different crimes subject to different legal frameworks they are closely interlinked. Over the past years the EU has put in place concrete actions and reinforced cooperation at EU level, with third countries, joint work with partners as well as international organisations.
On 15 October 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU strategy", following the joint communication of the Commission and the High Representative of 19 September. The strategy will feed into the upcoming Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) summit on 18-19 October.
On 15 October 2018, the Council extended the mandate of the EU Advisory Mission EUAM Iraq until 17 April 2020 and agreed on a budget of € 64.8 million for the period from 18 October 2018 to 17 April 2020.