Security, Defence & Crisis Response

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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.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell called the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, Fayez al-Serraj, on 18 May to discuss the latest developments in the country.

High Representative Borrell conveyed his concerns over the escalation of fighting in and around Tripoli and the increasing shelling on densely populated residential areas, that have resulted in casualties and a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

The coronavirus pandemic will very likely deteriorate our security environment in the years to come, increasing the need for a stronger European Union security and defence policy, and for a stronger Union in the world.

The EU is reflecting on key lessons and implications that the COVID-19 pandemic presents for its security and defence. The aim is to be ready to confront possible security consequences of the current pandemic and to become better prepared and resilient for the future.

The world’s attention is legitimately focused on the global response to the coronavirus crisis. Despite its historic scale and intensity, COVID 19 does not rid us of the many other regional and global challenges we face. Quite the contrary: since it weakens the stability and development efforts of some countries, COVID-19 is an aggravating factor. We must therefore not only maintain our engagement with our partners but strengthen it.

Even in these difficult times with the Coronavirus outbreak, the EU is taking
important decisions to bolster its engagement in the world. With our CSDP crisis
management operation in the Mediterranean Sea EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, we aim to
contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya and to promoting
peace in our neighbourhood. This is a tangible way in which the EU is helping to end
the long-running conflict in Libya, right on the EU’s doorstep.

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell participated in the EU-G5 Sahel videoconference. The videoconference provided an opportunity to reaffirm the EU's support to the region, including in facing the coronavirus pandemic and its impact. On this occasion, the European Commission announced an additional €194 million to support the security, stability and resilience in the Sahel.

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The members of the European Council and the Member States of the G5 Sahel, through the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission on the one hand, and the Presidents of the G5 Sahel countries on the other hand, have decided to adopt this declaration in order to reaffirm their joint commitment to the security, stability and development of the Sahel.

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