Laurence Bonn, State Secretary to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs responsible for Europe, takes part in the General Affairs Council in Brussels on Friday 18 November.
Discussions will focus on preparing for the European Council on 15-16 December. France will reaffirm the need for the EU to continue to support Ukraine. As part of the discussions on EU responses in the economic and energy areas, the Secretary of State will mention the need to adopt measures to reduce electricity prices, including through electricity market reform. It will also support projects to strengthen European security and defense. With regard to the southern neighborhood of the European Union, it will make its counterparts aware of the importance of defining common priorities in order to concretely strengthen our relations with this region.
After the formation of a new British government, an assessment will be made of the relationship between the EU and the UK. The Secretary of State will support the approach outlined by the Commission, based on an open dialogue but on the basis of a firm, proportionate and incremental response to any unilateral call into question the agreements signed by the parties.
After presenting the Legislative Program of the Commission, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will stress the priorities considered by France until the next European elections in 2024. In this regard, he will refer in particular to the strengthening of the Union’s strategic autonomy and ecological autonomy. The ambition of the package is “Fit for 55”.
Ministers participating in the General Affairs Council will also be working on the citizens’ feedback event on the follow-up provided by the Union to the Conference on the Future of Europe scheduled for 2 December.
Finally, the Council will hold a new hearing in Hungary under Article 7 on the rule of law, to assess developments relating, in particular, to the independence of the judiciary, freedom of the media and academic freedom. In this context, France and Germany will issue a joint statement.