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Thursday, 18 May 2017

EU Council: Indicative programme - Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting of 18 May 2017

Indicative programme - Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting of 18 May 2017

Place:     Europa building, Brussels
Chair:     Carmelo Abela, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security

All times are approximate and subject to change

+/- 08.00
Doorstep by Minister Abela
VIP entrance, Europa building 

+/- 13.00
Arrivals (live streaming)
VIP entrance, Europa building

+/- 13.30
Working lunch together with EU defence ministers on counter-terrorism

+/- 15.30
Beginning of the meeting
Adoption of the agenda
Approval of non-legislative A items

Reform of the common European asylum system and resettlement
EU priorities for the fight against crime

+/- 18.00 Roundtable 

+/- 19.15
Press conference (live streaming)
Main press room, Justus Lipsius building

+/- 20.00
Working dinner discussion together with EU development ministers on external aspects of migration

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Indicative programme - Foreign Affairs (Defence) Council of 18 May 2017

Place:        Europa building, Brussels 

Chair:    Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 

All times are approximate and subject to change

+/- 07.45    
Arrivals (live streaming

+/- 08.15    
Doorstep by High Representative Federica Mogherini 

+/- 08.30    
EDA Steering board (

+/- 10.00    
Beginning of the meeting
Adoption of the agenda
EU Global Strategy implementation in the area of security and defence
EU-NATO cooperation, in presence of the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (doorstep +/- 11.45) 

+/- 13.30    
Working lunch together with EU interior ministers on counter-terrorism 

+/- 15.30    Press conference  in Justus Lipsius (live streaming

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Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the alignment of certain third countries with Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/496 of 21 March 2017 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities in view of the situation in Egypt

On 21 March 2017, the Council adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/496[1]. The Council Decision extends the existing restrictive measures until 22 March 2018. The measures in question are an assets freeze and a prohibition from making funds available regarding 15 individuals considered as responsible for the misappropriation of Egyptian State funds before 2011. 

The Candidate Countries Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this Council Decision. 

They will ensure that their national policies conform to this Council Decision. 

The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it. 

 [1] Published on 22.03.2017 in the Official Journal of the European Union no. L76, p. 22. 
*Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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Remarks by President Donald Tusk before his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron

Good evening. I have come to you today, to the President of the proud Republic of France, with a simple message: Europe needs your energy, your imagination, your courage. And when I say Europe, I am not thinking about the institutions or bureaucracy, but about millions of Europeans, who see your victory as a sign of hope. Hope for a Europe that protects, for a Europe that wins, for a Europe that looks to the future. I am talking about the French and Belgians, Poles and Germans, the Irish and the Greeks. Because from all the European states I hear voices of those who are regaining their faith in the European Union.

A strong EU, capable of being sovereign in relation to the external world, capable of protecting its values, culture and economic interests, capable of protecting its external border, is the best, and perhaps the only guarantee of national and state sovereignty and independence. We both believe that for rational and responsible patriots, there is no alternative to a united and sovereign Europe.

Words such as security, protection, dignity and pride must return to our political dictionary. There is no reason why, in public debate, extremists and populists should have a monopoly on these terms. Today they are cynically taking advantage of social fears and uncertainty, building their own model of security on prejudice, authoritarianism and organised hatred. Our response must be clear and decisive. And you are the best proof that this is possible, Mister President. Thank you.

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"EU remains committed to strengthen security and defence": Council adopts Conclusions

On 18 May the Council adopted conclusions on security and defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy. The conclusions take note of progress in strengthening cooperation in the area of security and defence, and provide guidance for further work. The areas covered include:

 - Improving CSDP crisis management structures, in particular the ongoing work leading to the establishment of a military planning and conduct capability (MPCC) within the EU military staff (part of the EEAS) which will assume command of non-executive military CSDP missions (currently: EUTM Somalia, EUTM RCA, EUTM Mali), as agreed on 6 March 2017;

 - Strengthening CSDP cooperation with partner countries , with the aim to adopt a more strategic approach to Common and Security Defence Policy partnerships, in view of enhancing cooperation, with a focus on partner countries that share EU values, including the respect for international law, and are able and willing to contribute to CSDP missions and operations;

 - Capacity building for security and development (CBSD), in order to fully cover all the requirements needed to support partner countries in preventing and managing crises on their own;

 - Developing civilian capabilities and enhancing the responsiveness of civilian crisis management, including the possible creation of a core responsiveness capacity;

 - Reinforcing military rapid response, including EU battlegroups , with a view to developing further their modularity in a pragmatic way and to adapt as necessary the financing arrangements;

 - Deepening European defence cooperation, taking stock and providing guidance on the way forward on

  •  an inclusive permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), which would allow those member states who are willing and able to collaborate further in the area of security and defence and which would, in turn, help generate new collaborative efforts, cooperation and projects.
  • the possibility of a voluntary coordinated annual review on defence (CARD ), which would be a process aimed at offering a better overview at EU level of defence spending, national investment and defence research efforts. This would support member states in delivering capabilities to tackle existing and future strategic trends and challenges, and actively promote enhance defence cooperation among member states.
  • the European Defence Action Plan of the European Commission, which foresees new financial tools for capability development and defence cooperation in support of the European defence industry and technological innovation. 


On 14 November 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence. These conclusions set out the level of ambition in the form of the main goals the EU and its member states will aim to achieve in the area of security and defence. The Council set out three strategic priorities: responding to external conflicts and crises, building the capacities of partners, and protecting the European Union and its citizens. Progress was noted and further guidance provided through the Council's conclusions on 6 March 2017. 

The implementation plan on security and defence was presented by the High Representative, acting also in her roles as Vice-President of the European Commission and Head of the European Defence Agency, to member states. It is part of the follow-up to the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy, which was presented by the High Representative to the European Council on 28 June. The Council adopted conclusions on the global strategy on 17 October 2016. 

The implementation of the EU global strategy also includes further work on building resilience and an integrated approach to conflicts and crises, strengthening the nexus between internal and external policies, updating existing or preparing new regional and thematic strategies and stepping up public diplomacy efforts. 

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