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Friday, 14 July 2017

EU Council: Joint statement by Presidents Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker on the passing away of Liu Xiaobo

Joint statement by Presidents Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker on the passing away of Liu Xiaobo

It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and one of the most prominent human rights defenders in China. We send our most sincere condolences and respect to his wife, Ms Liu Xia, his family and friends.

Liu Xiaobo was one of the authors of Charter 08, calling for peaceful democratic reform and rule of law in China. His personal intervention during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.

We consistently expressed our opposition to his conviction and asked for his release. Most recently, we urged the Chinese authorities to respect his wish to receive medical care in Germany. Unfortunately these calls were not heeded.

At this time, we appeal to the Chinese authorities to allow his wife, Ms Liu Xia and his family to bury Liu Xiaobo at a place and in a manner of their choosing, and to allow them to grieve in peace. We call on the authorities to remove all restrictions on the movement and communications of his family members and allow Ms Liu Xia and her brother Mr Liu Hui to leave China, if they wish to do so.

We reiterate the European Union's call for all prisoners of conscience in China to be released.

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Remarks by President Donald Tusk after his meeting with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić

Good afternoon. I am pleased to welcome President Vučić to Brussels today. And I was happy to congratulate him personally on his election.

Let me start by recalling that the European Union's support to the European perspective of the Western Balkans is unequivocal. This was unanimously confirmed by leaders at the European Council in March. As to the pace of the accession process, it will depend on your advances in the reform agenda.

One example of how the European Union and Serbia have cooperated to tackle a common challenge is irregular migration. Let me thank you for your support then and today. I hope that the European Union can continue to count on Serbia, just as Serbia can continue counting on the EU to provide the necessary support.

Let me also commend you for your personal commitment to the stability and security of the region, a region which remains the European Union's strategic priority. Within your first 50 days in office, you have met almost all your neighbours and regional partners. I encourage you to keep up this work. Your role is absolutely unique.

After a rather turbulent start to the year, today Serbia engages in dialogue - talking to, not at, each other - and I welcome your continued commitment to the Pristina-Belgrade Dialogue and your readiness to pursue, domestically and with Kosovo counterparts, a further reflection on future relations.

For me, the end-game of the Dialogue and Serbia's reform efforts is full membership of Serbia in the EU. This is what we promised in Thessaloniki and what we are ready to deliver. You have reiterated lately that Serbia has made its geostrategic choice, and that there is no turning back. We expect your choice will guide your actions.

Finally, I encouraged President Vučić to pursue reforms to strengthen the rule of law with the same vigour and consistency as progress on the economy. A strong and robust rule of law is the ultimate signal that you are ready to enter the EU. Thank you. 

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Weekly schedule of President Donald Tusk

Monday 17 July 2017
10.00 Presentation of letters of credentials of ambassadors
14.00 Meeting with Dragan Čović, member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Indicative programme - Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of 17 and 18 July 2017

Justus Lipsius building, Brussels

Tarmo Tamm, Minister of Rural Affairs and Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment

All times are approximate and subject to change

Monday 17 July

+/- 08.45
Doorstep by Minister Tamm

+/- 09.25
Doorstep by Minister Kiisler

+/- 10.00
Beginning of the meeting (Roundtable) 

Adoption of the agenda 
Adoption non-legislative of A items
Adoption of legislative A items (live streaming)

+/- 10.15    
Presidency work programme (live streaming)

+/- 10.35
Fishing opportunities for 2018

+/- 11.50
Any other business: 
- antimicrobial resistance (live streaming)
- African swine fever (live streaming)
- symposium on the future of food (live streaming)
- food origin labelling (live streaming)
- dual quality of foodstuffs

+/- 15.05
Organic farming (live streaming)

+/- 16.35
Future of the common agricultural policy
Implementation of May 2015 Council conclusions on simplifications
Any other business:
- meeting of the extended Visegrad group
- reflection paper on the future of the EU finances 
- conference on GMO-free agriculture

+/- 19.25
Press conference
(live streaming)

Tuesday 18 July

+/- time to be confirmed  
Doorstep by Minister Tamm

+/- 10.00
Beginning of the meeting (Roundtable)

Trade-related agricultural issues
Any other business: 
- trade practices of third countries vis-à-vis EU member states

+/- 11.50
Wine grape varieties and their synonyms on labels

+/- 12.20
Any other business:
- AU-EU conference on "Making sustainable agriculture a future for youth in Africa"
- drought in Portugal and Spain and Belgium
- farmland trade in the EU

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Indicative programme - Foreign Affairs Council of 17 July 2017

Place:        Europa building, Brussels
Chair(s):    Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 

All times are approximate and subject to change

from 08.30
Arrivals (live streaming

+/- 09.45 (time to be confirmed)
Doorstep by High Representative Federica Mogherini 

+/- 10.00    
Beginning of meeting
Adoption of the agenda
Approval of A items 

Implementation of the EU Global Strategy
North Korea
Any other business                  

+-/ 13.30    
Welcome by the High Representative Federica Mogherini of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Director-General of the International Organisation for Migration William Lacy Swing (doorstep)

Working lunch on migration 

+/- 15.30
Press conference
(live streaming)

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