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General Affairs Council, 22 June 2021

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 22 juni 2021, 23:30.

General Affairs Council Highlights

Main results

Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process

The Presidency provided information on progress attained this semester, the Council had an exchange of views on all files related to the Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association process.

In particular, the Council discussed the recent political agreement with the European Parliament on the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III). IPA III is set to have a total budget of over €14 billion for the period 2021-2027. The political agreement still requires the final approval of the Council.

On 6 May, the Council agreed on the application of the revised enlargement methodology to the accession negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro. This paved the way for the holding of the first "political" Intergovernmental Conferences, which will take place in the margins of the Council meeting.

The Council had an exchange of views on the accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania.

The Presidency worked hard to hold the first Intergovernmental Conferences with Montenegro and Serbia under the new methodology for enlargement. I trust that the incoming Slovenian Presidency, will, building on our efforts, be successful in formally opening the negotiations with the Republic of Albania and with the Republic of North Macedonia.

Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs

Conference on the Future of Europe

The Presidency informed ministers of the outcome of the Lisbon European citizens' event on 17 June and of the Conference's first plenary on 19 June.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is aimed at involving citizens in a wide-ranging debate on Europe’s future over the coming decade and beyond, including in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 10 March the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission signed a joint declaration that sets out the objectives, structure, scope and timing of the Conference.

The Conference on the Future of Europe was formally inaugurated on 9 May in Strasbourg, following the launch of the Conference's digital platform on 19 April. A number of ideas and events have already been posted on the platform.

The first European Citizens' Dialogue in Lisbon on 17 June and the first plenary meeting in Strasbourg on 19 June were occasions also to reiterate our commitment to the Conference as well as to stress our position as Council and underline that the Conference should have the citizens and their concerns at the centre and focus on issues that truly matter to them.

Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs

European Council on 24-25 June 2021

Ministers worked on the preparations of the European Council on 24-25 June in Brussels.

EU leaders will meet in Brussels to discuss COVID-19, economic recovery, migration and external relations, including relations with Turkey and Russia.

The European Council will take stock of the epidemiological and vaccinations situation and pursue coordination efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the February 2021 statement of the members of the European Council, the Commission is expected to report on the lessons learned from the pandemic so far.

EU leaders will review the state of play of the implementation of Next Generation EU.

They are expected to discuss the recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area.

The European Council will address the external dimension of migration.

In line with the statement of the members of the European Council of 25 March 2021, leaders will resume discussions on relations with Turkey.

In line with its conclusions of 24-25 May 2021, the European Council will resume discussions on relations with Russia, on the basis of a joint communication, published on 16 June 2021, by the High Representative and the Commission.

Rule of law in Poland

The Council held a hearing on the rule of law in Poland (Article 7 (1) TEU procedure). The substantive scope of the hearing was the reasoned proposal of the European Commission that triggered it.

Values of the Union in Hungary

The Council held a hearing on the rule of law in Hungary (Article 7 (1) TEU procedure). The substantive scope of the hearing was the reasoned proposal of the European Parliament that triggered it.

Any Other Business

Under any other business, the Council was informed about EU-Switzerland relations, the Strategic autonomy and the10 year-anniversary of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°3805
  • Luxembourg
  • 22 June 2021

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents


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Relevante EU dossiers

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