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Foreign Affairs Council, 12 July 2021

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op maandag 12 juli 2021, 22:00.

Main results

The Council adopted a decision setting up an EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique), with the aim of training and supporting the Mozambican armed forces in protecting the civilian population and restoring safety and security in the Cabo Delgado province.

Today we formally established, in record time, the new European Training Mission for Mozambique. […] This new mission will be a fundamental part of the EU’s response to the Government of Mozambique’s request to address the crisis in Cabo Delgado and contribute to re-establish and reinforce security.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Geopolitics of new digital technologies

The Foreign Affairs Council had a first discussion on the external and geopolitical impact of new digital technologies. These technologies are crucial for EU societies and economy, but are increasingly becoming a driver of geopolitical competition and global influence, that is used by foreign actors to manipulate the information environment, influence the public debate, and interfere in democratic processes.

Ministers stressed the need to use the EU's capacity as regulatory power to influence global norms and standards in this field, and ensure that the system remains open, human centred and based on Rule of Law. In doing this, ministers expressed their wish to work together with like-minded partners, ranging from the US to the Indo-Pacific area, from Africa to Latin America.

Strategic Compass

Foreign Affairs Ministers exchanged views for the first time on the Strategic Compass - the EU initiative intended to better prepare the EU for future crises, reinforce the EU's resilience against threats, including in the cyber space, reinforce EU's partnerships to meet common challenges, and develop a common strategic culture.

A first draft of the Strategic Compass is due to be presented to member states in November 2021, with a view to finalisation in March 2022.

Foreign Affairs Ministers discuss Lebanon, EUTM in Mozambique, and Ethiopia

Ethiopia

The Council had an opportunity to have a discussion on the situation in Ethiopia and Tigray where, in spite of the ceasefire, there is a serious humanitarian crisis, populations face the risk of famine, and violence and rape as a weapon of war are widely used against civilians.

Ministers were informed about the initiative to create a humanitarian air bridge to bring support to the population of the Tigray region, and discussed the political priorities on which the EU should focus, mainly: ensuring humanitarian access and respect for International Humanitarian Law, consolidating the cease-fire and work towards a full cessation of hostilities by all parties, ensuring the withdrawal of foreign forces from the Ethiopian territory, stopping immediately human rights violations, and launching a reconciliation and national dialogue in order to preserve the integrity and political unity of Ethiopia.

Current Affairs

The High Representative informed the Council about the stalemate in Lebanon, and announced a political understanding that a sanctions regime against those who are responsible for the situation would be established.

After my visit to Lebanon, the political stalemate persists; the economy is imploding and the suffering of the people of Lebanon is continuously growing. […] Ministers reached a political understanding that a sanctions regime against those who are responsible for the situation should be established.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Ministers also addressed the situation in Afghanistan, in light of the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, and the increase in ethnically-motivated targeted attacks. In this context the High Representative emphasise the need to urge the Taliban to engage in substantive and inclusive peace negotiations, and to reach out to countries of the region and the broader international community to play a constructive role in support of the Afghan peace process.

Working lunch

Over the lunch Foreign Affairs ministers had an informal discussion with the new Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, focusing on bilateral relations, but also on the situation in the region.

In relation to the Middle East Peace Process, ministers once more stressed that the EU stands firmly for Israel’s security and condemns terrorism. At the same time, the EU expects Israel to offer a political perspective to end the conflict, and remains ready and willing to support Israel and the Palestinians in their efforts to rebuild a meaningful political process.

Council conclusions

The Council approved conclusions on a Globally Connected Europe and on the EU's priorities at the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°3807
  • Brussels
  • 12 July 2021
  • 09:30

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents


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