Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris, January 20, 2015)

 

• Attractiveness – Launch of “Expertise France” (Paris, January 20, 2015)
• Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius, and Mr. Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Saint Egidio (Paris, January 20, 2015)
• Trade negotiations - Matthias Fekl’s visit to Berlin (January 21, 2015)
• Democratic Republic of Congo – Draft electoral law (January 20, 2015)
• Madagascar – Tropical Storm Chedza (January 16 to 17, 2015)
 

Attractiveness – Launch of “Expertise France” (Paris, January 20, 2015)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr. Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, and Ms. Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, this morning participated in the launch of “Expertise France.”

“Expertise France” is the French agency for international technical expertise. It was created through the merger, on January 1, 2015, of the 6 main French technical assistance agencies with the aim of clarifying and boosting French capability. Its mission is to contribute to France’s cooperation, development assistance and economic influence policy. In 2014, it facilitated operations worth €120 million, with more than 450 projects in 80 countries.

 

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius, and Mr. Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Saint Egidio (Paris, January 20, 2015)

Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will today receive Professor Andrea Riccardi, former Italian Minister for International Cooperation and founder of the Community of Saint Egidio. This Catholic organization is very active in many countries in the areas of inter-faith dialogue, humanitarian action and peace mediation.

Mr. Andrea Riccardi, who called for efforts to save Aleppo, will present plans for an international conference on Syria and Middle Eastern Christians, which the Community of Saint Egidio would like to hold in April in Cyprus.

 

Trade negotiations - Matthias Fekl’s visit to Berlin (January 21, 2015)

On January 14, the European Commission published its report on the results of the consultations on mechanisms for resolving disputes between investors and states.

France takes note of the publication of this report. It commends the organization and conduct of these democratic consultations. It reaffirms its attachment to transparency in trade negotiations.

Since the results of this consultation process have now been made public, we should now enter a new stage of reflection and action. In accordance with its consistent positions on this issue, France will not accept any arbitration mechanism that could be used to call into question the political choices that have been democratically adopted or jeopardize our public finances.

In this context, Matthias Fekl, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will visit Berlin on January 21 in order to meet Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The goal of these meetings will be to exchange views on a coordinated strategy concerning the main trade policy issues, notably with respect to the mechanisms for resolving disputes between investors and states, and to strengthen coordination on the basis of a common work program. This approach is to be shared and discussed at the European level.

Following the investiture of the new European Commission, France wishes more than ever to continue and build on the work focusing on the main European and international trade policy issues.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo – Draft electoral law (January 20, 2015)

France is concerned by the recurring unrest linked to the debates on the draft electoral law in the Congolese Parliament, and notably by the violence that took place on January 19.

We extend our condolences to the families of the victims of these events.

These kinds of outbursts have no place in democratic debates. The legal framework and the overall timeline for the electoral process which should get under way this year must be drafted in a consensual manner, in accordance with the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo and while respecting public freedoms.

 

Madagascar – Tropical Storm Chedza (January 16 to 17, 2015)

France was extremely shocked to learn of the heavy toll exacted by Tropical Storm Chedza, which left 14 people dead and affected 100,000 people in Madagascar.

We extend our condolences to the victims’ families and assure the Madagascan authorities and people of our solidarity.