The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - October 15, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Germany – Jean-Yves Le Drian will receive his German counterpart, Heiko Maas (Paris - October 16, 2018)

◢  EU – Nathalie Loiseau to attend the General Affairs Council (Luxembourg - October 16, 2018)

Germany – Jean-Yves Le Drian will receive his German counterpart, Heiko Maas (Paris - October 16, 2018)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will receive his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, tomorrow.

This meeting notably follows on from the working seminar which brought the two ministers together in Berlin on May 7, a few weeks after Mr. Maas's first visit to Paris on March 14, after he took office.

The French-German partnership is at the forefront of the refounding of a more sovereign, more united and more democratic Europe and these meetings provide an opportunity to further strengthen the ongoing dialogue between France and Germany on the future of the EU and on major international issues.

The two ministers will also visit Poitiers, where they will jointly facilitate a citizens' consultation on Europe at the university focusing on "What kind of unity for the Europe of tomorrow?"

During their discussions, Jean-Yves Le Drian and his counterpart will notably address European priorities ahead of the European Council at the end of the week. They will notably discuss our shared conviction that a responsible and unified European response is needed in order to address migration issues, requiring the implementation of the conclusions from the most recent European Council.

With respect to Iran, the minister will reaffirm our approach to Tehran that combines pressure with negotiation. He will signal France’s attachment to ensuring that Iran complies with all of its obligations under the JCPOA and our desire for discussions on the nuclear program beyond 2025-2030, as well as on the restriction of Iran's missile-related activities and on its regional role. Mr. Le Drian will discuss with his German counterpart the situation of European operators in the face of America's extraterritorial sanctions.

As guarantors of the Minsk agreement, our countries will reaffirm the need for all parties to implement the commitments undertaken.

The ministers will take stock of our efforts to promote the lasting stabilization of the Balkans and this region's European anchorage.

Following their discussions at the 73rd UN General Assembly, the ministers will continue their joint efforts to defend multilateralism in the run-up to the French presidency of the G7 in 2019 and the start of Germany's term on the UN Security Council. Jean-Yves Le Drian will reaffirm our attachment to strong and effective multilateralism and will discuss President Macron's desire to renew the formats and ambitions of the G7, as well as our support for the EU's proposals to modernize the WTO.

The ministers will also take stock of the negotiations on the treaty to complement the Élysée Treaty, announced by President Macron and the German Chancellor in Paris on January 22 on the occasion of Franco-German Day. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas will watch the UEFA Nations League France vs Germany soccer game together at the Stade de France in the evening. France and Germany both share a passion for soccer; their men's teams won the last two World Cups.

EU – Nathalie Loiseau to attend the General Affairs Council (Luxembourg - October 16, 2018)

European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau will attend tomorrow's General Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

  • The ministers will make preparations for the next European Council meeting on October 18. Ms. Loiseau will state our expectations on the issues of migration, internal security and external relations. She will also ask for the next European Council to send an ambitious message on the fight against climate change ahead of the COP 24 in Katowice and in the wake of the IPCC report.
  • The ministers will discuss the status of the rule of law in Poland and the respect for European values in Hungary. The Commission and the Council presidency will inform them of the steps to be taken in the procedures instituted under Article 7, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union.

With respect to Poland, the minister and her German counterpart will jointly reaffirm our support for the Commission's efforts and our wish to hold a third session of Poland's hearing at the next General Affairs Council, following the two sessions on June 26 and September 18. As for Hungary, the minister will express France's wish that the Council take up – as part of an effective and impartial process – the request it received from the European Parliament in its resolution of September 12 to rule on the existence of a serious violation of European values on the part of Hungary.

  • The ministers will review the work underway on the post-2020 multiannual financial framework. Ms. Loiseau will reiterate our priorities on the major negotiating challenges (the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU's own resources excluding national contributions, the abolition of rebates).
  • In the so-called Article 50 format, the ministers will examine the status of negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal as elucidated in chief negotiator Michel Barnier's report. In this regard, they will prepare for the upcoming discussion of heads of state and government on October 17 which should determine the possibility of concluding a withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom and prospects for their future relationship.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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