The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - November 9, 2018
In this issue:

◢  EU – Nathalie Loiseau to attend General Affairs Council (Brussels - November 12, 2018)

◢  Palestinian Territories – Settlement activity

◢  Australia –Terrorist attack in Melbourne (November 9, 2018)

EU – Nathalie Loiseau to attend General Affairs Council (Brussels - November 12, 2018)

European Affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau will attend a meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels on November 12.

- In the so-called Article 50 format, with 27 member states in attendance, the ministers will examine the status of negotiations on the United Kingdom's withdrawal and will hear a report from chief negotiator Michel Barnier. The minister will underscore the need for an operational protocol relating to Ireland and will emphasize the importance of the principles established by the European Council of March 23 with respect to the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.

- In a session attended by the 28 member states, the ministers will focus on the following points:

a) Rule of law:

. The ministers will discuss the situations in Poland and Hungary, both of which are concerned by the procedure set forth in Article 7, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union.

With respect to Poland, the minister together with her German counterpart - will reaffirm our support for the European Commission and will call on the Polish authorities to implement the provisional measures ordered by the European Court of Justice to restore the situation that existed prior to the controversial Supreme Court reform. Ms. Loiseau will also note that the Council must continue to deal with this matter and that Poland should have another hearing at the next General Affairs Council meeting.

As for Hungary, the minister will ask the Council to take up the European Parliament's request for an examination of the situation in that country, which is eliciting the concern of several institutions (the European Commission, the Council of Europe's Venice Commission, the OSCE).

. The ministers will hold their annual debate on the rule of law which, this year, will deal with the topic of trust in public institutions and the rule of law. Ms. Loiseau will present concrete examples of actions taken in France, such as the law to promote political trust, passed in September 2017; bills under examination to combat the manipulation of information; and the experience of citizen consultations.

b) Preparations for the European Council of December 13 and 14:

The minister will reiterate our expectations on defense-related challenges, on the results of citizen consultations, and on discussions of the euro area's budgetary instruments, in a 19-state format.

c) European budget: the minister will recall our priorities on major negotiating challenges, especially new priorities and the common agricultural policy.

Palestinian Territories – Settlement activity

On November 7, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee approved plans to build 792 housing units in the settlements of Ramat Shlomo and Ramot in northern Jerusalem.

France condemns this latest decision aimed at allowing the construction of hundreds of new homes in the settlements of East Jerusalem.

These decisions, as well as the demolition and evacuations affecting the Palestinian populations in Area C, and in particular the E1 area, are part of the same strategy that directly threatens the viability of a future Palestinian state.

We therefore call on the Israeli authorities to reconsider these decisions and to abandon this settlement strategy in order to preserve the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital, to which France reaffirms its attachment.

Australia –Terrorist attack in Melbourne (November 9, 2018)

France utterly condemns the terrorist attack that took place in Melbourne yesterday, for which Daesh has claimed responsibility.

We extend our condolences to the victims' families, as well as to the Australian government and people.

France stands alongside Australia, which is one of our closest partners in the fight against terrorism.

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