The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - January 30, 2020
In this issue:

◢  EU – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management (Paris - January 30, 2020)

◢  Decentralized cooperation – Jean-Yves Le Drian attending the National Commission for Decentralized Cooperation (January 30, 2020)

◢  Culture – Jean-Yves Le Drian launches the fifth edition of the Nuit des Idées (January 30, 2020)

◢  Western Balkans – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the meeting on the French-German initiative on the fight against the illicit trafficking in firearms in the Western Balkans (Berlin - January 31, 2020)

◢  Denmark – Visit by Amélie de Montchalin to Copenhagen (January 30-31, 2020)

◢  Coronavirus

 
EU – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management (Paris - January 30, 2020)

This morning Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, received Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management.

The minister and the commissioner conducted an in-depth review of such major international crises as the situations in Syria and the Sahel, underscoring the need to continue supplying aid to the most vulnerable populations and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law. They emphasized the importance of mechanisms for coordination, the exchange of information, the pooling of resources, and forecasting the resources and funding available to the EU and its member states to protect our fellow citizens in all kinds of crises; an example of this is the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, which France activated in conjunction with the coronavirus.

They expressed their determination to work together closely to strengthen Europeans' capacity to respond to crises.



Decentralized cooperation – Jean-Yves Le Drian attending the National Commission for Decentralized Cooperation (January 30, 2020)

On January 30, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian is chairing the National Commission on Decentralized Cooperation (CNCD), which is holding a plenary session at the Quai d'Orsay.

Established in 1992, the CNCD is a forum for dialogue that fosters coordination between the central and regional governments on actions abroad. It holds two plenary sessions each year.

This meeting provided an opportunity to review the bill on policy and planning relative to inclusive development and the fight against global inequality, on which the CNCD was consulted, and which will soon be submitted to the Council of Ministers. The modalities of decentralized cooperation were discussed along with France's geographic and thematic priorities, which local governments may embrace, such as cooperation with the G5 Sahel countries, the Africa-France summit this June in Bordeaux, and the Summit of the Two Shores.

The implementation of the Sahel roadmap adopted at the CNCD on December 13, 2018, was reviewed, along with the outcome of the Franco-Sahel Assizes on Decentralized Cooperation of October 2019. The terms for local and regional governments' participation in the Africa-France Summit on "sustainable cities and territories" were spelled out.

Deputy Vincent Ledoux presented the conclusions of his report on the openness of French regions to the priority France attributes to Africa.

The minister offered his encouragement for the work being done to mobilize local expertise, an aspect important to French influence, and CNCD Vice President André Viola—who is also the President of the Departmental Council of the Aude—presented an action plan. Prospects pertaining to the digital sector were also reviewed.

The announced increase in funding for co-financing decentralized cooperation projects should enable a growing number of local and regional governments to engage in international action.



Culture – Jean-Yves Le Drian launches the fifth edition of the Nuit des Idées (January 30, 2020)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves le Drian will preside over the opening of the fifth Nuit des Idées (Night of Ideas) at the Quai d'Orsay with Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Elisabeth Borne. Taking place on January 230, this latest edition will bring together several thousand people through 220 events held in 90 countries, including 48 events in France.

Attendees are invited to consider the major environmental challenges of our time through dialogues on ecological balance, technological changes, and the advent of artificial intelligence. In this International Year of Biodiversity and a few months ahead of the next IUCN World Conservation Congress, to be held this June in Marseille, France is focusing discussion on priority challenges.

The event being held at the Quai d'Orsay will welcome three young international activists representing the mobilization of young people in defense of the environment: Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, who is arriving from Uganda where she founded the movement Fridays for Future Uganda; Kristin Rodrigo, Canadian ambassador for the organization Young Reporters for the Environment; and Nathan Méténier, a French student and spokesperson for the Youth and Environment Europe NGO network. This dialogue will be moderated by Hervé Gardette, a producer on the France Culture broadcast "Moudre," and will also feature young students from the Lycée de Poissy who helped draft the European Declaration of Rights for the Planet and for Life.

Supported by the Institut Français, an operator of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, the Night of Ideas is an annual event that formulates innovative proposals to foster cultural dialogue and knowledge and to showcase the international and cultural scenes of countries around the world in a festive atmosphere. The Night of Ideas demonstrates the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs' commitment to serving civil societies through the circulation of ideas and public debate and reflects its policy on Francophonie and the French language, whose expansion it supports as a language in which to debate and interrogate the contemporary world.



Western Balkans – Jean-Yves Le Drian's participation in the meeting on the French-German initiative on the fight against the illicit trafficking in firearms in the Western Balkans (Berlin - January 31, 2020)

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will co-chair, tomorrow in Berlin, together with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, the second high-level meeting on the French-German initiative on the fight against the illicit trafficking in firearms in the Western Balkans.

This French-German initiative, proposed by President Macron at the summit in Trieste on July 21, 2017, brings together the Western Balkans countries, 21 donor countries, as well a dozen international and regional organizations and agencies. It is aimed at strengthening the control of firearms in this region and combatting illicit trafficking—major common security challenges for Europeans—, while these weapons are likely to be supplied to criminal and terrorist groups.

During the meeting in Berlin, the participants will take stock of the implementation of the commitments made during the first meeting hosted by France in Paris in December 2018, notably the adoption of a regional road map for achieving a lasting solution by 2024, which the EU has decided to integrate into its strategies and action plans to support the Western Balkans, in accordance with the decisions made at the Council of the European Union on November 19, 2018. An international donor coordination group will make it possible to provide concrete financial assistance and expertise to the Western Balkans. The minister will call for renewed mobilization to ensure sustainable funding of assistance programs by 2024, in which France will play its part.

This initiative falls within the framework of the French strategy for the Western Balkans, adopted by President Macron in April 2019, aimed at increasing our support for the stabilization, economic and social development and European rapprochement of the Western Balkans.



Denmark – Visit by Amélie de Montchalin to Copenhagen (January 30-31, 2020)

Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Copenhagen from January 30 to 31 to take part in a meeting with Jeppe Kofod, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans Dahlgren, Swedish Minister of European Affairs, and Tytti Tuppurainen, Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering. This is the first time that the ministers for European affairs are meeting in this format.

At a time when the United Kingdom is leaving the EU, this meeting will provide an opportunity to strengthen convergence on key European issues. A wide range of topics will be discussed, including the European budget, climate, the strengthening of social convergence, the rule of law, the process of European enlargement and the Conference on the Future of Europe. A joint communiqué will be adopted following this meeting.

During her visit to Copenhagen, Ms. de Montchalin will meet with several Danish ministers: Jeppe Kofod, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dan Jorgensen, Minister for Climate and Energy, and Simon Kollerup, Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. The meetings will notably focus on migration, EU relations with Africa, security and defense cooperation, climate, energy, digital taxation and European industry, trade and competition policy. Ms. de Montchalin will also meet with Danish parliamentarians representing the main political parties, as well as with journalists and members of think-tanks.

The minister of state will also meet with Rolf Kjaergaard, CEO of The Danish Growth Fund, and Finn Mortensen, Executive Director of State of Green, which runs the first cogeneration plant using technology from French firm LAB for flue gas treatment.



Coronavirus

Would it be possible to get details about the evacuation of French nationals from Wuhan? Which airport will they arrive at, what measures will be taken when the passengers arrive? Can you confirm that a second flight has been planned? Is France satisfied with the Chinese authorities' cooperation on this matter?

Please refer to the statements issued by the minister for solidarity and health yesterday evening. We are working in close and continuous cooperation with the Chinese authorities.


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