Skip to main content

Official speeches and statements - September 2, 2021

Published on September 2, 2021

1. Moldova - Visit by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Paris, 02/09/2021)

M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is going to Moldova today, Thursday 2 September 2021. Following on from the visit to Paris by Ms Maia Sandu, President of Moldova, on 6 February 2021, during this visit the Minister will lend France’s full support to the reformist, European approach taken by the Moldovan authorities.

The Minister will have a meeting in Chisinau with Ms Sandu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nicolae Popescu. M. Le Drian will also visit Chisinau’s bilingual Franco-Moldovan Lycée Asachi with Mr Anatolie Topala, Moldova’s Education and Research Minister, to support bilingual Francophone classes and the teaching of French in Moldova./.

2. Qatar - Conversation between M. Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Qatari counterpart - Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs deputy spokesperson (Paris, 01/09/2021)

M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke on the telephone today to his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

The Minister warmly thanked his counterpart for his role in the evacuation operations from Afghanistan. The two ministers agreed to continue their coordination to this end, to continue and complete the process of providing protection for people wishing to leave Afghanistan, particularly via a reopened, freely accessible, safe and secure Kabul airport.

The Minister recalled the demands made of the Taliban by Resolution 2593, which has just been adopted by the United Nations Security Council, and encouraged Qatar’s efforts in this framework.

The Ministers welcomed the success of the regional Conference for Cooperation and Partnership held in Baghdad on 28 August./.

3. Foreign Trade - Interview given by M. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to BFM Business (excerpts) (Paris, 01/09/2021)

(...)

FRANCE/EXPORTS

As we see with the [EY] Attractiveness Barometer, we’re gradually climbing up the podium, but why aren’t we exporting more?

A. - But we are exporting, there’s an export drive, there have never been so many export businesses in France: 132,000.

That’s true. The problem is that we’ve been importing even more than we’ve been exporting, but anyway!

A.- Yes, that’s true. So the country’s attractiveness is the result of this competitiveness policy; 2020 was the second year that France was the most attractive country in Europe for foreign investment. And so that’s not accidental, it’s the result of the reforms the President instigated.

The second key objective [is] the industrialization of the country, the re-industrialization of the country, so we must bet on the sectors of the future, help businesses invest, rethink value chains in order to relocate industries, and that’s central to France’s plan and its industrial strategy.

The third lever is trade policy. We’re in the middle of a strategic review of our European trade policy to make it less naïve, to better protect our businesses from unfair competition from a number of countries, and to have levers so as to be more present internationally, for example reciprocity: we’re going to have an instrument that will be voted on during the French presidency of the European Union, which will enable us to exclude from our procurement contracts the products of businesses in countries which don’t open their own procurement contracts to our European businesses. (...)

EU/CARBON BORDER TAX

Well, there’s another unfair practice that is a bit invisible, namely the import of carbon into our country. There too, there isn’t really a carbon tax. (...)

What stage are we at with this, at European level?

A. - We’re making progress, we’re making progress, it’s a very complex but essential issue. We want our businesses to decarbonize their manufacturing base...

But we’re importing products that are non-decarbonized.

A. - Exactly, so what does that create? It creates carbon leaks: in other words we have businesses that outsource, and in any case we have products on the market produced by countries which themselves have less decarbonized industrial bases, so it’s bad for the climate, so we must find a system that protects our businesses and prompts other countries to join the same ambitious drive to combat global warming. (...)

It’s central to France’s European Union presidency. The idea is to implement it from 2023, 2024 onwards, with the possibility - we’re discussing this at European level - of maybe giving ourselves a two-year grace period to enable our businesses to adapt. But there’s still a lot of work, a lot of work of persuasion within the European Union, a lot of work of persuasion, sharing and discussion with the industries producing steel and aluminium and cement - because those are the sectors concerned - to ensure there are no gaps in the mechanism, particularly for exports. And finally, persuading our international partners - the Americans, the Chinese - that it’s not a mechanism...

Customs duties in disguise.

A. - It’s not a protectionist mechanism, but it’s genuinely a tool for the climate...

Are the Chinese, the Americans convinced when you tell them that?

A. - No, we have to convince them; the United States is also in the process of creating a mechanism to prompt businesses to decarbonize their industrial base, and obviously the very significant issue is with the Chinese. We’re playing an active role - the Europeans, the Americans - to try and persuade the Chinese that the mechanism is appropriate. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, a lot of energy will be needed, a lot of political initiatives; the French President is making it a priority issue, and we’re all going to play an active role to that end. (...)./.

4. Environment - Green diplomacy - Opening of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille on 3 September: France is mobilized for the restoration of biodiversity - Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (Paris, 01/09/2021)

A flagship event dedicated to the challenges of safeguarding and restoring biodiversity, the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will begin this Friday, 3 September, and go on until 11 September 2021 at the Parc Chanot Exhibition and Convention Centre in Marseille.

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition is publishing the event’s press pack today.

Held every four years, the aim of IUCN’s World Conservation Congress is to mobilize all those involved in protecting biodiversity, be it at local, national or international level, to make the protection of nature an international priority in the same way as the fight against climate change.

The Congress brings together participants from governments and civil society, indigenous people and those from the economic world and academia. It provides a unique opportunity to rally the international community around ambitions and the vision of a green diplomacy based on multilateralism, which France is championing.

IUCN’s World Conservation Congress is a crucial step to support the negotiations of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), to be held in China in 2022.

For the first time at a World Conservation Congress, a whole section of Marseille’s Parc Chanot will be reserved for the general public: the Nature Generation Areas. Nearly 400 activities and projects will be presented there: games, educational workshops, lectures and artistic performances to discover the challenges of biodiversity and share ways of taking action.

"After a One Planet Summit dedicated to biodiversity in January this year, IUCN’s World Conservation Congress will provide an opportunity to give a comprehensive overview of international policies for protecting biodiversity, identify key challenges and exchange best practice. We must collectively provide fresh impetus and practical ways forward by laying the foundations of the global strategic framework for biodiversity, which will be definitively adopted at COP15", said Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition.

"France is extremely proud to be hosting the World Conservation Congress in Marseille. The Congress is both a flagship event for mobilizing international conservation efforts and a unique opportunity for France to highlight its proactive efforts to protect nature. For nine days, Marseille will be the world’s capital of biodiversity", said Bérangère Abba, Minister of State for Biodiversity, attached to the Minister for the Ecological Transition./.