Thirty-fourth Franco-British summit
Following the meeting of the 34th Franco-British Summit, held today in Amiens, France and the United Kingdom have agreed an ambitious bilateral cooperation agenda which aims at deepening their strategic partnership.
One hundred years ago, France and the United Kingdom fought together in the First World War. In memory of the sacrifices then made to defend their shared values, our two countries will commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July in Thiepval.
One hundred years after those terrible times, France and the United Kingdom are still allies in overcoming new challenges and threats, notably terrorism. France will remember the expressions of solidarity shown by the British people after the attacks on its soil in January and November 2015, thus underlining the sense of friendship and the values that unite our two countries.
France and the United Kingdom amplify their strength to work for peace and stability in the world from being Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, allied within NATO and [as] member states of the European Union. It is these partnerships which help to keep us safe. Our role in the European Union strengthens the security and prosperity of our citizens and the competitiveness of our economies. That Union that was created to bring peace and stability between countries that 70 years ago were at war. We should never take that achievement for granted. Today, in the face of threats on Europe’s borders and from terrorism at home, we are convinced that the European Union gives us more capacity to project greater power internationally.
The President of the Republic and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom agreed to implement the following actions:
1/ A STRONG PARTNERSHIP TO ADDRESS INTERNATIONAL CRISES
Our security environment has dramatically changed. External crises are knocking on Europe’s doors – both east and south of its borders. They have immediate and tragic consequences on the European territory and on the safety of our citizens. In this context, France and United Kingdom are determined to stand together, mobilizing as appropriate all bilateral, European and international instruments at their disposal.
France and the United Kingdom:
• will intensify joint coordination on all aspects of the Syrian crisis in order to promote an international response commensurate to the threat to the Syrian people, to the region and to Europe;
• urge all parties to implement a cessation of hostilities, as agreed by the International Syria Support Group on 11 February, the US-Russia agreement of 22 February, and the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 2268 on 26 February, and to comply with their obligations under international law;
• call upon all parties perpetrating violations of international humanitarian law, including Russia and the Syrian regime, to end immediately attacks on moderate opposition groups, cease any attacks against civilians including against medical facilities and personnel, and stop their drive toward Aleppo, which undermine the prospects for peace, threaten to dramatically escalate the refugee crisis, and benefit Daesh;
• call for the immediate implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 2254 and 2258 to allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian assistance to all areas in need in Syria, including besieged and hard to reach areas;
• reiterate their support to the Syrian opposition and welcome its commitment to a political settlement through genuine negotiation, as expressed by the Higher Negotiations Committee, including at its Riyadh meeting on 9-11 December 2015.
France and the United Kingdom:
• call on the House of Representative to endorse the Libyan Government of National Accord by a positive vote without delay;
• express their support to the efforts of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Martin Kobler;
• look forward to working with the Libyan Government of National Accord to help it address the difficult challenges ahead to restore unity, stability and security for all Libyan people;
• support the momentum toward the rapid return of the government to Tripoli and re-establishment of functioning institutions, consistent with the provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement;
• reiterate their concern over the development of Daesh in Libya, which must be an order of first priority for the Libyan authorities with the support of the international community.
France and the United Kingdom reaffirm their cooperation to support peace and stability in Africa, and decide to:
• intensify their efforts against Boko Haram, in liaison with Nigeria and the countries of the Lake Chad Basin, in particular through training for soldiers and operational support to security institutions;
• encourage the mobilization of the EU, including a financial support to the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting against Boko Haram;
• work on stepping up the stabilization missions carried out by MINUSMA and sustain and extend the mandates of EUTM Mali and EUCAP Sahel, in particular to fight terrorism and organized crime, including human trafficking;
• with the support of International Financial Institutions, act for a long-term step-change in support to the Lake Chad and Sahel region, so as to reduce poverty, limit radicalization and prevent forced migrations;
• call on the European Commission to swiftly implement the action plan agreed at the Valletta summit on migration, security and development, including through the EU Emergency Trust Fund;
• reaffirm their readiness to support, through training actions, the African Standby Force, and, in agreement with European partners, to contribute to its funding;
• support the proposal for the European Union to now train and equip the armed forces of African countries;
• reaffirm their joint commitment to the promotion of democracy through strong institutions, and therefore recall their conviction that constitutions need to be respected to preserve peace and stability.
Post-Ebola – Global Health
Reflecting on our shared experiences of supporting affected African countries respond to Ebola, France and the United Kingdom:
• commit to push forward strategic areas of work that would ensure a more effective and coherent international response to future epidemics;
• this would include:
o a UK and French commitment to work together to improve international data and information sharing during major crises;
o further collaboration and action to help low-income countries build stronger health systems and meet their commitments under the International Health Regulations;
o a joint effort in pushing for reform in the World Heath Organization.
A few days before the second anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation and while the situation in Eastern Ukraine is not yet stabilized, our two countries:
• recall their support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence;
• call for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement in the shortest possible time, so as to move towards the conclusion of the crisis and restore the borders between Ukraine and Russia. Recall the European Council’s commitment that the duration of sanctions on Russia should be linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.
• also call on :
o Russia to use all its influence to end violence in eastern Ukraine;
o the Ukrainian political forces to unite their efforts to implement all necessary reforms.
Non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament
France and the United Kingdom:
• welcome implementation of the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and its role in promoting peace and security. Both countries confirm their commitment as members of the Joint Commission (the E3+3 and Iran) to fulfilling their commitments under the agreement and encourage all other parties to do the same and further call on Iran to engage constructively to contribute to political solutions to the regional crises;
• will strengthen their coordination in the fight against nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation. In this respect, the two countries condemn in the strongest terms the nuclear test of 6 January 2016 and the launch of a long-range rocket on 7 February 2016 by North Korea;
• will continue to work to achieve a firm and determined response from the international community, both at the United Nations Security Council and at the European level, including through an intensified coordination and cooperation in the fight against North Korea’s proliferation activity;
• to cooperate in multilateral fora on a step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament in line with our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty commitments, taking the strategic context into account;
• will cooperate in order to strengthen the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its implementation by promoting the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons at the Conference on Disarmament and the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
2/ A DETERMINED CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE, STABILITY AND SECURITY THROUGH A COMPREHENSIVE DEFENCE COOPERATION
The UK and France are Europe’s principal security providers and defence investors. Our strategic defence partnership is crucial to delivering on our shared objectives around the world. Building on the success of the Lancaster House treaty signed in 2010, France and the United Kingdom reaffirm their commitment to maintain and strengthen the capabilities for collective defence, security and crisis management, underpinned by a competitive and technologically advanced industrial basis. In that respect, France and the United Kingdom adopt a declaration on security and defence that identifies the following key objectives:
• validating the concept of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) and exchanging employment scenarios for this force starting in April 2016;
• deepening cooperation on armaments, particularly in the field of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme, missiles, and maritime mine counter measures;
• continuing cooperation on nuclear deterrence within the framework of the Teutates Treaty;
• establishing a joint working group on innovation to share experience and identify potential further areas for cooperation;
• carrying out firm, determined action against Daesh in Syria and Iraq together;
• liaising closely ahead of the NATO Summit in July 2016 and continuing to work with NATO as it adapts to meet strategic challenges;
• building upon successful Common Security and Defence Policy operations and supporting the development of a European Union strategy of foreign and security policy at the European Council meeting in June 2016.
3/ A RELENTLESS ENGAGEMENT TO ERADICATE TERRORISM
Europe is no longer a safe haven. The terrorist threat is growing, feeding on complex networks in and out of Europe and stemming from crisis zones. It constitutes a critical challenge to our core values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality, and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Considering these principles as the very foundations of their democracies, France and the United Kingdom reaffirm their unwavering commitment to promote and defend them. As recalled in the declaration annexed, our two countries aim at:
• intensifying their fight against radicalization, particularly online: by building the capability of civil society to develop positive, counter and alternative messages targeted to those vulnerable to extremist and radicalizing influences; by promoting the sharing of best practice between counter and de-radicalization experts;
• Following on from the work launched at national and European levels, particularly regarding the dialogue with major internet operators, the two countries call for stronger commitments and more concrete results as regards the detection and withdrawal of extremist propaganda;
• implementing all useful measures to share intelligence on the various forms of threat, including foreign fighters;
• encouraging better use of the possibilities provided by European and international mechanisms, in particular the Schengen Information System (SIS), Europol, Interpol and Eurodac;
• developing their cooperation in the fight against arms trafficking (including exchanges of information on weapon traceability, ballistic comparisons), notably in the Western Balkans;
• encouraging the EU to adopt and EU member states to implement without delay the European Passenger Name Record (PNR) system;
• stemming the financing of terrorism, including by: reinforcing existing European mechanisms for the freezing of terrorist assets; strengthening cooperation between financial intelligence services; increasing the exchange of information with the banking sector; limiting payment anonymity, with a special focus on payment instruments outside of banking circuits, e.g. electronic money and virtual currency.
• working together to coordinate national policies with regard to inbound flights where possible, calling on all states to comply fully with their obligations under the Chicago Convention, and committing to engage the International Civil Aviation Organization and its member states to improve inter alia its audit system and achieve greater transparency.
• combating terrorism outside Europe, particularly where it threatens French and British travellers and wider interests; sharing information and collaborating on capacity building in third countries.
• reaffirming their close cooperation with a view to reinforcing the protection of the EU’s external borders.
4/ AN INTENSIFIED COORDINATION IN RESPONSE TO THE MIGRATION CRISIS
As detailed in the declaration attached, and bearing in mind the declaration of home ministers adopted on 20 August, France and the United Kingdom have agreed to:
• further intensify the work undertaken to reduce migratory pressure in Calais by continuing to secure the port and the tunnel, intensifying the fight against illegal immigration routes and improving the reception of migrants, including through a substantial financial support from the United Kingdom;
• support a more determined implementation of the European response to contain flows and gain back control of external borders, notably through: an assistance to the setting up and the effective functioning of hotspots, in Greece and Italy; the full implementation of the EU-Turkey Action Plan in order to stem the irregular flows; the speeding up of the examination of the “European Border and Coast Guard” proposal, with a view to make the new system operational by summer 2016;
• make further efforts to break the business model of the people smugglers and traffickers and intensify cooperation at all levels, bilateral, European and international, to dismantle criminal networks;
• continue to support humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and to the neighbouring countries around Syria and insist on the full implementation of the commitments made at the high-level conference in London on 4 February for Supporting Syria and the Region;
• increase their coordination towards third countries, including in Africa, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and the Balkans, in order to help intensify returns and reduce flows from these countries;
• establish concrete, concerted proposals to offer countries of origin and transit, in the framework of the decisions taken at the Valletta Summit in November 2015.
5/ A COMMON WILLINGNESS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE THE ENERGY TRANSITION TOWARDS LOW CARBON ECONOMIES
The adoption on 12 December 2015 of the Paris Agreement was an unprecedented political achievement and represents a turning point towards the emergence of a low carbon world. We now need to sustain the momentum and make immediate and concrete progress. France and the United Kingdom will:
• support the rapid implementation of the agreement, in four key areas: its signature and ratification, the preparation of the implementing decisions, support for the development and implementation of developing countries’ intended nationally-determined contributions and the continued mobilization of all state and non-state players, in the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda;
• together with other developed countries, scale up their level of financial support, with a view to achieving the joint goal of providing $100 billion annually by 2020 from a wide variety of sources, public and private, in the context of meaningful mitigation and transparency of action;
• build upon the Paris decision regarding the important role of providing incentives for emission reduction activities, including tools such as carbon pricing, and continue in this respect the promotion of enabling environment at a national, European and international level;
• support African solutions to the climate challenge, as well as the establishment of early warning systems for natural disasters and supporting the delivery of the “African Renewable Initiative” goals.
Actively engaged in the diversification of their energy mix, France and the United Kingdom agree to set up a comprehensive partnership on civil nuclear energy, in all aspects of the production cycle. EDF is currently devoted to prepare all necessary elements for the announcement of a final investment decision for Hinkley Point C in the near future, with the full support of the French government.
6/ SUPPORTING INNOVATION AND RESEARCH :
France and the United Kingdom undertake to:
• enhance collaboration on the opening up of public data and using data to drive economic growth and improve public services, on the basis of the upcoming report of the Franco-British Taskforce on data innovation;
• Further deepen research collaboration, including through cooperation on key scientific themes such as energy, climate and health, recognizing the important role of research and development in meeting these challenges and exchange best practice on national and regional systems of support for innovation.
• develop concrete initiatives to make digital technology serve more transparent and collaborative public action, in the perspective of the upcoming Open Government Partnership Global Summit to be held in Paris in December 2016;
• work jointly with the EU institutions to accelerate implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy;
• cooperate actively with the EU institutions to find and implement solutions that can stabilize the legal framework allowing the transfer of data to the United States and guarantee a high level of protection of European citizens’ fundamental rights;
• Showing the same ambitions in space policy, France and the United Kingdom will: deepen their space cooperation; continue to seize opportunities for joint Earth observation missions, particularly the MicroCarb project dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide.
7/ BRINGING OUR CIVIL SOCIETIES CLOSER TO EACH OTHER :
France and the United Kingdom will:
• launch the high-level “Young Leaders” exchange programme;
• encourage the organization of conferences of the cross-border cooperation sector, meeting alternately in France and the United Kingdom, on all subjects relating to our near neighbourhood (migration, health, tourism, employment).
¹Source of English text: UK government website.