Statements made by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris - October 22, 2020)
Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will speak with his Spanish counterpart, Xiana Méndez, today.
The minister delegate will discuss measures to be undertaken jointly with Spain to strengthen the multilateral trade system, notably within the framework of the WTO. He will reaffirm his determination to mobilize the EU’s trade policy instruments to defend European interests, notably with respect to the Airbus/Boeing dispute.
The minister delegate will support the necessary alignment of EU trade agreements with the environmental goals of the Paris climate agreement. He will discuss with his counterpart the initiative aimed at implementing an EU carbon border adjustment mechanism.
Franck Riester and Xiana Méndez will take part in the second edition of the France-Spain Economic Forum, jointly organized by MEDEF (France’s largest business federation) and its Spanish equivalent, CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations). They will exchange views with French and Spanish companies, notably in the energy, digital and transport sectors.
France and Spain are key bilateral trading partners. France is the 2nd largest supplier and 4th largest foreign investor in Spain (with almost €50 billion in FDI) and has almost 2,000 companies in the country, employing 350,000 people. France is the largest export market for Spanish companies and is home to more than 900 subsidiaries of Spanish firms, which employ almost 62,000 people.
Today Clément Beaune, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is hosting Gent Cakaj, Albania’s Acting Foreign Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
The Minister of State will emphasize the excellence of French-Albanian relations and prospects for expanding our cooperation, especially in the areas of economic and social development, via the French Development Agency and several investment projects. Mr. Beaune and Mr. Cakaj will also discuss the situation in the Balkans, particularly Albania’s central role in strengthening regional cooperation within the Berlin Process, which France supports
With regard to Albania’s European prospects, which France fully supports, the Minister of State will emphasize our approach to the EU adhesion process based on the new enlargement methodology that must be reflected in negotiation frameworks with Albania and North Macedonia, currently under discussion by the Council. This meeting will offer an opportunity to address Albania’s progress in fulfilling the conditions set by the Council for the holding of the first intergovernmental conference with Albania.
France expresses its deep concern over the violence that took place in Lagos, particularly on October 20, and in other Nigerian cities.
It calls on the Nigerian security forces to show the utmost restraint and on the demonstrators to express themselves by peaceful means.
Only a return to calm will make it possible to meet the Nigerian people’s aspirations for justice.