Ukraine, Turkey, economic security – Foreign Minister Baerbock at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in July

Foreign Minister Baerbock and EU High Representative Josep Borrell at the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Foreign Minister Baerbock and EU High Representative Josep Borrell at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.de

20.07.2023 - Article

The EU Foreign Ministers are meeting in Brussels on Thursday (20 July). Topics include further support for Ukraine, EU-Turkey relations, economic security and new sanctions. Find out more about which issues are on the agenda.

The agenda for the last Foreign Affairs Council before the summer break in Brussels is long. Together with Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, who will be participating via video link, the foreign ministers will discuss the current situation in Ukraine. After that, the Council will consider how the EU can continue to support Ukraine in defending itself against Russia’s war of aggression. One focus will be on how to shape potential security guarantees for Ukraine. This will build on talks held on the fringes of the NATO summit in Vilnius last week. The foreign ministers will also discuss how Russia can be made accountable for crimes committed in Ukraine (click here for more information on this accountability).

EU-Turkey relations

The European Union has a strategic interest in good relations with Turkey. The relationship is a complex one. Close ties between the people, EU candidate country status and partnership in NATO contrast with sometimes serious deficits in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights. The EU Commission has noted this repeatedly. At the European Council at the end of June, the EU Heads of State and Government, at Germany’s instigation, called upon the EU Commission to submit a report by the autumn on the course adopted by Turkey following the re-election of President Erdogan. The foreign ministers will discuss this today in the context of the current status of EU-Turkey relations.

Economic security

The disrupted supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s weaponisation of gas and oil – questions of economic resilience and sovereignty are increasingly also questions of security. On 20 June, the EU presented its economic security strategy, which pursues the threefold goal of promoting, protecting and partnering. The EU27 will jointly discuss the foreign policy dimension of economic security. In this context, Germany’s Strategy on China, published last week, will also play a role.

Exchange with Antony Blinken

Relations between the European Union and the United States have rarely been as close as they are at the moment. As an expression of this close coordination, US Secretary of State Blinken will participate in the meeting today via video link for an in-depth exchange – focusing on the issue of joint support for Ukraine. However, the discussion will probably also cover other foreign policy issues such as the situation in the Western Balkans and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Other issues – sanctions, COP28 ...

The human rights situation for women and girls remains poor in many parts of the world. For this reason, the EU plans to agree on new listings of persons responsible for human rights violations and sexual violence in Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, among others, in the context of the existing Human Rights Sanctions Regime. At the instigation of the German-Danish Group of Friends for an Ambitious Climate Diplomacy, the foreign ministers will discuss the groundwork for the 28th Climate Change Conference COP28 in December.


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