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Coordinating foreign policy in the EU: Minister Baerbock at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels

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Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock will today attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels., © Picture Alliance / Nicolas Landemard/Le Pictorium Agency via ZUMA Press

21.02.2022 - Article

The predominant issue at today’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels will be the European security situation in the wake of the Russian military build-up at the Ukrainian borders

Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock will today attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, has invited the 27 EU Foreign Ministers to Brussels to talk about the current crisis caused by the Russian military build-up at the borders with Ukraine.

BMin Baerbock RfAb Bruessel
Foreign Minister Baerbock with her Polish counterpart Rau and EU High Representative Borrell© Janine Schmitz/photothek.de

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will be a guest at the meeting – the EU stands in a spirit of support and solidarity at Ukraine’s side. The talks within the EU 27 will also look at what further support the EU and its member states will make available to their Ukrainian partners. In addition, the Ministers will seek to continue and to strengthen the existing diplomatic dialogue tracks aimed at de-escalating the crisis.

In addition to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the meeting will address climate diplomacy as well as the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mali and the Gulf Region

Today’s agenda in Brussels also includes a discussion about countering  the climate crisis. The EU wants to take an appropriate foreign-policy stance as a team in order to drive the worldwide implementation of the COP26 Outcomes through coordinated climate diplomacy. COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, took place in Glasgow, Scotland, from late October until mid-November 2021. Today, Ministers will also discuss preparations for the next Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, this November.

In addition, the EU Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the EU’s handling of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For weeks now, there have been dangerous developments in the country following decisions taken in Republika Srpska that run counter to the security and stability of the state as a whole. The EU has responded to the unilateral announcements and steps and has suspended several support projects that do not include any humanitarian components; it is discussing further measures.

At the invitation of High Representative Borrell, representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council are coming to Brussels today for talks with the EU 27. The Gulf Cooperation Council is an international organisation comprising the six states of the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates). Today’s meeting will be looking at prospects for closer cooperation between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as current developments in the region.

In the afternoon, the EU Foreign Ministers will go on to discuss further current foreign-policy issues. One planned topic is prospects for European engagement in Mali and the Sahel region.

Following the meeting, Foreign Minister Baerbock will travel on to Paris, where she is participating tomorrow (22 February) in the ministerial forum bringing together Foreign Ministers from the EU and the Indo-Pacific. This meeting is being organised by the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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