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Latest stories – External relations and foreign affairs

Europe leads the way in the fight against climate change and Ebola

European Council group photo © EU

24/10/2014

Energy and natural resources, Environment, consumers and health, External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

EU leaders agreed to the world's most ambitious 2030 climate energy policy. They also decided to increase EU financial help to €1 billion to fight Ebola and discussed the state of the European economy. Euro area leaders also met in the Euro Summit format to discuss the euro area.

 

EU auditors warn the incoming Commission on the use of blending pdf

Map showing investment facilities © EU

22/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

While the European Court of Auditors (ECA) report delivers a positive verdict on the set-up and general effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial institution loans, it points out a number of key issues which need to be urgently addressed.

 

EU response to Ebola

Catherine Ashton © EU

20/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxemburg, EU ministers discussed joint strategies to contain the Ebola virus. Latest developments in Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Syria and the Middle east were also on the agenda.

 

Council discusses further action regarding foreign fighters

Cecilia Malmstrom, Angelino Alfano and Stefano Sannino © EU

10/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Justice and citizens rights

Meeting in Luxembourg, home affairs and justice ministers held an in-depth discussion on the issue of foreign fighters. They also adopted conclusions on better managing migratory flows.

 

EU enlargement in 2014 and beyond: progress and challengesChoose translations of the previous link 

Map of Europe in form of puzzle © EU

08/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

In a set of annual reports adopted today, the European Commission has assessed the progress made over the past year by the countries wishing to join the EU in the Western Balkans and by Turkey, and the challenges ahead.

 

European Parliament ratifies EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

European Parliament in Strasbourg © EU

16/09/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU-Ukraine Association agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).

 

Further economic measures on Russia

European flag in front of Council building © EU

08/09/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

On 8 September, the EU adopted a new package of restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Adoption of agreed EU sanctions over Russia's role in Eastern Ukraine

EU flags outside Justus Lipsius building © EU

31/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council has adopted further EU restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Additional restrictive measures against Russia

Justus Lipsius building in Brussels © EU

29/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

On 29 July, the EU agreed a package of significant additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Council takes actions on the downing of flight MH17

Ms. Catherine ASHTON, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy © EU

22/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, EU ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine following the downing of flight MH17 as well as further sanctions against Russia. Gaza was also discussed.

 

Special meeting of the European Council

Family photo © EU

16/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The European Council met to discuss a number of key appointments to be made for top EU positions. They also discussed new sanctions on Russia and the situation in Gaza.

 

Maritime surveillance: Joining forces with Member States for safer seas and oceans Choose translations of the previous link 

Ships at sea and compass design in water © EU

08/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The European Commission today took a further step towards more effective and cost-efficient surveillance of European Seas.

 

EU leaders choose Juncker to lead the future of the Union

European Council family photo in Ypres © EU

27/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

Meeting in the European Council on 26-27 June, EU leaders decided on their candidate for President of the European Commission. They also discussed a strategic agenda for the EU, the peace plan proposal in Ukraine and congratulated Greece for the main achievements of their presidency. 

 

Council supports Kiev efforts for a peace plan

Hands holding globe with EU stars © EU

23/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxemburg, EU ministers discussed the proposal made by Ukraine President Poroshenko for a peace plan and the violent evolution of the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

 

G7 leaders meet in Brussels

G7 family photo © EU

05/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

G7 leaders met to discuss the situation in Ukraine, foreign policy issues, as well as the global economy and trade, energy, climate change and development.

 

Council discusses EU's post-2015 development framework

Roundtable during foreign affairs meeting © EU

19/05/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

EU ministers exchanged views on the preparation of a new framework for the coordination of international aid efforts, discussed the implementation of the Agenda for Change and welcomed the adoption of a rights-based approach to development.

 

Council stands by Kiev for free and fair presidential elections

Catherine Ashton during press conference ©EU

12/05/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council, EU ministers strongly condemned recent violent events in Ukraine and the organisation of the referendum in Eastern regions. They also adopted conclusions on terrorists attacks and the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.

 

EU-Japan Summit 2014

José Manuel Barroso, Akie Abe, Herman Van Rompuy © EU

07/05/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in Brussels, EU and Japan leaders discussed economic and political partnership, neighborhood policy, the crisis in Ukraine, and key global challenges.

 

New EU sanctions on Russia and Ukraine

Flags outside Council building © EU

28/04/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

At an extraordinary meeting of the Ambassadors Committee in Brussels, the Council adopted by written procedure a new set of measures against actions undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity.

 

Foreign Affairs Council focused on the situation in Eastern Ukraine

Catherine Ashton at press conference © EU

15/04/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

EU foreign affairs ministers strongly condemned the actions undertaken by armed individuals in cities of Eastern Ukraine. They asked for an immediate halt to these attempts at further destabilising Ukraine's sovereignty.

 

EU-Africa Summit 2014

Photo de groupe du sommet UE-Afrique © UE

03/04/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The 4th EU-Africa Summit brought together more than 60 EU and African leaders, and a total of 90 delegations, to discuss the future of EU-Africa relations and reinforce links between the two continents.

 

More flexible visa rules to boost growth and job creationChoose translations of the previous link 

Visa being scanned © EU

01/04/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The proposals presented will seriously shorten and simplify the procedures for those wanting to come to the EU for short stays, and induce more cost savings and less bureaucracy, whilst maintaining the level of security.

 

Neighbourhood at the crossroads – taking stock of a year of challenges Choose translations of the previous link 

Stethoscope on Globe © EU

27/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Although 2013 has been a year of crises in some of its partners, reflecting political instability and difficult socio-economic conditions, the EU has continued to support efforts to enhance democratic governance, build security and support sustainable and inclusive development.

 

EU-US Summit

Handshake between Herman van Rompuy, Barack Obama and José Manuel Barroso © EU

26/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting at the occasion of the EU US Brussels summit, Herman Van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso, and President Barack Obama discussed the strong EU-US partnership, International foreign policy, the crisis in Ukraine and key global challenges.

 

European Council focuses on Ukraine crisis and further sanctions

European Council family photo © EU

21/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

Meeting in the European Council on 20-21 March, EU leaders discussed the Ukraine crisis and also addressed economic issues, industrial competitiveness and climate and energy.

 

EU/Ukraine: Commission proposes a further €1 billion in macro-financial assistanceChoose translations of the previous link 

EU flag in front of Commission building © EU

19/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The new MFA programme, expected to be approved by the EU's Council of Ministers in the coming weeks, is part of the package of support to Ukraine announced by the European Commission on 5 March and endorsed by the European Council on 6 March.

 

Council condemns the illegal referendum in Crimea

Catherine Ashton © EU

17/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting today in the foreign Affairs Council, EU Ministers strongly condemned the referendum in Crimea and did not recognise its outcome. They also decided to introduce an additional set of measures against 21 officials responsible for actions threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity.

 

European Parliament calls on Russia to withdraw military forces from Ukraine

MEPs in plenary meeting room in Strasbourg © EU

13/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Russia must immediately withdraw all its military forces from Ukrainian territory, say MEPs in a resolution.

 

Customs officer removing boxes from container © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

EU proposes responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones

05/03/2014

Business, External relations and foreign affairs

The package of measures will make it more difficult for armed groups in conflict-affected and high-risk areas to finance their activities through the mining of and trade in minerals.

 

Justus Lipsius building in Brussels © EU

EU condemns Russia's actions in Ukraine, calls for dialogue and remains ready for further measures

03/03/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The EU ministers of foreign affairs held an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on the situation in Ukraine.

 

MEPs displaying Ukrainian and European flags during plenary session © EU

Ukraine: MEPs urge EU to help financial rescue, but enact targeted sanctions too

27/02/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The EU must help Ukraine with urgent financial aid while enforcing targeted sanctions against those responsible for violence there, say MEPs in a resolution.

 

Hands holding globe with EU stars © EU

Military operation in Central African Republic formally established

10/02/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council, EU ministers formally established the EU military operation in the Central African Republic, opening the way for its rapid deployment in the forthcoming weeks.

 

Catherine Ashton © EU

Council lifts certain EU sanctions on Iran

20/01/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Ministers in the Foreign Affairs Council suspended certain EU restrictive measures against Iran, following confirmation of Iran's compliance with nuclear measures in the agreed joint action plan.

 

Mr Stefan FULE, Member of the European Commission; Mr Linas LINKEVICIUS, Lithuanian Minister for Foreign Affairs © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

18/12/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council discussed enlargement and the stabilisation and association process. "Enlargement remains a key policy of our Union" said Linas Linkevičius, the President of the Council after the meeting.

 

Catherine Ashton at the press conference © EU

Ukraine protests and humanitarian issues discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council

17/12/2013

External relations and foreign affairs

Foreign Affairs ministers discussed a wide range of issues, including the latest developments in the Syrian crisis and recent events in Ukraine.

 

Stethoscope on Globe © EU

Council discusses development policy

13/12/2013

External relations and foreign affairs

The Foreign Affairs Council dedicated to development issues decided to resume development cooperation with the Republic of Guinea. It also discussed the post-2015 agenda and policy coherence for development.

 

Water bomber plane in action © EU

Parliament backs stronger EU disaster response

10/12/2013

Environment, consumers and health, External relations and foreign affairs

New rules upgrading the EU's civil protection mechanism, which coordinates the EU's response to natural and man-made disasters such as earthquakes, oil spills or forest fires, were backed by MEPs.

 

Cecilia Malmström © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Lampedusa follow up: concrete actions to prevent loss of life in the Mediterranean

04/12/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Regions and local development

The Commission is proposing ways to increase solidarity and mutual support in order to prevent migrants' death in the Mediterranean.

 

Summit banner and flags of EU and South Korea © EU

EU-Korea summit marks 50 years of cooperation

08/11/2013

External relations and foreign affairs

The 7th EU-Republic of Korea summit, which took place in Brussels, celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations between the EU and South Korea. Leaders marked the occasion with the adoption of a joint declaration.

 

Maroš Šefčovič and Linas Linkevicius © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

22/10/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council adopted a regulation establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and agreed to confirm the EU common position for the opening of chapter 22 on regional policy and coordination of structural instruments with Turkey.

 

Stephen Harper and José Manuel Barroso © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

EU and Canada strike trade deal

18/10/2013

Business, External relations and foreign affairs

Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have today reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after months of intense negotiations between EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht and Canadian trade Minister Ed Fast.

 

Štefan Füle © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

EU enlargement: priorities for 2014

16/10/2013

External relations and foreign affairs

In a set of annual reports, the European Commission recommends granting EU candidate status to Albania and, for the fifth time in a row, the opening of accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

 

Security agents watching monitors © EU

EU border surveillance: MEPs approve Eurosur operating rules

10/10/2013

External relations and foreign affairs, Justice and citizens rights

EU member states will be better equipped to prevent, detect and combat irregular migration, but also to save migrants' lives, thanks to the "Eurosur" border surveillance system, whose operating rules were approved by Parliament.

 

Woman holding folder © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Trade protectionism still on rise across the world

02/09/2013

In a report released today, the European Commission identified about 150 new trade restrictions introduced over the last year, whereas only 18 existing measures have been dismantled.
 

Council meeting room © EUpdf

Egypt: extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council

21/08/2013

In the light of recent developments in Egypt, an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council was held on Wednesday 21 August. The meeting was chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.

 

Soldiers holding EU flag © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Towards a more competitive and efficient European defence and security sector

24/07/2013

The European Commission has presented a Communication which contains an Action Plan to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Europe’s defence and security sector. The Communication foresees measures to strengthen the internal market for defence, to promote a more competitive defence industry and to foster synergies between civil and military research.

 

Viviane Reding at the EP © EU

Parliament to launch in-depth inquiry into US surveillance programmes

04/07/2013

Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee will conduct an "in-depth inquiry" into the US surveillance programmes, including the bugging of EU premises and other spying allegations, and present its results by the end of this year, says a resolution passed by the full House. Parliament's President and political group leaders formally confirmed the launch of the inquiry. MEPs also call for more protection for whistleblowers.

 

General Affairs Council © EUpdf

Main results of the General Affairs Council

25/06/2013

The Council agreed to recommend to the European Council to open accession negotiations with Serbia. The Council also agreed in principle on draft Council decisions authorising the opening of negotiations on a stabilisation and association agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo, to be adopted on 28 June 2013, following the necessary procedures.

 

Family photo © EU

G8 summit: promoting global fairness through trade, transparency and tax compliance

18/06/2013

Advancing global trade, fighting tax evasion and tax avoidance, and increasing transparency were the main themes at the 39th G8 summit held in Lough Erne (UK) on 17 and 18 June.