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Brussels, 22 November 2004
14723/04 (Presse 324)
2621st Council Meeting
President Mr Bernard BOT
* The 2622nd meeting on External Relations is the subject of a separate press release (ST 14724/04 Presse 325).
PREPARATION OF THE DECEMBER EUROPEAN COUNCIL 7
EU FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK FOR 2007-13 7
OTHER BUSINESS 8
– Storm damage in Central Europe 8
OTHER ITEMS APPROVED
EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY
Civilian crisis management 9
Western Balkans - EU Monitoring Mission 9
EU space policy and defence 9
Combating terrorism 9
EU/Georgia - Rule of Law Mission status and activities 9
European Defence Agency 9
EU military operations - Review of the mechanism to administer finances * 10
Police Mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 10
Africa - Peace and security action plan - Council conclusions 10
Western Balkans - Participation in Community programmes 11
Arms exports - Report on application of the EU code of conduct 12
Africa - Democracy and human rights 12
Light weapons - Control of small arms in Albania, South East Europe and Cambodia 12
Chemical weapons 13
Russia - Protection of nuclear material 13
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - Stabilisation and Association Agreement 13
Chile - Association Agreement - EU enlargement 13
Moldova - Accession to the science and technology centre in Ukraine 13
Council activities 13
Public-Private Partnerships in Developing and Transition Countries - Council conclusions 14
Climate change - Council conclusions 15
Anti-dumping - Sri Lanka - Tube and pipe fittings 16
Anti-dumping - Indonesia - Tube and pipe fittings 16
The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission are represented as follows:
Mr Karel DE GUCHT Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Didier DONFUT State Secretary for the European Affairs
Mr Cyril SVOBODA Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Per Stig MØLLER Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Joschka FISCHER Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Chancellor
Ms Kristiina OJULAND Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Petros MOLYVIATIS Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Yannis VALINAKIS Minister for European Affairs
Mr Alberto NAVARRO State Secretary for the European Affairs
Mr Michel BARNIER Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ms Claudie HAIGNERÉ Minister with responsibilities for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Dermot AHERN T.D. Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Gianfranco FINI Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Roberto ANTONIONE State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Mr George IACOVOU Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Māris RIEKSTIŅŠ State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr Antanas VALIONIS Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Jean ASSELBORN Deputy Prime Minister, Minister with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Immigration
Mr Ferenc SOMOGYI Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Michael FRENDO Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Bernard BOT Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Atzo NICOLAÏ Minister for European Affairs
Ms Anna Maria Agnes van ARDENNE-van der HOEVEN Minister for Development Cooperation
Ms Ursula PLASSNIK Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Wlodzimierz CIMOSZEWICZ Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr António MONTEIRO Minister for Foreign Affairs and Portuguese Communities Abroad
Mr Mário DAVID State Secretary for European Affairs
Mr Ivo VAJGL Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Eduard KUKAN Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Erkki TUOMIOJA Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ms Laila FREIVALDS Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Jack STRAW Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Mr Denis MacSHANE Minister of State for Europe
Ms Margot WALLSTRÖM Vice President
Ms Dalia GRYBAUSKAITÉ Member
Ms Benita FERRERO-WALDNER Member
Mr Louis MICHEL Member
General Secretariat of the Council:
Mr Javier SOLANA Secretary-General/High Representative for the CFSP
The Council examined an annotated draft agenda prepared by the Presidency for the European Council meeting to be held in Brussels on 16 and 17 December. It will prepare the meeting in greater detail at its session on 13 and 14 December.
The document sets out the main items to be addressed, namely:
Work is due to be carried out on most of these items in the Council configurations concerned and the Presidency will draw on this when preparing draft European Council conclusions.
The Council took note of a progress report on preparation of the EU's financial framework for the 2007-13 period and held a policy debate on the Commission's proposals as regards financing of the EU's external relations policies.
Concluding the debate, the President noted that:
Preparation of the overall financial framework has focused on the content of individual policies and the spending amounts they entail with a view to identifying a range of policy choices together with their financial implications.
The Presidency's aim is for the European Council to define, at its meeting on 16 and 17 December, principles and guidelines for further work on the new financial framework with the aim of achieving political agreement next year. A report will be drawn up by the Presidency for the European Council, covering work on the different spending categories as well as on a new agreement between the EU's institutions on budgetary flexibility and on the system of own resources for the financing of the EU budget.
The Council was briefed by the Slovakian delegation on the damage and losses caused by a major storm that hit Slovakia and other parts of Central Europe on 19 November. It took note of its call to provide assistance, in particular for reforestation.
The Commission recalled the possibilities offered for assistance in these circumstances by its civil protection unit and by the solidarity fund for natural disasters.
OTHER ITEMS APPROVED
The Council approved a declaration on the Member States' voluntary commitments for civilian crisis management.
The declaration acknowledges progress made, both in quantity and in quality, in the field of civilian capabilities for EU crisis management.
The Council adopted a Joint Action extending the mandate of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in the Western Balkans until 31 December 2005 (14053/04), as well as a Decision prolonging for 2005 the mandate of Ms Maryse Daviet as EUMM Head of Mission (14059/04).
The financial reference amount for implementation of the Joint Action is 4.2 million euros.
The primary objective of the EUMM is to contribute to the formulation of the EU's policy towards the Western Balkans through information-gathering and analysis in line with directions from the Secretary-General/High Representative and the Council.
The Council approved a document entitled “European Security Defence Policy (ESDP) and Space”, defining contributions that can be made to ESDP by space applications (11616/3/04).
The document is intended to serve as a reference for future proceedings with regard to military capabilities.
The Council approved a document entitled “Conceptual Framework on the European Security Defence Policy (ESDP) – Dimension of the fight against terrorism” and agreed to forward it to the European Council for its meeting on 16 and 17 December (14797/04).
The text identifies four main areas of action: prevention, protection, response/consequence management and support to third countries in combating terrorism.
The Council adopted a Decision approving an Agreement with Georgia on the status and activities of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Georgia (EUJUST THEMIS) (13972/04).
The mission EUJUST THEMIS is aimed at assisting Georgia in the development of a government strategy to guide the reform of the country's criminal justice system.
The Council adopted guidelines on the European Defence Agency's work programme for 2005 (14856/04).
The Second meeting of the Agency's Steering Board was held on 22 November in the margins of the Council.
The Council reached a political agreement on a draft Council Decision amending Decision 2004/197/CFSP establishing a mechanism to administer the financing of the common costs of EU operations having military or defence implications (ATHENA) (14956/04).
The Council agreed that contributions already called for operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the financial year 2005 will become payable by end January 2005 and that financial rules for the implementation of expenditure related to common costs in EU military operations will be adopted by the ATHENA Special Committee at the end of 2005.
The Political and Security Committee will be consulted every time a financial decision on a particular operation has a political or strategic impact.
The Council adopted a Joint Action extending the EU Police Mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (EUPOL PROXIMA) until 14 December 2005 (14440/04).
The mission of EUPOL PROXIMA, established by Council Joint Action 2003/681/CFSP, provides support in fYROM regarding:
The Council approved an action plan aimed at supporting peace and security in Africa, and took note of a report on implementation of support measures to capacity building in Africa under European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
The action plan focuses on capacity building; planning support; disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of combatants; security sector reform and EU internal and external co-ordination.
ESPD support to peace and security in Africa was developed after the Council's Political and Security Committee undertook to explore practical ways of implementing support to African organisations in building autonomous conflict prevention and management capacities, following the adoption of EU Common Position 2004/85/CFSP on the prevention, management and resolution of violent conflicts in Africa.
The Council also adopted the following conclusions:
"The Council recognises the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council and the role of international law as the framework for maintaining international peace and security. The EU and its Member States will continue to support UN actions in Africa, as already demonstrated in several crises in Africa, in particular in DRC.
The Council welcomes the will of African states to assume their responsibilities on their own continent and reaffirms its commitment to the principle of African ownership. In this context, the Council reconfirms its appreciation and strong support for the objective of the African Union (AU) and African subregional organisations to promote peace and security on the African continent.
Peace and security is a pre-condition for achieving sustainable development. The Council underlines the need for an intensified political dialogue and an enhanced partnership between the EU, the AU and the UN.
The European Security and Defence Policy can support the AU, African subregional organisations and African States in their efforts to ensure a stable and secure Africa. In this context, the Council agreed on the Action Plan for ESDP-support to Peace and Security in Africa. This Action Plan identifies practical ways for implementing the support to African organisations in building autonomous conflict prevention and management capacities, with special attention to the AU. It primarily addresses issues of capacity building, and planning support and foresees support for actions in the field of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform. The Council invites the AU and African Sub-regional organisations to take advantage of the support offered by the EU and to come forward with proposals for long-term capacity building. As internal co-ordination of EU efforts is crucial, the Council tasked the relevant Council bodies to urgently finalise the work on the institutional, legal, budgetary and procurement/storage aspects, and to inform the Council of the results at its next meeting.
The Council underlines that EU support for peace and security in Africa is part of a coherent EU policy towards Africa in which ESDP activities and the Peace Facility are combined with other instruments of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Cotonou Agreement and with bilateral actions by Member States. This integrated, long term approach will include continuous attention for the vulnerable position of women and children and the increased risks of HIV/AIDS in armed conflict. The EU work will be based on the principle of full coordination with other actors in this field, i.e. the UN, the AU, subregional organisations, in order to ensure coherence and complementarity with bilateral initiatives and initiatives by, for example, the G8.
The Council notes with satisfaction that under the Peace Facility several requests of the AU have already been honoured. These include support for the mission of the AU AMIS in Sudan and the capacity building initiatives of the AU."
The Council adopted five Decisions approving the signing of Framework Agreements with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the general principles for their participation in Community programmes (14297/1/04). The Agreements were signed on 22 November in the margins of the Council.
The list of programmes open to participation, once the Agreements enter into force, of the five mentioned countries is as follows:
The Council took note of the sixth annual report on application of the EU code of conduct on arms exports (13816/04).
The code of conduct, introduced in 1998, sets criteria for the export of conventional arms with a view to harmonising national arms export control policies. The code is being reviewed in 2004 for the first time since it became operative.
The Council adopted a Common Position on human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance in Africa.
The Council adopted three Decisions setting out EU financial contributions for 2005 to efforts aimed at limiting the accumulation and spread of small arms and light weapons in Albania, South East Europe and Cambodia (14522/04, 14528/04 and 14529/04).
The financial allocation for assistance in the destruction of ammunition in Albania amounts to 1.3 million euros, whereas 330 000 euros and 1.4 million euros will be used for combating the accumulation and spread of light weapons in South East Europe and Cambodia respectively.
The three Decisions are aimed at implementing Council Joint Action 2002/589/CSFP, adopted in July 2002.
The Council adopted a Joint Action on support for activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (14519/04).
The Joint Action identifies OPCW projects that correspond to measures provided for by the EU Strategy, aimed at strengthening:
The financial allocation for the three projects amounts to 1.8 million euros for a 12-month period.
The Council adopted a Joint Action aimed at reinforcing protection measures for fissile materials at the Bochvar Institute in Moscow, so as to reduce the risk of theft of nuclear material and of sabotage (14518/2/04).
The total allocation provided for the action amounts to 7.9 million euros for three years.
The Council adopted a Decision approving the signing and provisional application of a Protocol to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in order to take into account the accession to the EU of the 10 new Member States (9856/04).
The Council adopted a Decision approving the signing and provisional application of an Additional Protocol to the EU's Association Agreement with Chile in order to take into account the accession of the 10 new Member States to the EU (13285/04).
The Council adopted a Decision approving the accession of Moldova to the Agreement to establish a science and technology centre in Ukraine between Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United States of America and authorising the Presidency of the Council to express the approval within the Governing Board of the Centre (14204/04).
The Council took note of a report on proceedings in the Council's other configurations (14711/04).
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"Public-Private Partnerships in Developing and Transition Countries – A Critical Review of Existing Experiences and Analysis of Possibilities of Donor Intervention
UNDERLINING the need to fully implement the commitments deriving from major UN and EU conferences, in particular the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development (ICFD) held in Monterrey, the Barcelona European Summit and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg;
REAFFIRMING that this is part of a wider process aiming at timely achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
RECALLING the Commission communication on European Community Co-operation with Third Countries: the Commission’s approach to future support for the development of the business sector, which mentioned the need to develop innovative and more effective financing instruments to enhance the role of the private sector in developing countries that include, inter alia, public-private partnerships (PPPs);
RECALLING the Commission communication on the Reform of State-owned Enterprises in Developing Countries with a focus on public utilities: the need to assess all options, which argued for an objective assessment of all the options and their sequencing, and selecting the one that best meets the needs of the particular country and field; this refers in particular to the messages of that communication regarding issues like access, affordability, quality of services, regulatory framework, competition and enforcement mechanisms;
REAFFIRMING the Council conclusions of 17 November 2003 on the above communications, which state the possible increase in revenue, trade and employment that PPPs could bring about in developing countries and which define PPPs as a possibility for reform of state-owned enterprises;
UNDERLINING the important role of the private sector in achieving economic growth and thereby development objectives;
1. WELCOMES the Commission staff working paper on PPPs in Developing and Transition Countries – A Critical Review of Existing Experiences and Analysis of Possibilities of Donor Intervention –, its analysis and in particular its recommendations;
2. UNDERLINES the potential that PPPs hold in terms of improved public service provision, economic development and poverty reduction in developing and transition countries;
3. CONFIRMS that private participation in service provision is not considered a goal in itself. The benefits, costs and the risks of private participation must be carefully assessed in order to ensure its positive impact on poverty eradication, also at the level of the individual.
4. AGREES that private participation in the form of investment is unlikely to sufficiently increase in many developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs), in the short to medium term. Therefore, funding from national governments as well as donors and international financial institutions is likely to remain critical if the MDGs are to be achieved in many sectors offering services of general interest;
5. UNDERLINES that donors, complementary to development banks and in collaboration with NGOs, have an important role to play, especially in low-income countries and LDCs. In this respect, better availability of catalytic funding needs to go hand in hand with adequate national capacity building to transact and implement PPPs. In order to ensure the necessary alignment with national circumstances, a maximum of flexibility is required both in terms of service provision and finance modalities;
6. CONFIRMS that, in support of existing activities, the Commission and the EIB are well positioned to play a role in facilitating PPPs. It welcomes the concept of output-based aid as well as the Commission’s commitment to join the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF). At the same time the Council encourages the Commission, as it continues to shape its programme on PPPs, to also identify and learn about other existing initiatives and experiences;
7. ACKNOWLEDGES the first hand expertise and experience in privatisation reforms and building PPPs, gained during the transition and accession process, that the new EU members could bring to this;
8. INVITES both the Commission and the Member States to feed the conclusions of the staff working paper as well as the present Council Conclusions into the formulation of their general development cooperation strategies. In this context, special reference is made to the MDGs+5 stocktaking exercise and to the possible review of the Joint Council/Commission Declaration on the EC Development Policy of November 2000, both to be carried out in 2005."
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"The Council of the European Union
1. Recalling its conclusions of 5 December 2003 on the Commission proposal for an EU Strategy and Action Plan on Climate Change in the context of Development Cooperation.
2. Reiterates its endorsement of the proposed Strategy and recalls its decision to further develop the Action Plan in the relevant Council Expert Group with a view to its prompt adoption by the Council and its subsequent implementation, in a coordinated and complementary manner, by the Commission and the Member States.
3. Welcomes the timely finalisation of the work by the Expert Group, which has also included a consultation of Partner Countries and civil society, and notes that the Action Plan is complementary to other EU initiatives such as the initiatives on Water, Energy and Illegal Logging.
4. Further welcomes that the Action Plan has been completed in time for the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the World Conference on Disaster Reduction.
5. Notes that the Action Plan provides a tool for the EU Member States and the Commission to actively assist partner countries in their efforts to address Climate Change and implement the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
6. Reiterates that mainstreaming of responses to climate change into poverty reduction strategies and/or national strategies for sustainable development is the main avenue to address both adaptation to the adverse effects and mitigation of the causes of climate change. Climate change is a risk to development. Adaptation strategies should seek to manage the risk, thereby supporting developing countries in building their resilience to climate change impacts, and protecting national and EU efforts to eradicate poverty.
7. Recalling the commitment in the “Bonn Political Declaration” on climate change funding for developing countries; reaffirms its determination to deliver USD 369 million annually by 2005 [and reiterates that the relevant Member States will report on their respective contributions in their national communications as of 2006.
The Action Plan is to be found in document 13876/04.
The Council adopted a Regulation extending the definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by Regulation (EC) No 964/2003 on imports of tube or pipe fittings, of iron or steel, originating in the People's Republic of China to imports of tube or pipe fittings, of iron or steel, consigned from Sri Lanka, whether declared as originating in Sri Lanka or not (13593/04).
The Council adopted a Regulation extending the definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by Regulation (EC) No 964/2003 on imports of tube or pipe fittings, of iron or steel, originating in the People's Republic of China to imports of tube or pipe fittings, of steel or iron, consigned from Indonesia, whether declared as originating in Indonesia or not (13579/04).