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The Council discussed the state of play of negotiations in the World Trade Organization, and progress in its reform process. It also took stock of the latest developments regarding trade relations between the EU and the United States.
The European Commission has presented its Opinions on euro area Member States' 2020 Draft Budgetary Plans, taken steps under the Stability and Growth Pact and adopted the fourth Enhanced Surveillance Report for Greece.
The Council focused on the next multiannual financial framework, European Council preparations and strengthening the rule of law in the EU. Ministers also discussed the state of play on enlargement and the stabilisation and association process.
The European Commission will allocate €200.9 million in 2020 to fund promotion activities for EU agri-food products at home and abroad. The 2020 promotion policy work programme adopted by the Commission outlines the main priorities for support.
The Council endorsed an agreement on the 2020 EU budget reached with the European Parliament in the conciliation committee. The budget strongly focuses on growth and competitiveness, climate action and other EU priorities such as security and management of migration.
The AgriFish Council exchanged views on the post 2020 CAP reform package and CAP transitional rules. It was also informed about: apiculture, imports of maize and rice, and the EU-China agreement on GIs.
The European Commission adopted the decision granting marketing authorisation to the company Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. for a vaccine against Ebola. This vaccine, called Ervebo, had been in development since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.
The Council focussed on Afghanistan and on the security situation in the Gulf region and Iran. Foreign ministers also had an exchange of views with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
The Council adopted conclusions on climate finance ahead of COP25, the UN climate change conference, which will take place in Madrid from 2 to 13 December 2019. It also reached agreement on two reforms of existing VAT rules.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is being strengthened in terms of staff and technical equipment. It is also being given a broader mandate to support member states' activities, especially on border control, return and cooperation with third countries. The new regulation will incorporate the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) into the European Border and Coast Guard framework, to improve its functioning.
It will soon be easier and more profitable to trade with Singapore. The free trade agreement (FTA) signed by the European Union and the Republic of Singapore on 19 October 2018 is due to enter into force on 21 November 2019, as a consequence of the decision adopted by the Council today on the conclusion of this agreement.
The European economy is now in its seventh consecutive year of growth and is forecast to continue expanding in 2020 and 2021. Labour markets remain strong and unemployment continues to fall. However, the external environment has become much less supportive and uncertainty is running high.
The EU and China concluded the negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU against imitations and usurpation.
The Commission publishes recommendations by a group of experts, the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest, to boost Europe's competitiveness and global leadership in six strategic and future-oriented industrial sectors.
The European Commission published its 2020 call for proposals for the Erasmus+ programme. 2020 is the last year of the current European Union programme for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport.
The report presented recaps the initiatives taken by the Commission in some of the key areas of the Security Union including, the fight against terrorism, information exchange, countering radicalisation and cybersecurity, while noting that further efforts are needed, in particular on the implementation of EU security legislation.
The extension will last until 31 January 2020 to allow more time for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement. The withdrawal can take place earlier on 1 December 2019 or 1 January 2020, if the withdrawal agreement is ratified by both parties.