Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will take part in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on December 9. This will be the first Foreign Affairs Council to be chaired by Josep Borrell in his capacity as the new High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Relations between the EU and Africa: France will advocate for increasing the EU’s level of ambition in its relations with Africa in the run-up to the next summit between the EU and the African Union in 2020. Following the death of 13 French soldiers in Mali on November 25, the minister will stress the need for stronger action by the EU in the Sahel, notably through the Partnership for Stability and Security, spearheaded by France and Germany.
The promotion of human rights and democracy: On the eve of International Human Rights Day (December 10), France will reaffirm its deep attachment to the respect for and the promotion of human rights and will underscore the importance of supporting human rights defenders and civil society, as well as gender equality, all over the world. The minister will underscore the EU’s key role in addressing the setbacks observed in multilateral forums in terms of women’s rights. He will call on the European institutions to take a cross-cutting approach in order to address this issue, while paying tribute to the new president of the European Commission’s goal of making gender issues a priority of the EU’s external action.