Official speeches and statements – December 4, 2020

Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

1. COVID-19 – Special session of the UN General Assembly in response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic – Statement by Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic (by videoconference – December 3, 2020)

United Nations Secretary-General,

Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our societies to multiple challenges.

The first is that of international public health cooperation. We can now draw several lessons from the current crisis in this regard.

Firstly, the only effective responses to the pandemic will be global, coordinated and inclusive. That is why I am so pleased with the collective action driven by the ACT-Accelerator initiative, which aims to make tools for fighting pandemics accessible to all countries, and to make them global public goods. A total of 10 billion dollars has already been raised for the initiative, which is considerable. But we must continue to raise funds from the entire international community.

As I said to the G20 partner countries at the Summit in Riyadh on 21 November, France proposes a donation mechanism so that a portion of the first doses of vaccines available are used to vaccinate priority groups in developing countries. These doses, whether they come from Europe, China, Russia or the United States, whether they are the fruit of donations from States or pharmaceutical companies, would thus be allocated effectively and fairly, on the basis of WHO recommendations. I invite you to build this mechanism together. I believe it to be the most adapted response.

But we know that vaccines will not be enough. Unless primary health systems are strengthened in the most vulnerable countries, they will not be used. Unless health workers everywhere are trained, our health response will remain sub-optimal: that is why France supports the World Health Organization in establishing a WHO Academy in Lyon, which will train health workers from all over the world. That is also why we invite all the powers of the G20 and beyond, to strengthen the health portion of their official development assistance, to come to the aid of the primary health systems of the main emerging and developing countries concerned.

Secondly, a lesson from this crisis is that we are not sufficiently prepared to deal with health threats. We need to strengthen the current system of international health security. France has made proposals, particularly with Germany and its other European partners more broadly. We support the strengthening of the World Health Organization, which is the sole universal health organization. That is why we have made an additional 50-million euros contribution to the WHO for 2020 and 2021.

More specifically, we would like to see an intermediate alert system established so that the WHO can warn sound the alert. We would also like to see more transparency and accountability on the part of States Parties to the International Health Regulations. An international inquiry is under way and we must learn all possible lessons from it. It will most likely be necessary to review the International Health Regulations, in order to become more effective in this respect.

The third lesson is that the public health crisis underlines the interaction between human, animal and environmental health, amid the deterioration of ecosystems.

That is why we support the creation of a One Health Council of high-level experts tasked with collecting and disseminating the scientific information available on the links between human, animal and environmental health, in order to assist public officials in managing future health crises and inform citizens about these issues. I am pleased that the WHO, OIE, FAO and UNEP are working to create this Council, in a spirt of partnership with all the major international organizations in the sectors.

Beyond health issues, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major humanitarian impact. It has increased poverty and inequalities. According to the United Nations, 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2021. The number of people in need of food aid has never been so high.

In this respect, I commend the essential action of all the United Nations agencies and programs and their staff who work every day alongside the most vulnerable people on the planet, at times risking their lives. I would also like to recall that it is more crucial than ever to ensure humanitarian workers’ access to the people they are seeking to help.

The exceptional circumstances generated by the pandemic threaten, in many countries, the achievements of the over-70-year international fight for human rights.

The pandemic must not be used a pretext for restrictions on civil society, erosion of the rule of law, attacks on the freedom of expression, or the arbitrary detention of opponents. It cannot be used as an excuse to undermine the progress made in fighting violence against women, in access to sexual and reproductive rights and services, and in protecting our children. Because we cannot tolerate such backsliding, we are organizing the Generation Equality Forum in 2021. Please join us so that we can together champion the cause of gender equality.

Lastly, our role is to prevent further excesses in the brutalization of the world during this crisis, which is far more than just a public health crisis.

The Security Council took into account of the destabilizing effect of pandemics very early. It was able to do so with HIV in 2000 and again with Ebola in 2014 and 2018. That is why, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, we put forward Resolution 2532, with Tunisia, which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council on July 1, 2020, in support of the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire.

I would like to commend, in this regard, the men and women working in United Nations operations who continue, despite the difficulties, to defend peace, and also to combat COVID-19.

Here were some of the convictions I wanted to share with you today. I wish you much luck and progress in your work and I hope you will all come out of this pandemic more united and stronger. Thank you.


2. Brexit – Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpt) (Paris – December 3, 2020)

(…)

Q – Does France think an agreement on Brexit is close, or do you fear a no-deal is more likely at this stage?

I refer you to the Prime Minister’s statements on Brexit today.

We are in a decisive phase of the negotiations on the future of the partnership with the United Kingdom.

Time is short, because EU law will stop applying to UK territory on 31 December, the date when the transition period ends. So there is very little time left to achieve an agreement allowing us to define the practicalities of the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, on trade but also in many other areas like security and access to the waters by our fishermen.

But the outcome of the negotiations remain uncertain. The EU has made the necessary gestures to reach a compromise. It’s up to the British to make sufficient movement to achieve an agreement on the main sticking points, especially fisheries and conditions for fair competition.

We’d like an agreement with the British, but we won’t give way on our demands, because we want an agreement that respects the EU’s principles and our interests, and those of our businesses and citizens. (…)


3. United Nations – Security Sector Reform – Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, at the Security Council (New York – December 3, 2020)

[translation from French]

Madam President,

I too wish you every success for your presidency of the Security Council and congratulate you and your country on your commitment to a theme that is dear to us. Indeed, everywhere, the confidence of our citizens in their government depends on the ability to guarantee security. This is even more true in the aftermath of a conflict, where populations traumatized by cycles of violence need strong security institutions, staffed by competent personnel, acting within the framework of the law and respecting human rights, to project themselves into the future and rebuild it. With resolution 2151, the Security Council recognized the importance of helping States improve their performance in security sector reform to consolidate peace. We welcome South Africa’s initiative to present a new draft resolution that would enable us to further clarify the issues at stake in this process and to achieve further concrete progress.

I would like to emphasize three points:

First of all, peacekeeping and special political missions often contribute to the long-term stabilization of host States, a stabilization that enables them to strengthen their autonomy and thus to contribute directly to the exit strategy of peace operations. However, these peace operations need to be mandated for this purpose. France has a strong ambition in this area with regard to MONUSCO, MINUSMA and MINUSCA.

In this regard, the difficult task of the security sector reform services within the Missions, under the authority of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, deserves to be actively supported. I commend the work of the organizations that assist these missions in connection with the United Nations, such as the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, which operates in 80 countries and which France supports.

Secondly, France advocates a vision of security sector reform that takes the greatest possible account of the specific characteristics of each country, based on the political will of the host State and the coordination of international actors. It is the combination of these wills that makes it possible to provide a solid foundation for security sector reform. I am thinking, for example, of the model of the “instance de coordination au Mali”, which provides the link between the national armed forces and international partner forces.

Thirdly, France considers that one of the factors of success is initiatives conducted at the country and mission levels, so that the reform can be perfectly aligned with the needs identified on the ground. It is essential to be able to rely on indicators adapted to each mission, allowing, on the basis of regular reports, a reliable synthesis of progress made, both in capacity building and in the implementation of structural reforms. The benchmarks relating to the establishment of a reconstituted Malian army, in MINUSMA’s mandate, illustrate how this mechanism can be used as a lever for coordinating efforts between political guidance by the Security Council and the efforts of peace operations on the ground, as well as the international community’s monitoring work with the host state.

Thank you.


4. United Nations – Meeting of the group of friends on climate change – Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations (New York – December 4, 2020)

OPENING REMARKS

Dear colleagues and dear friends,

Thank you all for joining this meeting of the Group of Friends of Climate. I would like to thank my colleague from Morocco, Ambassador Hilale, who co-chairs this group with me.

On behalf of all of us, I also would like to warmly thank Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, for being with us today. For four years now, Patricia has been leading the UN Climate Change Convention, and we would like to express our full appreciation for your amazing work.

As you know, next Saturday will be a special day. On December 12th, we will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

On this occasion, a climate ambition summit will gather leaders from governments, business and civil society. This summit will be a key step towards an historical COP26 in Glasgow next year.

Indisputably, 2021 will be a pivotal moment for climate and our planet.

As we enter a new decade of action, these very important deadlines will have to deliver concrete and transformative solutions. As we all know, current commitments do not put us on track to achieve the goals we set five years ago.

In this respect, today’s discussion will identify and explore new ways to move faster in the right direction.

With no further ado, I would like to give the floor to Executive Secretary of UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa.

CONCLUSIVE REMARKS

Thank you Omar, thank you all for your contributions, thank you very much Patricia [Espinosa] for your remarks and presentation.

I believe now we have a very clear picture of what lies ahead of us.

2021 will be is a pivotal year for this issue for the international community. Covid-19 is turning the world upside down but this is an additional reason to remain focus on this climate change priority.

I just want to say hi to Barbara [Woodward, Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN] and tell her that this Group will remain available on a regular basis to contribute to the success of COP26 in Glasgow because it will be our success. We need this success in a year from now, so we need to keep ambitious targets

And France of course will remain more than ever committed to the implementation of the Paris agreement, and, if possible, go beyond the agreement.

Thank you all.

Hauts-de-France and Maryland sign a memorandum of understanding to promote economic and trade opportunities

Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Published on December 4, 2020



On December 2, 2020, the Hauts-de-France region and the state of Maryland signed a 5-year memorandum of understanding during an official ceremony simultaneously at the Residence of the American Ambassador in Paris and the French Embassy in Washington with the President of the Hauts-de-France region Xavier Bertrand, Larry Hogan the Governor of Maryland, and the two Ambassadors Jamie D. McCourt and Philippe Etienne.

The two parties agree to boost the region’s standing on the international scene, to work together to present innovative projects, to encourage cooperation by sharing information and expertise, and to create a network of businesses and other stakeholders. As early as 1981, the Hauts-de-France region and Maryland had already laid the foundations for this cooperation through a number of exchanges.

Cooperation in the areas of economy, technology, science, agriculture, academia, culture, and tourism

The port sector, the equine industry, new technologies, and science, are currently the areas in which the Hauts-de-France region and the state of Maryland could collaborate.

In order to strengthen the relationship, the Hauts-de-France region and the state of Maryland signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This way, the two territories commit to reinforced cooperation and to developing joint projects on trade, cybersecurity, new technologies, the bio-health and life sciences sector, as well as the equine and ports industries. This cooperation also aims at establishing close ties on tourism, culture and education, and to boosting the friendly ties between the two regions.

In the upcoming months, this cooperation will be exemplified by a series of webinars on the various topics identified with representatives from both regions and with face-to-face meetings when the health situation permits.

Long-standing historic ties

This official cooperation will deepen the historic ties that already exist and the collaboration efforts already undertaken between the two regions.

A friendship and cooperation agreement had been signed by the state of Maryland and the former Nord Pas-de-Calais region on May 30, 1981. Since 2017 (the 275th anniversary of the visit of Founding Father and signatory of the Constitution Daniel Carroll to Saint-Omer), this initiative was relaunched with the visit of delegations from Maryland in 2018 and 2019 to the Hauts-de-France region for the International Cybersecurity Forum (ICF) in Chantilly in connection with the equine industry, and to Saint-Omer. The Saint-Omer orchestra also traveled to Maryland in the framework of an exchange. The goal, as always, was to identify and promote priority areas for cooperation. In September 2020, cooperation in the bio-health sector was launched with the participation of Hauts-de-France firms in the Bio Innovation conference organized by the Maryland Technology Council.

Press Contacts

HAUTS-DE-FRANCE REGION

Peggy COLETTE – EL HAMDI

Head of the Press Office
Email

Tel.: +33 3 74 27 48 38 / Cell.: +33 6 75 93 38 28

Charlotte ARQUIN

Press Attachée
Email

Tel.: +33 3 74 27 48 44 / Cell.: +33 6 72 45 79 86


U.S. EMBASSY IN FRANCE

Sophie ROY-SULTAN

U.S. Embassy Press Office, Paris
Email

Cell.: +33 6 20 86 87 22

EU budget for 2021: Council and Parliament reach common understanding

Source: Council of the European Union 2

The Council and the Parliament today reached a common understanding on the content of the EU budget for 2021, based on the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 preliminarily agreed earlier this year.

The common understanding was reached in the budgetary conciliation committee, pending clarity on the adoption of the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. In order for the budget to be formalised, the next multiannual financial framework will need to be adopted first.

This is a good result based on the agreement reached on the next multiannual financial framework. I am glad that it has been achieved in a record time due to the excellent cooperation between the EU institutions. This shows that Europe can pull together in times of crisis. However, the budget for 2021 can only enter into force once the blockage on the overall EU budget and recovery package is lifted. Without this, we are looking at a drastic cut in EU funding from the beginning of next year.

Michael Clauß, Permanent Representative of Germany to the EU

According to the agreement reached today, the total commitments in the 2021 budget are set at €164.2 billion. €0.8 billion of margins are kept available under the expenditure ceilings of the next multiannual financial framework to give the EU sufficient leeway to react to unforeseeable needs that may arise next year, including in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. Total payments amount to €166.1 billion. 

Funding under the draft budget has been directed towards mitigation of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, support for a sustainable recovery and the EU’s green and digital transitions, in line with the priorities addressed in the next multiannual financial framework. 

Next steps

The budgetary conciliation period laid down in the treaties will end on 7 December 2020. As the Council and the Parliament will not sign a joint text in the conciliation committee during that period, due to the fact that the adoption of the multiannual financial framework is still pending, the Commission will have to present a new draft budget. In a joint statement agreed today, it has been invited to do so, taking due account of the common understanding reached in conciliation, as soon as there are sufficient assurances about the adoption of the next multiannual financial framework. This will allow the Council and the Parliament to quickly adopt the budget for 2021 on the basis of the Commission’s new draft budget. 

If it is not possible to adopt the EU budget for 2021 by 1 January 2021, the system of provisional twelfths will apply. This will considerably restrict possibilities to fund EU policies and programmes from the beginning of next year.

EEAS Vacancy Notice: Contract Agent FGII – Assistant to the Migration and Human Security Division – EEAS Headquarters – job n° 160319

Source: European Union External Action

We are

The European External Action Service (EEAS) supports the work of the High Representative in defining and implementing an effective and coherent EU foreign policy. The EEAS supports his tasks of conducting the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and chairing the Foreign Affairs Council. It also supports the High Representative in his capacity as Vice President of the Commission with regard to his responsibilities within the Commission in the external relations field including the coordination of other aspects of the EU’s external action. The EEAS works in close cooperation with Member States, the Council and relevant services of the European Commission.

Our division

The Division “GLOBAL 4 – Migration and Human Security” deals with the external aspects of the EU’s migration policy and the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. The Division contributes to the strategic planning and coordination of the EEAS work on these matters as well as to enhance internal/external policy consistency, develop synergies and integrate the above issues into the EU’s overall relations with third countries and partners. The Division works in close cooperation with other EEAS departments, Member States, the European Commission and the Council Secretariat.

We propose

The position of Assistant to the GLOBAL 4 Division – contract agent FGII as per article 3b of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union (CEOS).

We look for

A dynamic, flexible and proactive colleague with good communication and organizational skills with a developed sense of service. The secretary should be able to quickly adapt to new working environment and be a good team-player. The successful candidate should have good computer skills with a sound knowledge of the standard IT applications and administrative procedures. He/she will be entrusted with the following main tasks:

  • provide efficient secretarial support;
  • manage several functional mailboxes and send requested information and documents;
  • follow e-brief and the timely preparation of briefings etc;
  • carry out various administrative tasks such as diary-keeping, filtering telephone calls, filing and ordering supplies, dealing with correspondence;
  • document management: registration of incoming and outgoing correspondence, including in Ares;
  • organize missions of staff using MIPS application;
  • organize meetings and events;
  • co-ordinate the creation, keeping up to date and retrieval of documents and data in the appropriate files or IT databases;
  • follow-up written questions of the EP and ISC.

Legal basis

The vacancy is to be filled in accordance with the conditions stipulated under the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union (CEOS). 1

The successful candidate will be offered a contract agent position (Function group II); renewable contract for a maximum duration of 6 years (with a valid CAST exam).

Eligibility criteria

Candidates for this contract agent II post should:

  • (i) have passed a valid EPSO CAST in a valid FG for this post

Or

  • (ii) be registered in the EPSO Permanent CAST in a valid FG for this post https://epso.europa.eu/apply/job-offers_en?keyword=&contract=37&grade=Al…
  • have a level of post-secondary education attested by a diploma or a level of secondary education attested by a diploma giving access to post-secondary education and appropriate professional experience of three year;
  • have the capacity to work in languages of CFSP and external relations necessary for the performance of their duties. Knowledge of other EU languages would be an asset.
  • be a national of one of the member States of the European Union and enjoy full rights as a citizen.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Candidates should have:

  • Proven experience in the secretarial field; experience in the field of external relations will be an asset;
  • ability to be well organised and to deal with files in a timely manner;
  • proven capacities of a team player with good inter-personal and communication skills;
  • sound computer skills (MS Office) and good knowledge of standard administrative, knowledge of workflow based IT applications (ARES, MIPS, Sysper2, e-Brief, EU-Learn, CIS-Net, TSAR, LegisWrite, e-Greffe, RUE) and administrative procedures would be an asset.
  • ability to perform multiple tasks and adjust to changing priorities and respect deadlines;
  • a good working knowledge of English is necessary. Knowledge of French would be an asset.

Furthermore:

  • experience of working in a team in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment;
  • experience in working with or within other EU institutions;
  • experience of working under pressure and in tight timelines

would be considered as assets.

Specific conditions of employment

The signature of the contract will be subject to prior favourable opinion of the Medical Service.

The successful candidate might be required to undergo security vetting if she or he does not hold already a Personal Security Clearance to an appropriate level, in accordance with relevant security provisions.

Equal Opportunities

The EEAS is committed to an equal opportunities policy for all its employees and applicants for employment. As an employer, the EEAS is committed to promoting gender equality and to preventing discrimination on any grounds. It actively welcomes applications from all qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds and from the broadest possible geographical basis amongst the EU Member States. We aim at a service which is truly representative of society, where each staff member feels respected, is able to give their best and can develop their full potential.

Candidates with disabilities are invited to contact CONTRACTAGENTS-HQ@eeas.europa.eu in order to accommodate any special needs and provide assistance to ensure the possibility to pass the selection procedure in equality of opportunities with other candidates. If a candidate with a disability is selected for a vacant post, the EEAS is committed to providing reasonable accommodation in accordance with Art 1d.4 of the Staff Regulations.

Application and selection procedure 2

Please send your CV and cover letter (with your EPSO CAST number) via email to

GLOBAL-4@eeas.europa.eu

Deadline for sending application: 22/12/2020 at 18.00 (CET).

Candidates shall draft their CV following the European CV form which can be found at the following internet address:http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/documents/curriculum-vitae.

Late applications will not be accepted.

The selection panel will make a pre-selection on the basis of the qualifications and professional experience described in the CV and motivational letter, and will produce a shortlist of eligible candidates who best meet the selection criteria for the post. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be informed about the outcome of the pre-selection phase.

The candidates who have been preselected will be invited for an interview by a selection panel. The panel will recommend a shortlist of candidates for a final decision by the Authority Authorised to Conclude Contracts of Employment. The Authority may decide to interview the candidates on the final shortlist before taking this decision.

Place of employment: EEAS Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium

Post available: 15/01/2021

1 Staff Regulations of Officials (SR) and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union (CEOS). For reference, see https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1570023902133&uri=CE…

2 Your personal data will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, as implemented by ADMIN(2019)8 Decision of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The privacy statement is available on the Europa website: (http://eeas.europa.eu/data_protection/rights/index_en.htm) and on the EEAS Intranet: (https://intranet.eeas.europa.eu/page/eeas-work/data-protection/privacy-s…).

European Anti-Fraud Office: Council adopts new rules to enhance the fight against fraud

Source: Council of the European Union 2

The EU is strengthening the legal framework for the protection of its financial interests.

The Council today adopted its position at first reading on amendments to the regulation concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). The aim of the new rules is to ensure smooth cooperation between OLAF and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), which is expected to become operational in the beginning of 2021. They will also strengthen the framework for investigations carried out by OLAF.

The Council’s position at first reading is based on the agreement reached in the negotiations with the European Parliament this summer and is expected to be approved by the Parliament without amendments at the December plenary.

OLAF was set up in 1999 to conduct administrative investigations relating to the protection of the EU’s financial interests. When it encounters possible criminal offences, it can make a recommendation to national judicial authorities. From 2021, in the member states participating in the EPPO, OLAF will report such suspected offences to the EPPO and support EPPO investigations at the EPPO’s request. In other member states, OLAF will continue its investigations as before.

The EPPO regulation already includes provisions to regulate the relationship between the EPPO and OLAF. They are based on the principles of close cooperation, exchange of information, complementarity and non-duplication.

The new rules adopted by the Council today specify further details of the relationship, in particular as regards the conduct of complementary administrative investigations at OLAF’s initiative. Such investigations will be possible subject to certain conditions, unless the EPPO objects.

The amendments also enhance the effectiveness of OLAF’s investigations, and clarify and simplify some provisions of the OLAF regulation, without changing OLAF’s mandate or powers.

Some of the main improvements concern the conduct of on-the-spot checks and inspections and the admissibility of OLAF’s case reports as evidence in administrative or judicial proceedings. OLAF will also be granted improved rights of access to bank account information in cooperation with competent national authorities, which can be central to uncovering cases of fraud or irregularity when complex money flows are involved.

EIB Group Volunteering Hub Award 2020

Source: European Investment Bank

Created in 2018 by the Corporate Responsibility Department, the EIB Group Volunteering Hub aims to connect EIB Group staff who support associations, NGOs and charities and staff who wish to engage in volunteering activities or donate money and/or goods.

This November, the EIB Group Volunteering Hub organised the EIB Volunteering Hub Award. All staff members were invited to vote for one of the Luxembourg-based charities or associations registered on the Volunteering Hub.

The winner of this year’s award is sparkles.lu. Their mission is to support female entrepreneurs in less developed countries by providing micro loans, allowing women to create or expand their business activities and, ultimately, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

The winning charity received a donation from the EIB Institute (EIBI).

High Representative Josep Borrell appoints next Secretary General of the European External Action Service

Source: European Union External Action

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell today decided to appoint Stefano Sannino as next Secretary General of European External Action Service (EEAS).

I want to express my profound gratitude to Helga Maria Schmid for the remarkable achievements she has accomplished as Secretary General and for having built the EEAS into what it is today. Her contribution to the European Union’s global action is unrivalled. I look forward to continue working with Stefano Sannino, as new Secretary General of the EEAS. He brings with him a long and rich European diplomatic experience from his senior service to both the European Union institutions and the Italian government. I cannot think of a better candidate to steer the EEAS into its second decade.

This decision will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

Stefano Sannino worked as EEAS Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Issues since February 2020. Previously, he was the Ambassador of Italy to Spain and the Italian Permanent Representative to the European Union. Mr. Sannino also served as Director General for Enlargement in the European Commission. He will be following Helga Maria Schmid, who has been Secretary General of the EEAS since 1 September 2016 and EEAS Deputy Secretary General/Political Director since 2011.

Media advisory – Foreign Affairs Council of 7 December 2020

Source: Council of the European Union 2

Indicative programme

9.30
Beginning of the video conference of foreign affairs ministers, chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell

– Current affairs and review of the latest international developments
– Transatlantic Relations
– Strategic Autonomy
– Other business: Hong Kong Security Law

At the end of the meeting (+/- 14.30) press conference in live streaming.

Arrangements for the press conference

Please note that there will be no physical press conference. EU accredited journalists will be able to ask questions remotely using this link.

Journalists who already registered for previous FAC press conferences do not need to register again.

  • Deadline: Monday, 7 December 2020, 13.30

Further instructions will be sent to all registered participants approximately half an hour after the deadline.

Videos and photos from the event

Study – States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Normative response and parliamentary oversight in EU Member States during the first wave of the pandemic – 04-12-2020

Source: European Parliament 2

States of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis: Normative response and parliamentary oversight in EU Member States during the first wave of the pandemic

04-12-2020

This study examines the normative response of the 27 EU Member States during the first phase of the Covid 19 pandemic (March to mid June 2020) and parliamentary oversight over the measures adopted. The study reveals that Member States’ normative responses to the pandemic were generally efficient, as very few of them were not preventively equipped with a set of rules enabling the national authorities to adopt the containment measures needed to address the first peak of the health crisis, and because the Member States lacking those normative tools were able to adopt the necessary empowering legislative acts quickly. The study also reveals that all EU national parliaments played some role in the management of the pandemic, either through the supervision of the measures adopted by the executive to contain the spread of the virus or through the exercise of their ordinary legislative and budgetary powers to provide the government with the normative tools needed to address the pandemic.

This study examines the normative response of the 27 EU Member States during the first phase of the Covid 19 pandemic (March to mid June 2020) and parliamentary oversight over the measures adopted. The study reveals that Member States’ normative responses to the pandemic were generally efficient, as very few of them were not preventively equipped with a set of rules enabling the national authorities to adopt the containment measures needed to address the first peak of the health crisis, and because the Member States lacking those normative tools were able to adopt the necessary empowering legislative acts quickly. The study also reveals that all EU national parliaments played some role in the management of the pandemic, either through the supervision of the measures adopted by the executive to contain the spread of the virus or through the exercise of their ordinary legislative and budgetary powers to provide the government with the normative tools needed to address the pandemic.

Briefing – Coronavirus: The battle continues [What Think Tanks are thinking] – 04-12-2020

Source: European Parliament 2

Coronavirus: The battle continues [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-12-2020

As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be peaking in Europe, governments and citizens are buoyed by the successful human trials of several vaccines which their producers hope to be able to distribute widely over the coming months. There is growing expectation that, as these vaccines start to become available to the general public in coming months, daily life may gradually return to normal, or at least to a ‘new normal’, during the course of 2021. Meanwhile, many regions of the world continue in some form of lockdown to stave off the second wave. The political debate on health policy is currently focussed not only on priorities for distributing the vaccine in the advanced economies, such as those of the EU, but on how to make it available to poorer countries too, as scientists underline that the virus knows no borders. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic-related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’ of 10 November.

As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be peaking in Europe, governments and citizens are buoyed by the successful human trials of several vaccines which their producers hope to be able to distribute widely over the coming months. There is growing expectation that, as these vaccines start to become available to the general public in coming months, daily life may gradually return to normal, or at least to a ‘new normal’, during the course of 2021. Meanwhile, many regions of the world continue in some form of lockdown to stave off the second wave. The political debate on health policy is currently focussed not only on priorities for distributing the vaccine in the advanced economies, such as those of the EU, but on how to make it available to poorer countries too, as scientists underline that the virus knows no borders. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on pandemic-related issues. Earlier think tank studies on the issue can be found in the ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking’ of 10 November.