Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić 18 March 2019 attended a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council.
The Council discussed the EU-China relations, Moldova and Yemen. The discussion on the EU-China relations was a preparation for the upcoming 21st EU-China Summit, to be held 9 April in Brussels. Given China’s growing role and impact in the global arena, the Council reviewed the status of the overall relations and determined future cooperation priorities. The principal areas of cooperation with China include multilateralism and climate change; peace, security and sustainable economic development; economic relations; the EU’s competitiveness, and security of key infrastructure. The ministers underlined the opportunities and challenges in the further development of relations with China and agreed to work on intensifying the engagement to promote joint interests on the global level. The EU will strive for more balanced and reciprocal economic relations, adapting to the new economic realities and working on the strengthening of its own policies and industrial basis.
Pejčinović Burić reported on the preparations for the China+16 summit, scheduled for 11-12 April in Dubrovnik. About the EU-China relations, notably in regard to tighter cooperation in multilateral institutions, global challenges and security, as well as about the need for a more balanced and stronger reciprocity in economic exchange and other issues of joint interest the ministers discussed in an informal meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The Council reviewed the situation in Moldova following the parliamentary elections of 24 February 2019. The EU will continue to support Moldova in the implementation of DCFTA, with a clear insistence on progress in carrying out the reforms.
The ministers voiced concern over the situation in Yemen, namely humanitarian, and focused on ways to support the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement reached in December 2018.
Also discussed were other topical matters: the grave situation in Venezuela, Brussels III Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, and the Central African Republic.
On the occasion of the five years since the illegal annexation of Crimea, the ministers issued a joint statement. The Council underlined its commitment to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine by remaining steadfast in not recognizing Crimea’s annexation.
Ahead of the FAC meeting, the ministers held informal talks with North Macedonia’s Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs and chief EU accession negotiator Bujar Osmani and Foreign Minister Nikol Dimitrov. The talks focused on North Macedonia’s European future and the implementation of the Reform Agenda. Pejčinović Burić underscored the importance of the country’s headway along its Euro-Atlantic road for the stability and security of Southeast Europe.