At today’s EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels the main issues discussed were EU-Africa relations, the situation in the Horn of Africa, the Eastern Partnership and the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence.
According to Sven Mikser, in relations with African countries we must pay more attention to young people and the labour market in Africa. “Nowadays, innovation and e-services offer great opportunities to create new and attractive jobs. In addition, e-services can be used to improve the quality of public services and strengthen good governance,” Mikser said. The Foreign Minister presented his European colleagues the e-Governance Conference taking pace in Tallinn in the end of May, organised by the Estonian e-Governance Academy in collaboration with the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. “The conference will make a considerable contribution to the programme of the EU-Africa Summit taking place in November,” the Minister added.
In the afternoon, the discussion focused mainly on the Eastern Partnership which is one of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council. The Eastern Partnership Summit will take place in Brussels in November. “A stable, safe and prosperous neighbourhood is in the interests of the EU,” the Foreign Minister said at the meeting. This requires close and full cooperation. “It is necessary to develop connections between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries, especially transport, energy and digital connections. Our aim is to bring the Eastern Partnership countries closer to us,” Mikser added.
In addition to discussing EU-Africa relations in general, the situation in the Horn of Africa was viewed separately, as the humanitarian and security situation there has deteriorated. Ministers agreed that the EU must rethink its role in the region and the first issues to address are violence and humanitarian problems. The Horn of Africa region comprises of Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan.
The Council also discussed implementing the EU Global Strategy on security and defence. The foreign ministers supported implementing the strategy and approved the conclusions of the strategy to be adopted by the defence ministers. The defence ministers will meet in Brussels on Thursday, 18 May.
During lunch, the ministers met with the Chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat to discuss relations between the EU and the African Union in the light of the November Summit.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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