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EU Foreign Policy Meetings

Volume 515: debated on Thursday 9 September 2010

There will be a series of EU foreign policy meetings in September.

10 to 11 September: Informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers “Gymnich”. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will attend.

10 September: Foreign Affairs Council (FAC). The Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Minister with responsibility for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs, the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey) will attend. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will table a written ministerial statement on this prior to the FAC.

13 September: General Affairs Council (GAC). I will represent the UK.

16 September: European Council: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary will attend.

Gymnich: 10-11 September

The Gymnich will be co-chaired by Baroness Ashton and the Belgian Foreign Minister, Vanackere. The main item will be the EU’s relations with strategic partners, in preparation for the European Council. The meeting will also discuss Pakistan, Turkey and the workings of Foreign Affairs Councils. There will also be a meeting with EU candidate countries. Other topical issues—middle east peace process and western Balkans—may be discussed. But, because it is an informal meeting, there will be no conclusions.

General Affairs Council (GAC): 13 September

The GAC, chaired by the Belgian presidency, will predominantly cover final preparations for the September European Council which will discuss EU relations with strategic powers and include a Heads lunch discussion on economic governance.

President Van Rompuy will join Ministers over lunch where we will stress the importance of having substantive foreign policy outcomes at the September European Council. The GAC will also take a first look at the October European Council which will review President Van Rompuy’s economic governance taskforce, prepare for the Cancun meeting on climate change and November’s G20 meeting in South Korea.

European Council: 16 September

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will report to the House following the meeting of the Council.