Brussels, 27 June 2023 (TDI):ย During the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 26 June 2023, EU ministers addressed several key international issues, including the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine. They exchanged views on the situation and expressed their commitment to supporting Ukraine in its counteroffensive efforts.

EU ministers affirmed the EU’s dedication to providing equipment and training to Ukrainian forces, with the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) having already trained 24,000 soldiers.

In addition, to ensure sustained support, the Council approved a โ‚ฌ3.5 billion top-up to the European Peace Facility, securing the facility’s financial sustainability while maintaining its global geographical scope.

Moreover, the Council engaged in talks on reinforcing the EU’s partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean ahead of the upcoming EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels on 17-18 July.

For that the ministers exchanged views on the “New agenda for relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean” proposed by the Commission and the High Representative.

They also emphasized the need for regular and structured bi-regional dialogue to implement actions in areas of common interest, aiming for a positive transformation of the overall EU-LAC agenda.

Digital diplomacy was another significant topic on the Council’s agenda. Ministers discussed the EU’s role as a global shaper of the digital rulebook in critical technologies and as a leading technological power.

They agreed that the EU should leverage its human-centric digital model and collaborate with trusted partners to shape digital rules in multilateral bodies such as the UN, ITU, UNESCO, and OECD.

The Council also outlined priority actions for stronger EU action in global digital affairs, emphasizing regulatory convergence, capacity building, investments in digital infrastructure, and combating digital inequalities.

The Council also touched upon current affairs, including the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. The High Representative provided updates on meetings held with Serbian President Vuฤiฤ‡ and Kosovo Prime Minister Kurti in Brussels on 22 June.

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Member states expressed concern over tensions in northern Kosovo and stressed the importance of immediate de-escalation and dialogue implementation. The Council welcomed the release of three Kosovo policemen held in Belgrade and indicated that further measures may be taken if no progress is made.

Additionally, Tunisia’s situation was discussed in light of recent visits by the President of the European Commission and the Prime Ministers of Italy and the Netherlands. The EU pledged continued assistance to address Tunisia’s social and economic challenges. A comprehensive cooperation package has been offered, awaiting approval by the Council to support Tunisia’s stability.

The Council concluded by approving several decisions, including conclusions on Somalia and the International Criminal Court on the 25th anniversary of the Rome Statute. It also adopted a ninth package of restrictive measures targeting seven individuals responsible for human rights violations in Iran.