PRESS RELEASE 211
Juan González-Barba underlines that agreement with United Kingdom must be balanced and in line with EU rules and values
08/12/2020

The State Secretary for the European Union (EU), Juan González-Barba, has taken part today in the General Affairs Council, at which there was an exchange of viewpoints on the latest news in the negotiations on future relations with the United Kingdom.

Juan González-Barba, who took part in this meeting of European affairs ministers by video-conference, reiterated Spain’s support for the work of the Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, who also took part in the meeting to outline the latest details of the negotiations with the British Government.

“Despite the persistence of serious differences, we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that will be balanced and in line with the principles and values of the EU”, indicated the State Secretary for the European Union during his participation in the preparatory meeting for the upcoming European Council, which will be held on 10 and 11 December.

This European Council will also address, among other issues, the coordination of the efforts to tackle the pandemic at a European level, both in terms of healthcare and on the matter of mobility, the EU’s climate ambition in the medium term and the fight against terrorism.

As regards the pandemic, Juan González-Barba stressed the importance of the achievements made in coordinating Member States in the fight against the pandemic to date, while highlighting the need to coordinate the vaccination campaigns that will begin in the coming weeks.

As regards climate action, Spain aspires for the European Council to raise the level of the EU’s ambition, establishing a target of reducing CO2 emissions by at least 55% by the year 2030 and for the EU to continue exercising its leadership in this field with a view to the upcoming COP26.

In relation to the fight against terrorism, Juan González-Barba reiterated the importance of measures to protect, support and assist victims of terrorism. The State Secretary for the European Union also underlined the importance of strengthening and improving the application of instruments for judicial and police cooperation, as well as on the exchange of information.

The meeting was also used to review the situation of external relations, since the Heads of State and Government will hold a strategic discussion on relations with the Southern Neighbourhood, address the revision of the agenda with the United States and discuss potential courses of action in relation to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The meeting held today also served to address relaunching relations between the EU and the countries in the Southern Neighbourhood. Spain is heading up this joint reflection and dialogue process with the Mediterranean countries and has just held the second Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Neighbourhood on 26 November in Barcelona. Spain is promoting this relaunch of the agenda based on shared values and priorities, which foster the convergence and connectivity of the region based on the ecological transition and the digital transformation.

The meeting also addressed the legislative programme of the EU for the next five years, the recent Action Plan for European Democracy and the state of the situation of the enlargement process.

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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