External Affairs ministers get prepared for EU Council Summit on 29–30 October

The General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) is meeting on 26–27 October in Luxembourg. The ministers will make preparations for the upcoming EU Summit taking plance on 29–30 October and reach a decision on the EU's Baltic Sea Strategy. Points on the foreign policy agenda include an action plan for stronger EU actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the situation in Sri Lanka after the end of the war and the transition to a stronger EU presence in Bosnia.

The General Affairs Council will prepare for the meeting of the European Council on 29–30 October. The European Council is expected to discuss the following issues:

  • Institutional issues, involving completing the required preparations ahead of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon
  • Climate change, primarily concerning the EU’s negotiating mandate ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on 7–18 December
  • Economic, financial and social issues
  • The EU Baltic Sea Strategy
  • Irregular immigration
  • External relations, especially about Iran, EU presence in Bosnia, situation in Sri Lanka after the war, action in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the Middle east proccess.

Decision on the EU Baltic Sea Strategy expected

Ministers are expected to adopt conclusions on the EU Baltic Sea Strategy. The objective of the Baltic Sea Strategy is to address the deterioration of the environment in the Baltic Sea. The strategy also aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the region by improving communications and making energy supply more efficient.

The conclusions stress the importance of a regional strategy comprising several countries, bodies and sectors. It is emphasised that this integrated approach is a prerequisite to be able to achieve a sustainable region environmentally, economically and socially. The Baltic Sea Strategy, which is expected to be welcomed by the European Council on 29–30 October, is one of the Presidency’s priority issues.