Today the general affairs Council is preparing for the European Council of Thursday. There will also be a discussion with Herman Van Rompuy about the state of play on the task force proceedings about economic recovery and the way the European Union has to organise itself to make this possible.
The General Affairs Council is composed of the Ministers of Foreign and/or European Affairs of the Member States. The Council meets formally once a month. The General Affairs Council prepares for meetings of the European Council. It supervises the continuity and coherence of the Council’s other configurations and is also responsible for institutional issues and horizontal dossiers, such as the multiannual financial framework and enlargement.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Vanackere, acting Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs: Today the general affairs Council will be preparing for the European Council on Thursday and it is the first Council on which the foreign affairs ministers will be assisting their Prime ministers and the Presidents of the governments to discuss how we can make it possible that the foreign policy of the European Union becomes more effective. I think that general affairs Council of today will be essentially devoted to discussing that subject matter. We will also have a lunch discussion with Herman Van Rompuy on which he will give the state of play on the task force proceedings about economic recovery and the way the European Union has to organise itself to make this possible.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Steven Vanackere: If not today I am convinced that by Thursday it should be possible to make an agreement with South Korea, it is in the interest not only of the South Koreans but also of the citizens of Europe to create more jobs more wealth through trade. I am convinced that the proposition that we have made, are reasonable and can lead to good results.
||Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Michael Spindelegger, Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs
||SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Spindelegger: I think we all are waiting from the European side that Iran is reacting and answering our offer and coming along to sit on one table, to discuss the open issue of nuclear weapons, in the future.
||Werner Hoyer, German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE (German) Werner Hoyer: I want to congratulate Turkey for the success of the referendum thanks to which the country grows reinforced. It is a positive enhancement towards an effective democracy, a real State of law. We wish plenty of happiness to the Turkish citizens.
||Vygaudas Usackas, Lithuanian Minister for Foreign affairs