(L-R) Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Clément Beaune, Minister Delegate for Europe of France; Credit: MAEE

On Tuesday 21 June 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, took part in the meeting of the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) in Luxembourg.

The ministers responsible for European affairs examined the draft conclusions of the European Council to be held on 23 and 24 June 2022 in Brussels. In view of the strategic debate on the EU's relations with its partners in Europe, Luxembourg is ready to explore new formats of cooperation with European partners who share the common values ​​of the Union. Minister Asselborn recalled the importance of assuring the partner countries, in particular the Western Balkan countries, that such a format would in no way prejudge the ongoing process of accession to the EU.

With regard to applications for EU membership from Ukraine and Moldova, Minister Asselborn confirmed that Luxembourg welcomes the opinion of the European Commission. “We cannot leave Ukraine alone,” said the minister in particular. With regard to the question of the absorption capacity of the Union and the functioning of an enlarged EU, Luxembourg wishes to address this issue in an open manner and in accordance with the interests of the EU.

The European ministers closed the preparations for the next European Council with an exchange of views on the process of bringing the Western Balkan countries closer to the European Union. In this context, Minister Asselborn called for "quickly undoing the current blockage to start accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania".

Ministers then discussed the European Semester 2022, before considering the implementation of the proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Luxembourg welcomes the positive conclusion of the Conference on 9 May 2022 and stresses the importance of taking seriously the proposals of European citizens, many of which can already be implemented under the existing treaties.

Finally, the French presidency informed the ministers on the progress of work on the draft regulation on the transparency and targeting of political advertising, and the European Commission provided an update on relations with the United Kingdom.