Conclusions of General Affairs Councils
MEETINGGENERAL AFFAIRSBRUSSELS, 17 JULY 1995PRESIDENT:
MR JAVIER SOLANA, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE KINGDOM
The Council agreed in principle to a food aid
operation to help the Caucasian republicsArmenia, Georgia
and Azerbaijanand Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan during the
winter of 1995-1996, costing a total of ECU 197 million.
The operation provides for agricultural products,
agricultural inputs and humanitarian aid to be supplied free to
the most vulnerable sections of the population, for technical
assistance for restructuring the agricultural sector and restoring
communications, and for monitoring of the operation.
The Council noted that in the next few days
the Commission would be submitting a proposal for a Regulation
for that part of the operation that was to be financed from the
1995 EAGGF, so that a decision could be taken quickly.
(Adopted without debate)
Future of relations between the European Union
and Russia, the Republics of Central Asia and the Republics of
In the light of the conclusions of the General
Affairs Council on 12 June 1995, the Council examined the Commission
communications on the future of relations between the European
Union and Russia, the Republics of Central Asia and the Republics
of the Transcaucasus.
The Council's approach may be summarized as
As regards Russia, the Cannes European Council
confirmed its commitment to developing the European Union's relations
with that country, a process which is essential to the stability
of the European continent. It reiterated the European Union's
resolve to establish a substantive partnership with Russia, on
the basis of the strategy adopted in Carcassonne in March 1995,
and stated that the European Union intended to contribute to the
OSCE comprehensive security model for Europe in the 21st century.
On the basis of its examination of the Commission
communication, the Council considered it necessary to study a
number of questions in detail in the coming months so as, in due
course, to have practical guidelines available for future relations
between the European Union and Russia, which might, if need be,
take the form of a common position.
The meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs
scheduled for the beginning of September will enable the Council's
conclusions to be supplemented in preparation for the high-level
meeting between the EU and Russia on 13 September 1995.
The Council instructed COREPER to summarize
the proceedings of the various competent bodies and report back
in time for its meeting on 2 October 1995.
As regards the Republics of the Transcaucasus,
the Council considered it necessary to study a number of questions
in detail in the coming months so as, in due course, to have practical
guidelines available for future relations between the European
Union and the Republics of the Transcaucasus, which might, if
need be, take the form of a common position.
As regards the Republics of Central Asia, at
its meeting on 12 June 1995, the Council approved the principle
of exploratory talks between the Commission and Uzbekistan and
Turkmenistan. It stated that it would take a decision on opening
negotiations for partnership and cooperation agreements in the
light of the outcome of the talks and developments in the situation,
particularly as regards the progress of reforms. It now noted
that the Commission intended to hold these exploratory talks in
the next few weeks and felt it appropriate for the political talks
to take place at the same time.
MEETINGGENERAL AFFAIRSLUXEMBOURG, 12 JUNE 1995PRESIDENT:
MR HERVE DE CHARETTE, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE FRENCH
REPUBLICMR MICHEL BARNIER, MINISTER WITH SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC
The Council had a further discussion on the
question of the signing of the Interim Agreement with Russia in
the light of the Political Committee's opinion.
The Council agreed to keep the matter under
review and remain ready to sign as soon as possible.
The Council heard a presentation by Commissioner
VAN DEN BROEK of three communications which the Commission had
recently sent to the Council on the future of relations with Russia,
with the three Transcaucasian Republics and with the Central Asian
It instructed the Permanent Representatives
Committee and the Working Party responsible to examine these major
During the debate, the Council focused its attention
more particularly on certain matters and reached the following
As regards Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan,
the Council wishes to strengthen contractual relations with those
three Transcaucasian Republics. The Commission may open negotiations
for partnership and cooperation agreements on the basis of existing
general negotiating directives, on the understanding that during
the negotiating process it will have to seek, in cooperation with
the Member States, formulae adapted to the specific situation
of those countries.
As regards Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan,
the Council asked the Commission to enter into exploratory talks
with those countries and to report back. In the light of the outcome
of the talks and developments in the situation, particularly as
regards the progress of reforms, the Council will take a decision
with a view to opening negotiations.