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European foreign policy in the second half of 2016 discussed in Bratislava


Ministry of Foreign Affairs policy director Paul Teesalu attended an unofficial meeting of the policy directors of the foreign ministries of European Union member states held on 4 & 5 July in the Slovakian capital Bratislava. The main foreign policy issues in the second half of 2016 were discussed at the meeting.

“It’s very clear that the second half of the year will be a pretty complex period for European foreign policy,” Teesalu said after the meeting. “Diplomatic tension hasn’t dissipated when it comes to resolving the crises in areas to the east and south of Europe, and at the same time we’re having to deal with internal matters like migration and the consequences of the British referendum.”

It was stressed during the meeting that Europe has managed to maintain a remarkable degree of consensus and will continue to implement its foreign policy based on the values and principles by which it has been guided to date. “Estonia will continue to support the European Union’s eastern partners as part of Europe’s unified foreign policy,” Teesalu explained. “We’ll definitely be keeping issues related to our own part of the world on the European agenda, but at the same time we’ll be turning the attention we need to be turning to unrest in the south.”

Also discussed at the meeting were the latest report on the Middle Eastern quartet and the situations in Central Asia, Belarus and the Western Balkans. “In regard to the Western Balkans, Europe has no choice but to keep its doors open, and that’s one of the priorities of the Slovakian presidency,” said Teesalu. “The cooperation that’s being conducted as part of expansion policy is needed by both the candidate countries and Europe as a whole.”

Direction-setting meetings between the policy directors of foreign ministries are held every six months, early into each new presidency of the European Union. The latest meeting was also attended by special EU representatives on the Middle Eastern peace process, Central Asia and Kosovo.


For further information please contact:
Sten Juur
Communication Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
637 7627


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