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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Good day ladies and gentlemen.

We are therefore meeting for a European summit this Thursday and Friday in Brussels, first to talk, and we will do it tomorrow morning, about the Covid epidemic which is spreading across Europe as part of this second wave. and is intensifying increasingly. Yesterday I announced a series of decisions for France, but we can congratulate ourselves that Europe is coordinating better for this second phase. And so several coordination elements were decided this week, that is to say a common card, common rules, thresholds, criteria to allow our Europe to continue to function, to advance, to protect itself against to this epidemic and protect all of our fellow citizens, without however the internal market being totally blocked as we experienced during the first phase. It is an advance in method which is important, but which will then be declined in each country as far as we are concerned. We will also provide an update on the vaccine strategy, and therefore research and joint acquisition of vaccines. I think this is an extremely important point that was expected of us and our fellow citizens.

We will have, and this is the second subject of this council, a discussion on the negotiations of the future relations between the European Union and Great Britain, that is to say the continuation, in a way, of the withdrawal agreement and Brexit. On this subject, I want to be very clear here. We know the points which remain to be discussed and the points which, today, have not yet found a solution: fishing. In no case can our fishermen be the sacrifices of this Brexit. We did not choose Brexit, it is the choice of the British people, and therefore preserve the access of our fishermen to British waters, allow to find a good compromise for our fishermen, and I speak of all the countries of Europe that are concerned, including France, is an important point of this discussion for us. The second element is to have a level playing field between Great Britain and the European Union, that is to say to ensure that we have the same level of play when it comes to state aid. and regulations, in particular social and environmental. The consequences of Brexit cannot be to create environmental or social dumping at our borders. On this subject, we must also find an agreement. This will be the subject of the discussion that we will have this afternoon, to re-specify the mandate of Michel BARNIER, to allow in the coming weeks to finalize on this basis an agreement for future relations. I will be very clear. This agreement cannot be achieved at all costs. If these conditions are not met, we may not agree. We have prepared for it. France is ready for it. We have taken regulatory texts. We are in the process of finalizing the measures to be taken in all sectors. The Prime Minister once again held a meeting of ministers on this subject this week. If there are no good terms that are found at the end of the discussion, we are ready for a no-deal for future relations.

We will also have to discuss our climate ambitions at this summit, which is extremely important before the end of the year, the meeting of the 5 years of the Paris Agreement, which will be on December 12. On this subject, France has once again initiated a text. We are ten signatories for a climate ambition which is to achieve at least 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. Here too, we want to confirm this commitment and then, obviously, the measures to be taken at European and national level. I hope that this evening’s discussion will bring together all the Member States around this ambition.

Tomorrow morning, we will also have to discuss international subjects, Africa, and prepare our December summit. On this, I will reaffirm how important it is to continue the initiatives taken in recent months with regard to Africa, health support for a continent which precisely needs to be supported and accompanied, also financial support, in in particular confirm our moratorium on debt and debt cancellations that will allow Africa to face the post-Covid social and economic challenge. We will have the opportunity to come back to Turkey and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. I do not want to say more here, but our discussions tomorrow will undoubtedly reflect the requirement that must be ours in view of recent events. Finally, on the sanctions that have been taken in recent days against several Russian officials following the NAVALNY affair, I would like to reiterate here, in full support with Germany, that we have therefore conducted investigations which allowed to characterize what had happened, this assassination attempt. We characterized what was a chemical aggression and we remain attached, we Europeans, to the fight against chemical weapons and in full support, in cooperation with Germany, we therefore pushed for, in effect, that these sanctions are taken. It is still the same path, that of a transparent but demanding dialogue with Russia, in which I believe. Russia is our neighbor, Russia shares this continent, but we cannot give in, give up our principles and our ambitions, especially when it comes to chemical weapons.

This is what I wanted to tell you before I start this Council in a few moments. Thank you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI