On 31 January and 1 February 2019, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU Member States attended the Informal Meeting (Gymnich) in Bucharest, upon the invitation of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Romanian minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Meleșcanu. Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, also attended this meeting.
The agenda of discussions covered the Eastern Partnership, Venezuela and China.
The meeting opened with discussions on the Eastern Partnership, priority issue on the agenda of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, especially as 2019 is the anniversary year of the initiative. On this occasion, minister Teodor Meleșcanu stressed that, ten years after its launch, the Eastern Partnership is a success. The results obtained in a relatively short period and the implementation of projects enabling deep political changes at economic and social level and everyday life of citizens, such as the visa liberalization, multiplication of opportunities for study and research, launching of extensive projects of interconnections with the EU area, were unthought of ten years ago. In addition to the symbolic character of the anniversary, this moment should reflect a series of substantial progress towards the achievement of the 2020 Agenda of priority goals, approved at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga in 2017.
Venezuela was the second topic on the agenda of the ministers of Foreign Affairs. the discussions concluded that the only viable solution for the serious political and humanitarian crisis in this country was the organization of new, free and fair presidential elections, offering all parties an opportunity to take part in it and guaranteeing respect for the democratic principles and the Constitutional provisions.
Regarding China, it was considered appropriate to continue the reflection and dialog process on the future of EU-China relations, from the perspective of the interest in engaging Beijing and bilateral cooperation in areas of common interest, both in 16+1 format, as well as in other multilateral formats. This topic was discussed also during the joint working session of the ministers of Foreign Affairs of the candidate states (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey).
The Informal Meeting of the ministers for Foreign Affairs was followed by a joint press conference of the Romanian minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Meleșcanu, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini (VIDEO).