On 21 September, Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell led the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, attended by EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The agenda included, among others, a meeting with Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tikhanovskaya and a discussion on possible sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko.
The 27 Ministers left the meeting without a unanimous agreement, however, which according to ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen proves that there is a big flaw in the EU foreign policy, stating:
“Belarus is left without hope and the European Council must now break the deadlock. Otherwise the EU foreign policy has become an illusion.”
❗️The Foreign Affairs Council fails to sanction Belarusian officials even after an urgent appeal by Sviatlana #Tikhanovskaya ❗️— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) September 23, 2020
🔴⚪️Belarus is left without hope and @EUCouncil
must now break the deadlock. Otherwise EU Foreign Policy has become an illusion. 🇪🇺 https://t.co/uW44B7hYIQ
On 22 September, EU Member States gathered for the General Affairs Council to discuss the European coordination of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. The Member States agreed on a proposed approach for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to publish every fortnight information on the number of new cases per 100,000 people, the testing rate per 100,000 people as well as the number of positive cases. Moreover, the next steps should include intensifying coordination efforts and encouraging member states to find a common ground for other possible measures.
President Hans van Baalen called for EU ministers in the General Affairs Council to decide on EU coordination when it comes to national measures so that the second wave of the pandemic can be fought with consideration to the freedom of travel.
🇪🇺 EU Ministers in the General Affairs Council (GAC) should decide on EU coordination reg. national measures to fight a second wave while keeping in mind the freedom of travel. Otherwise we end up in chaos. #COVID19 😷 https://t.co/aEsZfFrye0— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) September 22, 2020