At the General Affairs Council meeting on 11 May 2021, Hungary was represented by Minister Judit Varga and Secretary of State Oszkár Ökrös. The Council was chaired by Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese Secretary of State for EU Affairs, and the Commission was represented by Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič.
COVID-19 EU coordination
The General Affairs Council took stock of the actual situation regarding the Covid-19 epidemic, followed by an exchange of views on the most pressing issues concerning the epidemic, such as the current situation on vaccines, the ongoing work on digital green certificates, the overall epidemiological situation and travel restrictions.
Special European Council meeting on 24-25 May 2021
The General Affairs Council held an exchange of views about the preparation of the upcoming special European Council meeting on 24 and 25 May based on the annotated draft agenda and the draft guidelines. The Ministers focused on climate change, Russia and the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with regard to the United Kingdom.
Conference on the Future of Europe
Ministers for European Affairs were informed by the Presidency about the state of play regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe, following the meeting of the Conference’s Executive Board and the formal inaugural event (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/resources/library/media/20210507RES03761/20210507RES03761.pdf) on 9 May in Strasbourg.
At its meeting on 9 May, the Executive Board of the Conference approved the Rules of Procedure regarding the composition and working methods of the Plenary of the Conference, which supplement the previously adopted Rules of Procedure for Citizens' Participation and the Working Method of the Executive Board. With this, the Rules of Procedure of the Conference have been completely finalised.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is aimed at involving citizens in a wide-ranging debate on Europe’s future. The Presidency reiterated that the Executive Board of the Conference launched the multilingual digital platform for the Conference on 19 April 2021, inviting all EU citizens to contribute to shaping their own future and that of Europe as a whole. (https://futureu.europa.eu/?locale=en)
By spring 2022, the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe.
Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process
Ministers took stock of the Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process. The Presidency reiterated its priorities for the coming months, namely to finalise the negotiations on the IPA III (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance) Regulation, to organize Intergovernmental conferences with Montenegro and Serbia under the revised enlargement methodology, and to organise the first Intergovernmental conferences with North-Macedonia and Albania.
The Commission provided an assessment of the EU-Switzerland relations and briefed ministers on the state of play of the negotiation of the EU-Switzerland Institutional Framework Agreement, ministers then took stock of the EU-Switzerland relations.