At the General Affairs Council meeting on the 22nd of June 2021, Hungary was represented by Minister Judit Varga and Minister Péter Szijjártó. 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 and Dubravka Šuica, Věra Jourová and Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi.
Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process
During the General Affairs Council on the 22nd of June 2021 the Ministers for European Affairs had an exchange of views on all files related to the Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association process. The Presidency provided information on progress achieved during the semester, namely the recent political agreement with the European Parliament on the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) and the agreement by the Council on the application of the revised enlargement methodology to the accession negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro, that paved the way for the holding of the first "political" Intergovernmental Conference with the two candidate countries. Ministers also discussed the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The Intergovernmental Conference with Montenegro and Serbia took place in the margins of the Council meeting.
European Council meeting on 24-25 June 2021
The General Affairs Council held an exchange of views about the preparation of the upcoming European Council meeting on the 24th and 25th of June based on the draft conclusions. The Ministers focused the discussion on Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, migration, Turkey, Libya, Russia, Belarus, Sahel and Ethiopia.
Conference on the Future of Europe
During the General Affairs Council on the 22nd of June 2021 the Ministers for European Affairs were informed by the Presidency about the state of play regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe. The formal inaugural event was held on the 9th of May in Strasbourg.
The “Lisbon European Citizens” event was organised on the 17th of June in Portugal. On the 19th of June, the inaugural Plenary meeting of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held in Strasbourg. 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 the 19th of 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.
Rule of law in Poland
The Council held a hearing on the rule of law in Poland (Article 7 (1) TEU procedure), conducted pursuant to the standard rules approved by the Council in 2019.
Values of the Union in Hungary
The Council held a hearing on the rule of law in Hungary (Article 7 (1) TEU procedure), conducted pursuant to the standard rules approved by the Council in 2019.
The Council was briefed by the Commission on EU-Switzerland relations, in particular on the termination of negotiations on the Institutional Framework Agreement, the Ministers then took stock of the EU-Switzerland relations.
The Ministers held a brief exchange of views on possible directions for achieving strategic autonomy. The Commission will provide a detailed assessment of open strategic autonomy in its Annual Strategic Forecast Report in autumn 2021.
European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR)
In the framework of the General Affairs Council, European Affairs Ministers commemorated the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR).