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European Council Provides Orientations on EU External Relations

16 September 2010: The European Council discussed how to give new momentum to the Union's external relations, agreeing on the need for Europe to promote its interests and values more assertively and in a spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit. In this context it provided guidance on specific external relations issues such as climate change.

The European Council called for a more integrated approach, ensuring that all relevant EU and national instruments and policies are fully and coherently mobilized in support of EU strategic interests. It stressed that the importance of issues such as climate change, energy policy, trade and development at the bilateral and multilateral level must be fully taken into account in preparations for summits and international events.

The European Council noted that Cancun Climate Change Conference to be held in late 2010 should be a stepping stone in the international climate negotiations, agreeing on concrete deliverables for all participants to create momentum and stay on track for an ambitious final agreement. It announced that it will take stock of preparations for Cancun at its October 2010 meeting, when it will agree on the EU position.

The European Council also singled out an EU-Russia summit as an opportunity to enhance cooperation on energy, investment and innovation, on security issues and on environmental issues, including climate change. It also drew attention to summits with China, the Republic of Korea and India, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), to be held before the end of 2010, as good opportunities to identify concrete steps in priority areas of cooperation such as climate change, including on the promotion of effective and verifiable reductions in emissions, renewables and energy efficiency, and access to raw materials. [EU Press Release]