Catalan, Basque and Galician
The Council discussed a request by Spain to include Catalan, Basque and Galician in Regulation No 1/1958, which governs the EU’s language regime.
The request was notified to the Council presidency on 17 August 2023, in a letter by Spain’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation.
Currently, the use of Catalan, Basque and Galician is governed by administrative arrangements between Spain and individual EU institutions and advisory bodies.
The Council had a constructive exchange and decided to continue working on the request by Spain to amend Regulation No 1. The General Affairs Council will remain seized of the matter.
Annual rule of law dialogue
As part of the annual rule of law dialogue, ministers held a horizontal discussion on key developments related to the rule of law in the EU member states.
During the debate, a number of ministers welcomed the inclusion of recommendations in the Commission’s rule of law report, as a tool to guide national reforms, as well as the positive follow-up given to them across the member states. They also stressed the importance of continuing the exercise to ensure respect for the rule of law.
A country-specific discussion will take place at the meeting of the General Affairs Council in October, focusing on Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, and Greece.
Ministers also exchanged views on the evaluation of the Council’s annual rule of law dialogue, set out in the presidency conclusions of 2019.
They expressed broad support for the current format of the dialogue, which has allowed systematic and result-oriented discussions to be held in an open and constructive atmosphere, making use of the Commission’s rule of law report. Ministers also discussed ideas for further developing the dialogue in order to consolidate and reinforce its role.
The discussion will feed into the preparation of a set of Council conclusions on the evaluation of the Council’s dialogue. The aim is to reach a consensus on the conclusions before the end of the year.
October European Council
The Council started preparations for the European Council meeting on 26 and 27 October 2023 by discussing an annotated draft agenda.
At their meeting in October, leaders are expected to address:
- Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the EU’s response
- the proposed revision of the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027
- progress in boosting Europe’s competitiveness
- the external dimension of migration
- preparations for the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai (COP28)
- foreign policy issues
The Commission presented its letter of intent, published on 13 September 2023, setting out the main elements guiding the preparation of the 2024 Commission work programme. Ministers exchanged views on the initiatives envisaged by the Commission.
The discussion will be summarised by the Presidency in a letter addressed to the Commission ahead of the adoption of the Commission’s work programme.
The Council appointed Iliana Ivanova (Bulgaria) as European Commissioner without discussion, by common accord with the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Recovery and Resilience Facility
The Council also adopted an implementing decision approving Italy’s amended recovery and resilience plan. The amendments are targeted, and the estimated total cost of the amended recovery and resilience plan remains unaltered at €191.5 billion, comprised of €68.8 billion in grants and €122.6 billion in loans.
Informal exchange with Olha Stefanishyna
Over breakfast, ministers held an informal exchange with the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna, on Ukraine’s reform agenda and European integration.
Source: Press release – Eurpoean Council