As we look towards the Middle East, a tragedy is unfolding in front of our very eyes. Israel has suffered the worst terror attack in its history and Palestinians are experiencing a devastating and growing humanitarian crisis as a result of the ensuing Israeli military action. Mr. President, every life matters. Israeli or Palestinian. Every innocent civilian life lost, Palestinian or Israeli, is a tragedy. Indeed, we also collectively mourn the
Judicial and law enforcement authorities from seven different countries have joined forces in an action against a criminal network responsible for significant ransomware attacks across the world. These attacks are believed to have affected over 1,800 victims in 71 countries. The perpetrators targeted large corporations, effectively bringing their business to a standstill and causing losses of at least several hundred millions of euros.
Israel/Hamas: Statement by EU Commission President on the agreement on an extension of the pause in hostilities
In the past four days, it has been heart-warming to see the first Israeli hostages freed, along with hostages of other nationalities. I also welcome the substantial increase in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians civilians in Gaza made possible by this pause in the hostilities.
I am fully aware – all of us are fully aware – of the trauma and rage that are again haunting the region. I could feel it everywhere during my recent visit: in Israel, in Palestine, in Jordan. Nothing can justify the indiscriminate brutality Hamas unleashed against civilians the 7th of October, but one horror cannot justify another horror.
Three children have been identified and safeguarded as a result of the 13th edition of Europol’s Victim Identification Taskforce (VIDTF). This international investigative effort also led to the arrest of two offenders. 33 specialists from 26 countries participated in the Europol initiative aimed at identifying victims and offenders depicted in child sexual abuse material.
The EU welcomes the fact that, finally, the truce agreed between Israel and Hamas has started today. It should be fully implemented as a first step towards ending the ongoing horrific humanitarian situation in Gaza, and extended for a longer period. The agreement foresees the release of a group of innocent women and children who had been abducted during Hamas’ horrific attack on 7 October. All hostages should be unconditionally
Today, the EU and Canada have established a Green Alliance at a bilateral Summit in St John’s, Newfoundland. The Alliance will strengthen political, technical, economic and scientific cooperation between these two like-minded partners. It covers climate action, environmental and ocean protection, the clean energy transition, green industrial transformation, research and innovation and climate and biodiversity finance.
On 23 November, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Türkiye Ali Yerlikaya met in Brussels for the second Türkiye-EU High Level Dialogue on Migration and Security. Türkiye is an EU candidate country and an important EU partner for migration and security.
The European Union strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) launch of a military satellite using ballistic missile technology on 21 November. This represents a clear threat to international peace and security and constitutes a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit such launches. The DPRK must cease all illegal and dangerous actions that escalate military tensions in the region.
Europol supported an investigation involving Croatian, German, Spanish and Turkish law enforcement authorities into large-scale cocaine trafficking as part of the Operational Taskforce Balkan Cartel. The operational activities led to the arrest of a Croatian high-value target, who was intercepted last week in Istanbul (Türkiye).
Finnish Government has decided to close the border crossing points of Kuusamo, Salla and Vartius at the eastern border as of Friday 24 November 2023 at 00.00. All border crossings at the eastern border will be centralised at the border crossing point of Raja-Jooseppi. The Government decided on these new restrictions at an extraordinary session on 22 November 2023. The decision will remain in force until 23 December 2023.
The agreement will make it possible to send more humanitarian aid to Gaza than before. It will now be possible to send supplies to northern Gaza, where there are still hundreds of thousands of civilians. I hope this will give the people of Gaza a much-needed break after almost six weeks of warfare and the enormous human suffering resulting from Israel’s military actions.
Today, the Commission has paid €1.5 billion under the Macro-financial Assistance + package for Ukraine worth up to €18 billion. Today, the Commission has paid €1.5 billion under the Macro-financial Assistance + package for Ukraine worth up to €18 billion. With this instrument, the EU seeks to help Ukraine cover its immediate funding needs, with stable, predictable and sizeable financial support in 2023. With today’s payment, Ukraine has so far received €16.5 billion this year under Macro-financial Assistance +.
In the same vein, we will continue with determination to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace for Ukraine. This builds on the 10-point peace plan of President Zelenskyy. In 10 days, we will meet in Dubai for the start of COP28. The world needs global unity to fight climate change because the effect of climate change disproportionally hits the most vulnerable. We need global emissions to peak before 2025,
Israel/Hamas: Statement by EU Commission President on the release of hostages and a pause in hostilities
I wholeheartedly welcome the agreement reached on the release of the 50 hostages and on a pause in hostilities. Every day these mothers and children are held hostage by terrorists is one too many. I share the joy of the families who can soon embrace their loved ones again. And I am so grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly through diplomatic channels in recent weeks to broker this agreement.
I strongly condemn the launch of a military satellite by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, using ballistic missile technology in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions. This raises tensions and poses a serious risk to regional and international security. North Korea must stop its reckless behaviour, abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and engage in diplomacy in good-faith.
In addition to the political consultations, the two sides convened the two Senior Officials (SOM) working groups meetings on trade and global affairs. In this framework, the EU and Bahrain held in-depth, technical discussions on economic diversification; green transition and climate; development cooperation and humanitarian aid; education; research; innovation and space cooperation; and security and counterterrorism.
The review has shown that the EU Commission controls and existing safeguards in place- which have been significantly strengthened in the past years – work well and no evidence has been found to date that money has been diverted for unintended purposes.
The Strategic Compass on Security and Defence 1 of March 2022 confirmed that substantially enhancing military mobility is vital for European security and defence, in particular in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. It enables the EU Member States’ forces to respond quickly and at the required scale to crises erupting at the EU’s external borders and beyond, including by moving military materiel quickly and smoothly as possible. In line with the Strategic Compass, the EU Action Plan on Military Mobility 2.0 2 provides a comprehensive framework to develop a
Operation MOZAIK 2023 was led by the Slovenian National Police and coordinated by Europol in the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT). It aimed to identify and arrest people using online forums and messaging applications to share and distribute child sexual abuse material. The Western Balkan countries –Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary carried out a series of enforcement
The United Kingdom is committed to development partnerships founded on mutual respect that support national efforts to reduce poverty and instability. Today, my Government launched an ambitious new international development ‘White Paper,’ setting out the re-energised agenda for the UK to work with partners and accelerate progress towards the SDGs.