On 6-7 September, Vilnius will host an informal meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs (Gymnich), which will be chaired by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The meeting on 6 September will discuss preparations for the European Council of December that will focus on the future of security and defence in Europe. Ministers will also discuss important issues related to the Eastern Partnership and Europe’s Southern neighbourhood.
The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has plans to attend the working session on 7 September and share information about progress on the Middle East peace process, as well as other important issues on the international agenda. The discussion will also be attended by Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The informal meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) is traditionally held every six months by the rotating Presidency of the EU Council. The Gymnich meeting informally discusses EU foreign policy issues and priorities. The first Gymnich meeting took place in 1974 in the Gymnich castle (near Bonn) in Germany.