European External Action Service
KASHMIR COUNCIL-EU AND EEAS
This page provides up to date information on the latest work and dipmatic meetings of the EEAS and its delegations in Pakistan- Administered Kashmir and Indian-Administered Kashmir. Our organisation meets with the responsible high-level officials on a regular basis in order to inform them about the latest development and to seeks ways to improve the situation on the ground in Kashmir. Every meeting with the EEAS officials will be documented and made available on this page for public information.
The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the European Union’s diplomatic service. It helps the EU’s foreign affairs chief – the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – carry out the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. The EU plays important roles in diplomacy, the promotion of human rights, trade, development and humanitarian aid and working with multilateral organisations. The role of the EEAS is to try and bring coherence and coordinating to the European Union’s international role. The EEAS is headed by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) Josep Borrell Fontelles (2019-2024).
HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY
The EU has made human rights a central aspect of its foreign relations and expresses this focus in political dialogues with third countries, in its development policy and aid, and in its participation in multilateral forums, such as the United Nations. The EU also has human rights policy guidelines covering areas such as the death penalty, torture and freedom of expression offline and online. The EU’s Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) enhances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and regions where they are most at risk. The right to vote is a human right. Election observation is a vital EU activity which aims to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.
The EU is the largest single donor of development aid. Together, the EU and its member states provide more than half of official development assistance (ODA) globally. This contribution makes a huge difference to millions of people’s livelihoods around the world. Against this background, the EU has been a major supporter of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015 and is committed to their implementation.
DELEGATIONS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
The EU maintains diplomatic relations with nearly all countries in the world. Its diplomatic missions, called Delegations, operate like embassies and high commissions
The EU is represented in Pakistan by the Islamabad-based Delegation of the European Union, which works in close coordination with the Embassies and Consulates of the 27 EU Member States across the country.
Since the European Union Delegation was established in Pakistan in 1985 with the objective of fostering closer and stronger ties, the EU and Pakistan cooperation has rapidly expanded, culminating in June 2019 with the signature of the Strategic Engagement Plan, a political declaration between our two parties, including a forward looking framework that facilitates enhanced and wide-ranging cooperation. A range of annual dialogues between the EU and Pakistan allow us to share experiences in areas of common interest, or in areas where we face common challenges such as facing the effects of climate change and common security challenges.
The EU is one of Pakistan’s main trading partners as well as a major development cooperation partner, accounting for the largest share of Pakistan’s global exports. Since January 2014 Pakistan benefits from tariff preferences under the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) arrangement aiming to support sustainable development and good governance. In this framework, Pakistan has committed to ratify and implement 27 core international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.
EU-Pakistan relations also cover enhanced cooperation on a broad range of issues, including education (Erasmus+), entrepreneurship, innovation, culture, human rights, humanitarian assistance, energy cooperation, security, defence and migration.
Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan Ms Androulla Kaminara
Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan:
Ms Anne Marchal, MinisterContactEmail:
The EU, India are constantly working to deepen and broaden political ties.
Their longstanding relationship goes back to the early 1960s. The Joint Political Statement of 1993 and the 1994 Co-operation Agreement opened a broad political dialogue between both sides. This dialogue has evolved through annual Summits, regular ministerial and senior-official meetings as well as expert gatherings.
In 2004 India became one of the EU’s strategic partners. Since 2005, a Joint Action Plan has helped to realise the full potential of this partnership in the following key areas:
- Free Trade Agreement
- Energy, Clean Development and Climate Change
The Delegation was established in 1983. The Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi is functioning the same way as an Embassy does; it is a diplomatic mission representing the European Union (EU) to India together with the 28 Member States of the European Union. It performs a variety of tasks aimed at enhancing relations between the EU and India.
EU Ambassador to India, Mr. Ugo Astuto
Speech on behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the European Parliament plenary debate on the situation in Kashmir
Delivered by Ms Tytti Tuppurainen, Finnish Minister for European Affairs on behalf of High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.
“Mr President, Honourable Members [of the European Parliament],
The tensions in the region have increased following the announcement by the Indian Government on 5 August of the revocation of Article 370 that grants a partial autonomy to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This step has been accompanied by restrictions of fundamental rights and freedoms.
The Indian Government has deployed a significant number of additional military and paramilitary troops in Kashmir and along the Line of Control. This action was presented by the Indian Government as a means to prevent violent protests. Pakistan has also deployed additional troops on its side of the Line of Control. On both sides, the issue of Kashmir resonates strongly with internal political dynamics.
While some of the restrictions are reportedly lifted, the situation has not returned to normalcy.
There have been arrests of political leaders, activists and human rights defenders.
The European Union has been following the situation closely since the early days of this escalation of tensions. In early August, High Representative Mogherini spoke on the phone with both her Pakistani and Indian counterparts. In both conversations, the High Representative underlined the importance of avoiding a further escalation and stressed that dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channels is crucial.
Our position on Kashmir remains unchanged: we encourage India and Pakistan to seek a peaceful and political solution, respectful of the interests of the Kashmiri population on both sides of the Line of Control. This remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that for too long has caused instability and insecurity in the region.
We remain concerned about the situation on the ground, with its restrictions on fundamental freedoms. It is crucial that freedom of movement and means of communication are fully restored as well as access to all essential services.
The High Representative conveyed these concerns to the Indian Minister for External Affairs [Subrahmanyam] Jaishankar, during their meeting in Brussels on 30 August. The Minister debriefed the High Representative on the state of play and on the security situation. Ms Mogherini reiterated the call to avoid an escalation of tensions and stressed the importance of steps to restore the rights and freedoms of the population in Kashmir.
The EU has also raised the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, in an “item 2” statement on 10 September. In the statement, we encourage the lifting of the remaining restrictions temporarily imposed and to maintain the rights and fundamental freedoms of the affected population.
We continue to urge both parties to engage in direct dialogue, with a view to a peaceful solution, in full respect of their international Human rights obligations.
In a moment of rising tensions in different regions around the world, no one could afford another escalation in Kashmir. Regional cooperation in South Asia is now more essential than ever, and we will continue to encourage India and Pakistan to resume dialogue and find a peaceful solution for their disputes.”
- Link to the opening remarks: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-177434
“Mr President, Honourable Members, allow me to say that this exchange of views was very useful and very timely. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Honourable Members for their interventions, comments and suggestions.
The EU will continue to monitor closely the situation with our key focus being on de-escalating the situation involving two nuclear powers. We must make every effort needed to avoid an escalation of the conflict.”
- Link to the closing remarks: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-177436
EU allocates € 300,000 to provide emergency relief to earthquake victims in Pakistan
The European Union is allocating € 300,000 (PKR 51.4 Million) to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by the earthquake that struck Pakistan’s eastern region in late September. The funding will address the most pressing needs of around 3,000 vulnerable people in some of the hardest-hit areas.
“We are acting fast to channel emergency aid to those most affected in Pakistan,” said the Head of the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Office in Islamabad, Bernard Jaspers-Faijer. “Our funding will assist the most vulnerable and help provide shelter to those who have lost their homes and belongings in the aftermath of the strong tremor. Our thoughts are with all the victims and first responders working around the clock to save lives.”
The assistance will also ensure access to clean water for the communities in the affected areas. Special attention will be paid to those most in need, including people with limited sources of income.
The EU funding is made available via the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) through its Small Scale Response mechanism.
Nearly 40 people were killed and more than 700 others injured when a strong, 5.3-magnitude, earthquake struck eastern parts of Pakistan in the afternoon of 24 September. The earthquake, which was followed by a number of aftershocks, caused extensive damage to houses and infrastructure. According to government data, more than 8,600 houses, as well as a number of roads and bridges, sustained severe structural damage. Mirpur, the largest city in the Pakistan-administered territory of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, is the most affected area with the epicentre located only one kilometre from the city. The tremor was also felt in several neighbouring provinces, including Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. An estimated 100,000 people have been severely affected by the disaster.
The European Union and its Member States are the largest donors of humanitarian aid in the world. The assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need. The goal of the assistance is to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters caused by natural phenomena and man-made crises. The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), assists more than 120 million people affected by conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit the DG ECHO website.
ECHO’s Small Scale Response fund is a global mechanism which allows for rapid funding for up to € 300 000 for humanitarian aid in countries affected by natural and man-made disasters.
More details about the humanitarian aid provided are available at the following link:
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini met with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Indian Minister for External Affairs
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, met in Brussels with the Minister of External Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. During the meeting, the two sides reaffirmed the strengthen of EU-India bilateral relations and the willingness to advancing the Strategic Partnership on concrete areas of cooperation.
Mogherini and Minister Jaishankar discussed also the situation in Kashmir and in the region. The Minister debriefed the High Representative on the state of play and on the security situation.
The High Representative reaffirmed the EU’s support to a peaceful solution to the crisis in Kashmir through bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan. She also reiterated the call to avoid an escalation of tensions and stressed the importance of steps to restore the rights and freedoms of the population in Kashmir.
More details about the meeting are available at the following link: Press release
Fourth Pakistan – EU Strategic Dialogue
The 4th Session of the Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad on 25 March 2019. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan led the Pakistan side while Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission headed the European Union delegation. The Strategic Dialogue was preceded by the 5th Session of Pakistan-EU Political Dialogue in Brussels on 20 March 2019
The Strategic Dialogue allowed for an open discussion on a wide range of areas of the bilateral cooperation, as well as on regional and global challenges. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening of multilateralism and adherence to the principles and purposes of the UN charter as well as international law.
Pakistan and the EU agreed the Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP), which signifies the growing momentum of Pakistan-EU relations and sets the direction for enhanced engagement.
The EU side welcomed the priorities of the Pakistani government, focusing on poverty alleviation, investment in human capital, good governance and the rule of law. The Pakistan side invited the EU side to take benefit of the improved security situation as an opportunity to enhance trade and investment, and people to people contact, including tourism.
Both sides expressed a strong political commitment towards the mutually beneficial GSP Plus preferential trade regime provided by the EU and to utilise it to its full potential. The two sides reaffirmed their resolve for the promotion and protection of human rights and shared their perspectives on issues related to freedom of religion or belief and the role of civil society. Pakistan and the EU agreed on the importance of further promoting inter-faith harmony.
The two sides agreed that sustained bilateral discussions on security would contribute to regional stability. The EU side recognised Pakistan’s significant contribution in the fight against terrorism and renewed focus on the implantation of Pakistan’s National Action Plan and in this context reiterated the EU’s continued support. Both sides committed to sustained efforts to fighting terrorism in all its forms. The EU side welcomed Pakistan’s determination to implement the FATF Action Plan and expressed its readiness to provide technical support in this regard.
The Pakistan side apprised the EU side about the recent developments in the region, including the current situation in Kashmir. Noting these developments with concern, the EU side underlined the need for restraint, de-escalation of tensions and resolution of disputes through dialogue and constructive engagement.
In the field of migration, the parties wished to see enhanced progress on the rollout and systemic operationalisation of the Readmission Case Management System (RCMS) for processing readmission applications. In the course of the forthcoming implementation of the Strategic Engagement Plan, both sides will work towards a comprehensive dialogue on migration and mobility.
More details about the meeting are available at the following link: Press Release
High Representative Vice-President Federica Mogherini speaks to the Minister of External Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, spoke by telephone with the Minister of External Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
In both calls, she underlined the importance of avoiding an escalation of tensions in Kashmir and in the region. To this end, dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channels is crucial. The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region. Federica Mogherini and the two Ministers agreed to remain in touch.
More details about the meeting are available at the following link: Press Release
European Union-Pakistan Joint Commission and its Sub-groups meet
The 8th meeting of the European Union-Pakistan Joint Commission and its Sub-groups on Governance and Democracy; Trade; and Development Cooperation was held in Brussels from 9-11 October 2017.
The two parties welcomed the continued growth in their broad-based relationship. Noting with appreciation the implementation of the EU-Pakistan 5-year Engagement Plan (2012-17), the two sides looked forward to further deepening the relationship, including through the Strategic Engagement Plan (SEP).
The Joint Commission exchanged views and reviewed progress in the areas of peace and security, migration, trade, human rights and development cooperation. While noting the progress achieved, the two sides reaffirmed their resolve to enhance the level of mutually beneficial cooperation.
The EU reaffirmed its strong support for democratic institutions, electoral reforms, including the new electoral reforms bill, rule of law, human rights, economic development and poverty reduction in Pakistan, in accordance with the national plans and priorities.
The two parties welcomed the forthcoming dialogues on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation as well as Counter-Terrorism in Islamabad in November 2017 and in this regard, agreed to continue cooperation in these areas.
Both sides welcomed the decision to intensify cooperation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, recalling this as an outcome of the recommendations of the first EU-Pakistan energy meeting held in Brussels in January 2017.
The ongoing work to finalise the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences/GSP+ assessment of progress made by Pakistan in implementing its GSP+ commitments was also discussed. Both sides took note of the important impact that GSP+ trade preferences have on bilateral trade and employment in Pakistan.
The EU welcomed the implementation of European Union Readmission Agreement (EURA) with Pakistan and underlined the importance for pursuing and enhancing these efforts. Pakistan agreed to strengthen cooperation and exchange of information on migration issues. The EU recognised the challenges faced by Pakistan in hosting the second largest concentration of refugees. Pakistan underscored the need for sustained international assistance for voluntary return of Afghan refugees in safety and dignity.
Cooperation in science and technology, higher education as well as in the field of culture was also discussed. The two parties agreed to explore opportunities for further cooperation in these areas.
Pakistan discussed the recent developments in the region, and raised the deteriorating Human Rights situation in Kashmir. Noting these developments with concern, the EU underlined the need for resolving disputes through dialogue and constructive engagement.
The meeting was co-chaired on the EU side by Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director Asia Pacific in the European External Action Service and on the Pakistan side by Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary in Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Finance. The Representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Commerce also participated in the meeting.
More details about the meeting are available at the following link: Press Release
3rd EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue
The 3rd Session of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue was held in Brussels on 4 October 2016 between the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs.
The two sides welcomed the continued strengthening of relations between the European Union and Pakistan and agreed to elevate their partnership even further. In this respect, they agreed to work on replacing the Five-Year Engagement Plan, adopted in 2012, with an EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan. Every effort will be made to finalise the new Engagement Plan by the middle of 2017, for approval by the next EU-Pakistan Summit.
Both sides discussed migration and refugees issues. The Pakistan side underlined the need for addressing the root causes of migration and taking an integrated approach encompassing different aspects of migration. The EU acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan in hosting over 3 million refugees and is ready to consider providing additional support, including for their repatriation to Afghanistan in safety and dignity. They agreed to further strengthen cooperation on migration issues, including irregular migration, and reaffirmed their commitment to the continued implementation of the EU-Pakistan Readmission Agreement.
The EU side emphasised its continuing support for democratic institutions, electoral reform, the rule of law, economic development and poverty reduction in Pakistan.
The Pakistan side highlighted the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan for the promotion and protection of human rights, including women, children and minority rights. The EU side welcomed these steps, especially the Human Rights Plan of Action adopted by the Government of Pakistan and its decision to strengthen its human rights institutions. Both sides also took note of the first GSP+ progress report. The EU side encouraged continued efforts towards the effective implementation of key human rights conventions.
The Pakistan side highlighted the improved security situation and its positive impact on economic revival and higher investment in Pakistan. The EU acknowledged the significant efforts by the Government of Pakistan and the sacrifices made in the fight against terrorism and reaffirmed EU’s continued support. Both sides committed to further develop their cooperation on Counter-Terrorism, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. They also agreed to strengthen dialogue on defence matters, including through EU-Pakistan Staff interactions.
On regional security, the EU encouraged Pakistan to continue its efforts in promoting peace in Afghanistan and appreciated Pakistan’s support for a successful outcome of the Brussels Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan on 5 October 2016.
The Pakistan side apprised the EU about recent developments in the region, including the current situation in Kashmir. Noting with concern the recent developments, the EU side underlined the need for resolving disputes through dialogue and constructive engagement.
Both sides agreed to further broaden and deepen cooperation under the new Strategic Engagement Plan and discussed matters related to trade, economy and energy. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as climate change, research and higher education. Both sides recognised the importance of mutual cooperation in the field of energy and looked forward to holding the first energy meeting still in 2016.
The next EU-Pakistan Joint Commission, to be held in November in Islamabad, will further enhance the dialogue between the two sides.
More details about the meeting are available at the following link: Press Release.