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Brussels and London reach an agreement on the status of the ambassador of the European Union

Brussels and London reach an agreement on the status of the ambassador of the European Union

“eWe are pleased to have reached a compromise together, on the basis of good intentions and pragmatism, on the founding agreement for the European Union delegation in the United Kingdom, “as stated in a joint statement issued by the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, and British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab issued in Brussels .

The agreement, reached at a meeting between officials held on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in London, stipulates that the EU ambassador, the current Portuguese diplomat João Vale de Almeida, “shall enjoy a standing in harmony with the heads of the European Union mission. Including agrément and submission of credentials to the head of state. “

“The staff of the European Union delegation will enjoy the privileges and immunities necessary to operate effectively, while allowing for effective administration of justice, and we hope to move forward and face global challenges together,” said the joint statement issued by Borrell and Rap.

The statement added that the officials “also discussed future cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom on foreign and security policy and ways to intensify joint work in the field of climate change and climate diplomacy,” including talks before the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

The foreign minister and the high representative also exchanged views on talks to solve the Cyprus problem, and stressed the need to create momentum for a next meeting between the two parties. [Chipre e Turquia] They affirmed their full support for the efforts of the United Nations in this process. “

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In January, the British authorities decided not to grant full diplomatic status to the European Union to the first delegation from the European Union in the United Kingdom – a third country since that month, due to the completion of the “ Brexit ” – on the grounds that the ambassador and officials Europeans should not enjoy the same privileges and immunity as are accorded to diplomats under the Vienna Convention, as the European Union is an international organization, not a state.

The European side strongly disputed this decision, and this decision has now been reversed, and João Vale de Almeida, who took office in early February 2020, after several years as European ambassador to the United States, will be able to present the credentials to the Queen. As foreign ambassadors do when taking office in the United Kingdom.

Last week, during an event promoted by Portugal’s Cabinet in the European Parliament, Valle de Almeida had already expressed confidence that the dispute over his diplomatic status would be resolved “soon”.

“As a good Portuguese – we are calm and resilient – I am still confident that a solution will be found soon, in line with international practices, and we will overcome this difference,” he said at the time.

The European Union has 143 delegations around the world, the host countries, as well as their officials, granted the privileges and immunities granted to other diplomatic missions, so the London decision was not accepted, and in retaliation for that, the accreditation process was delayed. The new British ambassador to the European Union, Lindsay Croasdall-Appleby, is restricting the access and activity of the diplomat, formerly number two in the negotiating team for a post-Brexit agreement, which will now also see the normalization of his situation.

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Last week, the European Parliament approved the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which establishes the new framework for relations between the two parties in the post-Brexit period, and thus came into effect permanently on May 01.

Read also: Record number of candidates in the local elections for mayor of London

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