Crucial EUMED 9 meeting in Athens – How will Macron respond to AUKUS Alliance?

The leaders of 9 EU and Mediterranean countries are in Athens

Leaders of nine Mediterranean countries are gathering in Athens to take part in the EU Med 9 Summit in the wake of the recent tripartite security alliance AUKUS with strategic partners the USA, Australia, and Great Britain.

French President Macron, Italian PM Draghi, Cypriot President Anastasiadis, Spanish PM Sanchez, and EC President Ursula Von Der have arrived and the response of the French President will be of special significance following the cancellation of a  €50 billion submarine sale to Australia as a result of the AUKUS alliance.

The meeting will take part at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre and although the official agenda of the Summit is scheduled to focus dominated on climate change, biodiversity, immigration, and civil protection, the security vacuum created by the resounding US withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the end of an era for its presence in the Middle East, is expected. to dominate discussions on the sidelines. With France emerging as the strongest regional power in the Eastern Mediterranean, a more decisive expression of the European South coalition could be a counterweight to the US absence in the wider region, with Turkey’s stance remaining a question mark.

Meanwhile, the return in the geopolitics of regional schemes, such as AUKUS, legitimises the European South in seeking regional-level negotiations on issues of vital interest, such as energy, transit trade, and refugees, but also intensifies pressure on European integration and implementation.

A series of traffic regulations and diversions have been put into place in central Athens.

The Prime Minister will meet at 12:00, at the Maximos Palace, with the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic.

At 14:15 Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have a meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

At 15:30 the work of the Summit on Climate Change and the effects on the Mediterranean will begin, in which the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will also participate.

The EUMED 9 Summit will start at 17:00, with the participation of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the President of France Emanuel Macron, the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, the Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, the Prime Minister of Croatia the President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis, the Prime Minister of Malta Robert Abela, the Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Jansa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal Augusto Santos Silva.

At 19:40 the leaders will make statements to the media.

At 20:30 the leaders participating in the EUMED 9 Summit will attend a dinner.