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Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 24-25 June 2021

30-06-2021

The regular European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021 was noteworthy on several fronts. First, there was an extensive discussion on the rule of law and European values, a topic rarely discussed at the level of EU leaders. It took place in the context of a new Hungarian law on child protection, which includes provisions considered by many as discriminatory against LGBTQI+ people. Second, following a Franco-German proposal, there was an intense debate about the EU approach to relations with Russia ...

The regular European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021 was noteworthy on several fronts. First, there was an extensive discussion on the rule of law and European values, a topic rarely discussed at the level of EU leaders. It took place in the context of a new Hungarian law on child protection, which includes provisions considered by many as discriminatory against LGBTQI+ people. Second, following a Franco-German proposal, there was an intense debate about the EU approach to relations with Russia, with apparent disagreement on whether it is currently worthwhile engaging in high-level dialogue with the country. Among the other topics considered were coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic and economic recovery after the crisis. On migration, EU leaders quickly reviewed the situation on migration routes, mainly reiterating previous commitments. In the field of external policy, alongside Russia, EU leaders also discussed EU-Turkey relations, the situations in Belarus, Libya, Ethiopia and the Sahel, and cybersecurity. EU leaders were also presented with the 2021-22 Leaders' Agenda. In the framework of the Euro Summit, EU leaders addressed the future of the euro area, inviting the Eurogroup to continue its work towards the completion of Banking Union and to move quickly to implement the capital markets action plan.

The European Council and Turkey: Searching for a positive agenda

30-06-2021

Turkey has featured regularly on the agenda of the European Council in recent years, notably in the context of the migration crisis and military operations in Syria, and as a result of an increasingly tense situation in the eastern Mediterranean, which led to a significant military build-up at sea during the summer of 2020. In all these cases, the European Council (re)acted swiftly, ensuring that the views of the Member States were taken into consideration. In the migration crisis, it stepped up ...

Turkey has featured regularly on the agenda of the European Council in recent years, notably in the context of the migration crisis and military operations in Syria, and as a result of an increasingly tense situation in the eastern Mediterranean, which led to a significant military build-up at sea during the summer of 2020. In all these cases, the European Council (re)acted swiftly, ensuring that the views of the Member States were taken into consideration. In the migration crisis, it stepped up cooperation with Turkey, reducing the influx of irregular arrivals on EU shores, while offering to 're-energise accession negotiations'. This offer has been disregarded, as Turkey has continued to drift away from EU values and principles, multiplying rule of law and human rights violations. In parallel, Turkey has started pursuing an increasingly assertive regional policy in the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and, more recently, in the south Caucasus. Its assertiveness in the eastern Mediterranean led to the increase in illegal exploratory drilling activities in the Cypriot and Greek economic exclusive zones (EEZs), which the European Council has condemned on numerous occasions. In 2020, in an attempt to back de-escalation efforts, the European Council reiterated its offer of cooperation on a positive political agenda, including modernisation of the EU-Turkey customs union, making this conditional upon progress on restoring good neighbourly relations.

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 24-25 June 2021

22-06-2021

At its meeting on 24-25 June 2021, the European Council will pursue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, discuss the situation on the various migration routes, return to the strategic debate on relations with Russia, revert to their discussions on Turkey and assess progress in the EU’s economic recovery. In the Euro summit, EU leaders will discuss the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and review progress on the banking union ...

At its meeting on 24-25 June 2021, the European Council will pursue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, discuss the situation on the various migration routes, return to the strategic debate on relations with Russia, revert to their discussions on Turkey and assess progress in the EU’s economic recovery. In the Euro summit, EU leaders will discuss the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and review progress on the banking union and capital markets union.

Harnessing the new momentum in transatlantic relations: Potential areas for common action during the Biden presidency

10-06-2021

The transatlantic relationship has been witnessing a significant injection of renewed enthusiasm and policy activity since Joe Biden became President of the United States in January 2021. This paper focuses on three important issues on the rapidly evolving transatlantic policy agenda, exploring their potential for generating, in effect, new 'common global goods' during the Biden presidency. First, it looks at pathways towards developing some kind of 'transatlantic green deal', taking climate action ...

The transatlantic relationship has been witnessing a significant injection of renewed enthusiasm and policy activity since Joe Biden became President of the United States in January 2021. This paper focuses on three important issues on the rapidly evolving transatlantic policy agenda, exploring their potential for generating, in effect, new 'common global goods' during the Biden presidency. First, it looks at pathways towards developing some kind of 'transatlantic green deal', taking climate action, trade and climate diplomacy in the round. Second, it analyses the comparative fabrics of US and European societies through the triple lens of violent extremism, the rule of law and technological disruption. Third, the prospects for 'crisis-proofing' the transatlantic space for the future are examined by looking at defence, health security and multilateralism. The paper also explores some potential avenues for closer transatlantic parliamentary cooperation, building on the already strong relationship between the European Parliament and the US Congress.

Outcome of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021

27-05-2021

Following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight by Belarusian authorities on 23 May, Belarus became the central topic on the first day of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021. EU leaders strongly condemned the 'unprecedented and unacceptable incident', and were united in imposing further sanctions on Belarus. As regards Russia, the European Council reconfirmed the five principles guiding the EU's policy since 2016 and asked the High Representative and the European Commission to ...

Following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight by Belarusian authorities on 23 May, Belarus became the central topic on the first day of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021. EU leaders strongly condemned the 'unprecedented and unacceptable incident', and were united in imposing further sanctions on Belarus. As regards Russia, the European Council reconfirmed the five principles guiding the EU's policy since 2016 and asked the High Representative and the European Commission to present a 'report with policy options' by June 2021. On EU-UK relations, EU leaders called on the European Commission to continue to monitor closely the implementation of the two agreements concluded with the UK. On foreign affairs, they also discussed the situations in the Middle East and in Mali, as well as the forthcoming EU-US summit. The leaders' primary focus on the second day was the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with the European Council calling for rapid implementation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, the revision of the Council Recommendation on travel within the EU by mid-June 2021 and accelerated global access to coronavirus vaccines. Finally, regarding climate policy, despite renewed support for the 2030 and 2050 climate targets, diverging views on national efforts to achieve the objectives set remained apparent.

Outlook for the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021

21-05-2021

The special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021 will concentrate on climate policy, hold a strategic debate on relations with Russia, continue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic and review the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Regarding climate, EU leaders are expected to take stock of progress made in adopting the EU climate law and give further guidelines on and impetus to EU climate action and policy. The strategic debate on relations ...

The special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021 will concentrate on climate policy, hold a strategic debate on relations with Russia, continue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic and review the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Regarding climate, EU leaders are expected to take stock of progress made in adopting the EU climate law and give further guidelines on and impetus to EU climate action and policy. The strategic debate on relations with Russia comes at a moment when bilateral relations have reached a new low, and the EU is reviewing its threat perception as part of the ongoing Strategic Compass exercise. The leaders' discussions on the EU's response to the coronavirus pandemic will include vaccines, international solidarity and the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which has recently been provisionally agreed on by the co-legislators.

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders in Porto on 7-8 May 2021

18-05-2021

On 8 May 2021, EU Heads of State or Government met in Porto for an informal European Council, preceded on 7 May by a social summit, organised by the Portuguese Presidency. The informal European Council was followed by an EU–India leaders' meeting, attended remotely by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. At their informal meeting, EU leaders discussed social policy and, without formally endorsing the Commission action plan, adopted the Porto Declaration, welcoming 'the new EU headline targets ...

On 8 May 2021, EU Heads of State or Government met in Porto for an informal European Council, preceded on 7 May by a social summit, organised by the Portuguese Presidency. The informal European Council was followed by an EU–India leaders' meeting, attended remotely by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. At their informal meeting, EU leaders discussed social policy and, without formally endorsing the Commission action plan, adopted the Porto Declaration, welcoming 'the new EU headline targets on jobs, skills and poverty reduction' for 2030. They also assessed the EU Covid-19 situation, focusing on vaccine production and delivery, the future EU digital green certificate, and international solidarity in the fight against the pandemic. They also prepared for the EU–India leaders' meeting, agreeing to resume talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) and start negotiations on a stand-alone investment protection agreement, and on an agreement on geographical indications that, depending on the pace of negotiations, could either stand alone or be built into the FTA.

Outcome of the video-conferences of EU leaders on 25 March 2021

30-03-2021

Due to the worsening epidemiological situation, EU leaders met on 25 March 2021 in a series of video-conferences instead of a two-day physical meeting. The top priority was the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, notably through increasing production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. Another highlight of the European Council meeting was the exchange of views with the President of the United States, Joe Biden – the first such meeting for 11 years – which focused on the coronavirus pandemic ...

Due to the worsening epidemiological situation, EU leaders met on 25 March 2021 in a series of video-conferences instead of a two-day physical meeting. The top priority was the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, notably through increasing production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. Another highlight of the European Council meeting was the exchange of views with the President of the United States, Joe Biden – the first such meeting for 11 years – which focused on the coronavirus pandemic and common challenges. In addition, EU leaders reviewed recent work in the area of the single market, industrial policy and digital, and discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey. The Euro Summit video-conference discussed the international role of the euro.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 26 February 2021

03-03-2021

On 26 February 2021, EU leaders met for a second videoconference session to discuss security and defence and the southern neighbourhood. They reaffirmed their commitment to implement the 2019-2024 Strategic Agenda by increasing the EU's ability to act autonomously and strengthening its resilience by taking 'more responsibility for its security'. They also expressed their wish to deepen the transatlantic bond with the US and through NATO. In line with past meetings dedicated to security and defence ...

On 26 February 2021, EU leaders met for a second videoconference session to discuss security and defence and the southern neighbourhood. They reaffirmed their commitment to implement the 2019-2024 Strategic Agenda by increasing the EU's ability to act autonomously and strengthening its resilience by taking 'more responsibility for its security'. They also expressed their wish to deepen the transatlantic bond with the US and through NATO. In line with past meetings dedicated to security and defence, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, joined the EU leaders to discuss EU-NATO cooperation.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 21 January 2021

25-01-2021

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. While agreeing to further restrictive measures to limit non-essential travel, keeping borders open to ensure the functioning of the EU's single market was emphasised as essential. At the ...

Discussions at the 21 January video-conference meeting of EU leaders largely focused on a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the evolving public health situation with the spread of new virus variants coming from the UK and South Africa, vaccination strategies and international solidarity. While agreeing to further restrictive measures to limit non-essential travel, keeping borders open to ensure the functioning of the EU's single market was emphasised as essential. At the meeting, EU leaders also raised the issue of the detention of Alexei Navalny, condemning it and calling on the Russian authorities to release him.

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