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Outcome of the Special European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020

23-07-2020

After almost five days of negotiations, the European Council reached a political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027 and a specific recovery instrument following the coronavirus crisis – Next Generation EU (NGEU) – together totalling €1 824.3 billion. Negotiations seem to have concentrated in particular on the balance between loans and grants for the provision of funding under the NGEU, with a final division of €360 and €390 billion respectively. Other notable ...

After almost five days of negotiations, the European Council reached a political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027 and a specific recovery instrument following the coronavirus crisis – Next Generation EU (NGEU) – together totalling €1 824.3 billion. Negotiations seem to have concentrated in particular on the balance between loans and grants for the provision of funding under the NGEU, with a final division of €360 and €390 billion respectively. Other notable developments concern the link between EU funding and respect for the rule of law, the size of the MFF, rebates and own ressources.

Outlook for the Special European Council meeting of 17-18 July 2020

14-07-2020

Based on an updated 'negotiating box' presented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 10 July, the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July will aim at finding a political agreement on the EU recovery fund, entitled ‘Next Generation EU’, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-27 seven-year financing period. It will be the first meeting of EU Heads of State or Government to take place in person since the coronavirus outbreak. The last such physical ...

Based on an updated 'negotiating box' presented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 10 July, the special meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July will aim at finding a political agreement on the EU recovery fund, entitled ‘Next Generation EU’, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-27 seven-year financing period. It will be the first meeting of EU Heads of State or Government to take place in person since the coronavirus outbreak. The last such physical meeting of the European Council – held on 20-21 February, prior to the crisis –failed to reach a political agreement on the EU's long-term budget. The revised negotiating box, taking into account the Commission's updated MFF proposals – adopted alongside, and linked to, its recovery fund proposals – envisages a reduced MFF amounting to €1.074 trillion. Furthermore, Charles Michel's proposals maintain the balance between loans and grants for the recovery fund proposed by the Commission. While a lot of pressure is being applied to find an agreement urgently, it remains to be seen whether EU leaders will agree a deal at this meeting or whether yet another meeting will be needed. In any case, the current MFF negotiations have already taken much longer than was originally intended, potentially jeopardising the timely launch of the EU's new spending programmes.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 19 June 2020

22-06-2020

At their video-conference meeting on Friday 19 June, EU Heads of State or Government focussed essentially on the revised proposal for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), together with the coronavirus Recovery Plan for the European economy. As announced, this exchange of views was effectively a ‘stepping-stone’ in an on-going discussion, and as expected, no final agreement was reached during this video-conference. Nevertheless, EU leaders used this first opportunity to jointly discuss ...

At their video-conference meeting on Friday 19 June, EU Heads of State or Government focussed essentially on the revised proposal for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), together with the coronavirus Recovery Plan for the European economy. As announced, this exchange of views was effectively a ‘stepping-stone’ in an on-going discussion, and as expected, no final agreement was reached during this video-conference. Nevertheless, EU leaders used this first opportunity to jointly discuss and clarify their positions on the European Commission’s new proposals. While consensus is emerging on certain issues, differences in views remain substantial, notably on the overall size of the EU budget, the use of rebates, the balance between loans and grants, and the allocation criteria for funding. Aware of the need to provide funding to a severely affected European economy as soon as possible, the European Council will convene again around the middle of July – this time for an in-person meeting – to attempt to reach a political agreement. Those discussions will be based on concrete proposals which the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will submit ahead of that meeting. In addition to this central topic, EU Heads of State or Government were briefed on the state of play in the negotiations on the future EU-UK partnership, on the EU’s economic situation and on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Key issues in the European Council: State of play in June 2020

17-06-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Outlook for the European Council video-conference of 19 June 2020

12-06-2020

The European Council meeting on 19 June, to be held by video-conference, will be almost exclusively dedicated to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the proposed new EU recovery fund, dubbed ‘Next Generation EU’. The two European Commission proposals are now to be considered as one package for the purpose of negotiation, since the recovery fund is in effect embedded within the revamped EU long-term budget. This has increased the pressure on Member States to reach a political agreement ...

The European Council meeting on 19 June, to be held by video-conference, will be almost exclusively dedicated to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the proposed new EU recovery fund, dubbed ‘Next Generation EU’. The two European Commission proposals are now to be considered as one package for the purpose of negotiation, since the recovery fund is in effect embedded within the revamped EU long-term budget. This has increased the pressure on Member States to reach a political agreement on the MFF, but also multiplied the issues of disagreement among the EU leaders. In addition to the MFF-specific issues, on which divergences could not be overcome at the special European Council meeting in February 2020 – namely the overall size of the EU budget, the use of rebates and the funding allocation per policy area – the proposal for the recovery fund raises sensitive new questions, notably on the balance between loans and grants, the allocation criteria for funding and the modalities for repayment.

Outcome of the European Council video-conference of 23 April 2020

29-04-2020

At the European Council's video-conference meeting on 23 April, EU leaders demonstrated greater willingness to achieve a coordinated response at EU-level to face the coronavirus crisis than had previously been the case. Although concrete decisions were postponed, Heads of State or Government adopted a more united approach and took decisive steps towards collective action. Notably, they welcomed both the 'Joint European Roadmap towards Lifting Covid-19 Containment Measures' and the 'Roadmap for Recovery ...

At the European Council's video-conference meeting on 23 April, EU leaders demonstrated greater willingness to achieve a coordinated response at EU-level to face the coronavirus crisis than had previously been the case. Although concrete decisions were postponed, Heads of State or Government adopted a more united approach and took decisive steps towards collective action. Notably, they welcomed both the 'Joint European Roadmap towards Lifting Covid-19 Containment Measures' and the 'Roadmap for Recovery', but also agreed to 'work towards establishing' an urgently needed recovery fund 'dedicated to dealing with this unprecedented crisis'. However, whilst asking the European Commission to shape the recovery strategy and to clarify the link between the Recovery Fund and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), EU leaders gave little guidance on specific details, such as the total amount, whether it would provide loans or grants, or on a precise timetable. Furthermore, EU leaders called on Turkey to end its illegal drilling activities off Cyprus in the island's Exclusive Economic Zone. They also announced a video-conference between EU Heads of State or Government and their counterparts from the Western Balkans, on 6 May 2020, date of the previously planned EU-Western Balkans Summit.

Outlook for the European Council video-conference of 23 April 2020

21-04-2020

The European Council video-conference meeting on 23 April 2020 is expected to shift EU leaders’ attention away from immediate and short-term priorities, such as limiting the spread of the coronavirus, to a longer-term strategic approach focused on a recovery strategy for the European Union, and the financing thereof. The recovery strategy could be based on four pillars: 1) the internal market, including the Green Deal, the digital agenda and the EU’s strategic autonomy; 2) an investment strategy, ...

The European Council video-conference meeting on 23 April 2020 is expected to shift EU leaders’ attention away from immediate and short-term priorities, such as limiting the spread of the coronavirus, to a longer-term strategic approach focused on a recovery strategy for the European Union, and the financing thereof. The recovery strategy could be based on four pillars: 1) the internal market, including the Green Deal, the digital agenda and the EU’s strategic autonomy; 2) an investment strategy, to be included in the next seven-year EU budget and reflected in the work programme of the European Investment Bank; 3) a global recovery strategy reinforcing the external responsibility of the EU and promoting multilateralism; and 4) strengthening resilience and governance for a stronger EU after the crisis. As the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the seven years from 2021 to 2027, which has yet to be agreed, touches upon all four pillars of the recovery strategy, EU leaders will engage in a strategic discussion on the MFF during their video-conference.

Charles Michel as President of the European Council: The first 100+ days

30-03-2020

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows ...

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU's interinstitutional relations. While pursuing his predecessors' efforts to secure unity between EU leaders, Michel has applied his own style, visible notably in his discourse, social media presence and transparency efforts. An analysis of the President's Twitter activities shows his strong focus on EU-Africa relations, climate and, most recently, COVID-19.

Outcome of European Council video-conference of 26 March 2020

30-03-2020

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour long video conference on this subject, but failed to agree on the adequate financing instruments to help countries in fiscal difficulty due to the crisis, The President of the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, strongly criticised the results of the European Council and ‘the short-sightedness and selfishness of some governments’.EU leaders asked the ...

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour long video conference on this subject, but failed to agree on the adequate financing instruments to help countries in fiscal difficulty due to the crisis, The President of the European Parliament President, David Sassoli, strongly criticised the results of the European Council and ‘the short-sightedness and selfishness of some governments’.EU leaders asked the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council to start working on a Roadmap accompanied by an Action Plan to prepare an exit strategy and a comprehensive recovery plan, including unprecedented investment.

Key issues in the European Council - State of play in March 2020

26-03-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council.

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council.

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