Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Brussels, 15 December 2021

The European Council meeting will take place on 16 December in Brussels, Belgium.

The meeting will start at 10:00 with an exchange of views with European Parliament President, David Sassoli. During the morning working session, Slovenian Prime Minister Janša will present the presidency progress report. EU leaders will discuss COVID-19, energy prices and crisis management and resilience. They will also discuss the external dimension of migration, security and defence as well as preparations for the EU – African Union Summit. Over a working lunch, EU leaders will tackle external relations issues focusing on Belarus and Ukraine.

A Euro Summit meeting will take place in inclusive format (with all member states) over dinner. Leaders will be joined by the Presidents of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, and of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, to take stock of progress on the banking union and the capital markets union.

A press conference with Presidents Michel and von der Leyen as well as with Slovenian Prime Minister Janša (representing the Council’s rotating presidency) will take place at the end of the summit.

Programme

Thursday 16 December

  • 08.15 – Arrivals
  • 10.00 – Exchange of views with President Sassoli 10:30 Working session
  • 13:30 – Working lunch on external relations 15:30 – Working session
  • 20:30 – Working dinner of the members of the European Council dedicated to the Euro Summit (inclusive format)
  • TTBC – Press conference by President Michel, President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Janša.

 

COVID-19

The European Council members will take stock of the epidemiological situation, in particular in light of the emergence of new variants. They will exchange views on the coordination of measures, vaccination, and international cooperation. EU leaders are expected to address vaccine hesitancy and disinformation and highlight the importance of booster roll-out. They will also address global cooperation, including how to step up EU efforts and remove bottlenecks in the sharing and administering of vaccines.

COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic: the EU’s response

 

Energy prices

Following a first discussion during the October European Council meeting, EU leaders will come back to the hike in energy prices impacting European citizens and businesses. Preliminary reports on the functioning of the gas and electricity markets (by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators – ACER) and on the EU Emissions Trading System (by the European Securities and Markets Authority – ESMA), as well as recent Commission proposals will assist the discussion.

Addressing the energy price surge in the EU

Council conclusions 21-22 October 2021

ESMA preliminary report on the EU carbon market

ACER preliminary assessment of Europe’s high energy prices and the current wholesale electricity market design

The EU energy policy

 

Crisis management and resilience

The European Council members will follow up on their June conclusions in which they invited the Council’s rotating presidency to “take work forward in the Council to enhance our collective preparedness, response capability and resilience to future crises and to protect the functioning of the internal market”. The Council recently adopted a set of conclusions in this respect, presented by the Slovenian presidency. EU leaders will return to their work to enhance our collective preparedness, response capability and resilience to future crises.

The Council adopted conclusions on resilience and crisis response (23 November 2021) How the EU responds to crises and builds resilience

 

External relations

EU leaders will discuss developments in Belarus and Ukraine. They will return to the situation in Belarus and discuss how best to counter the hybrid attack launched by the country’s regime. At the European Council of 21-22 October 2021, EU leaders said that the EU would continue countering the ongoing hybrid attack launched by the Belarusian regime, including by adopting further restrictive measures against persons and legal entities. A fifth package of EU sanctions over continued human rights abuses and the instrumentalisation of migrants was decided on 2 December 2021. A total of 183 individuals and 26 entities are now designated under the sanctions regime against Belarus.

EU leaders will also address the Russian military build-up along the border with Ukraine. The EU has repeatedly reiterated its unwavering support and commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

The European Council will also prepare the forthcoming European Union – African Union Summit scheduled to take place in Brussels on 17-18 February 2022, with the aim of creating an alliance of prosperity and stability underpinned by a transformational investment package.

Restrictive measures against Belarus

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine

 

External aspects of migration

EU leaders will follow up on the European Council conclusions of June and October 2021 focusing on the external dimension of migration. They will address all migratory routes and assess the operationalisation of the action plans with priority third countries as well as their financing.

Council conclusions, 24-25 June 2021 Council conclusions, 21-22 October 2021

 

Security and defence

EU leaders will provide guidance for the Strategic Compass, following a first draft put forward by High Representative Borrell in November. The objective of the Strategic Compass is to set out a common strategic vision for the EU’s security for the next decade. Leaders are expected to endorse the Strategic Compass by the end of March 2022. Leaders will also discuss how to further enhance the EU’s close cooperation with NATO.

Oral conclusions drawn by President Charles Michel following the informal meeting of the members of the European Council in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia on 6 October 2021

Towards a Strategic Compass

EU cooperation on security and defence

 

Euro Summit

A Euro Summit in inclusive format (with all 27 heads of state or government) will also take place on

16 December. EU leaders will take stock of progress on the banking union and the capital markets union.

The President of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, will report to the Euro Summit on progress to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union, including progress achieved in the Eurogroup on key policy issues relevant to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Euro Summit, 16 December 2021

Letter from President Donohoe to President Michel ahead of the Euro Summit

Forward to your friends