Common tactic against Covid-19

EU leaders welcomed recommendation on coordinated approach to restriction of free movement

Photo: EU Charles Michel.

The current pandemic has created numerous constraints throughout the EU, and this issue was also on the agenda of the EU leaders' meeting in Brussels on 15 and 16 October. Coordinated approach to measures restricting free movement were among the points of discussion. The heads of state and prime ministers assessed the current epidemiological situation, “which is unprecedented and gives rise to very serious concern”.

They welcomed the progress achieved so far on overall coordination at EU level against Covid-19, including the recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement, and agreed to continue the effort on areas such as quarantine regulations, cross-border contact tracing, testing strategies, joint assessment of testing methods and temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU.

EU leaders also discussed the next steps to ensure the development and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. They welcomed the work done so far at EU level and stressed further the need for a robust authorisation and monitoring process, the building of vaccination capacity in the EU, and fair and affordable access to vaccines.

EUCO President Charles Michel said they took the decision to organise, on a regular basis, cooperation and coordination at the level of the head of states or governments.

On the climate front, the leaders discussed the Commissionʼs Communication on ‘Stepping up Europeʼs 2030 climate ambition’, including the proposed emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030, and the actions required to achieve that ambition. The European Council considers that the updated target should be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible. All Member States will participate in this effort, taking into account national circumstances and considerations of fairness and solidarity, read the conclusions of the summit.

All relevant EU legislation and policies need to contribute to the new 2030 target and to the fulfilment of the climate neutrality objective, while respecting a level playing field and preventing carbon leakage.

EU leaders also addressed international questions, especially the future relationship with Africa and the forthcoming important meeting with the African Union, planned to take place in Brussels in December.

“It will be the occasion to renew our partnership and even our alliance with Africa. This alliance is natural for geographic reasons, for historical reasons, for cultural reasons. There is a huge potential if we take the right decisions together with African leaders,” President Michel pointed out.

The European Council reaffirmed its conclusions of 1-2 October 2020 and deplored renewed unilateral and provocative actions by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, including recent exploratory activities.

In the meeting conclusions was stated that the European Council urges respect for UN Security Council Resolutions 550 and 789, underlines the importance of the status of Varosha and reiterates its full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. Leaders also urged Turkey to reverse these actions and work for the easing of tensions in a consistent and sustained manner, saying they will remain seized of the matter in order to follow-up on its conclusions of 1-2 October this year.

 

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