EU leaders discuss Covid-19 measures and relations with the UK
They will hold also an orientation debate on how to achieve the climate ambitionEuropost , Brussels
The European Council sitting started in Brussels on Thursday afternoon with a tight agenda focused on the epidemiological situation, relations with the United Kingdom, climate change and relations with Africa. The summit was kicked off with a traditional exchange of views with EP President David Sassoli.
EU leaders will discuss EU-UK negotiations together with Michel Barnier and the key issues will be the level playing field, fisheries and governance.
As EUCO President Charles Michel stated in his invitation letter to the heads of state and government “it is in the interests of both sides to have an agreement in place before the end of the transition period”, but also added that this cannot happen at any price. According to him the coming days are decisive.
Still on Thursday, over dinner, the leaders will hold an orientation debate on how to achieve the climate ambition. “Last December we agreed on the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050. We now need to increase our emissions reduction target for 2030 to make sure we can achieve that ambition. The Commission has proposed a new target of at least 55% by 2030. I would like us to have a constructive debate on the issue, so as to pave the way for an agreement by the end of the year,” Charles Michel underlined.
The discussion on Friday will be centred on the relations with Africa, with a view to the upcoming meeting with African Union Leaders.
As President Michel explained the objective is to renew and deepen the political relations, taking them to a higher level, based on mutual respect and the willingness to accommodate each other's interests.
On Covid-19, the leaders will take stock of the coordination efforts undertaken at EU level, after the adoption of the Council recommendation on the restriction of free movement and receive an update from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on vaccines.