Five keys to the European summit


The leaders of the European Union (EU) meet in Brussels this Thursday for the first summit with a physical presence since the beginning of the pandemic.

Among the issues to be discussed are greater coordination for covid-19, climate change, security and foreign relations.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will brief the heads of state and government on the conversation she had with Boris Johnson on Wednesday night. In principle, Sunday is the deadline to reach a trade agreement and prevent an abrupt departure from London on January 1.

Also on the agenda is the decision of when to start the vaccination campaign at the European level. These are five points to keep in mind at the beginning of today’s summit.

EU budget

The main topic for debate in this meeting is the budget of the European Union 2021-2027. There is already a draft on the table and everything seems to indicate that Hungary and Poland are going to lift the veto. Both countries had blocked the aid fund for the pandemic as this money depended on compliance with the rule of law in all community territories.

The preliminary agreement will mean that the 27 have an unprecedented budget for the next six years, 1.8 billion euros.

Covid-19

The European Council is ready to discuss the management of the pandemic across the continent, including work on vaccines and tests, and the gradual lifting of restrictions. There are possibilities of reaching an agreement to initiate a coordinated response this week.

Climate change

Five years after the Paris Agreement, the 27 are expected to set a new goal in reducing greenhouse gases by 2030.

Among the forecasts is that the EU present its updated national contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) before the end of this year.

Security

After a new wave of attacks in Europe, terrorism and extremism, also online, will be at the center of the talks.

The foreign ministers of the EU countries will make a joint statement on the November attacks on the continent.

External relationships

Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential elections marks a restart of relations on both sides of the Atlantic, the main lines of which will be discussed these days in Brussels.

Also on the agenda is the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the difficult relationship with Turkey and something more marked by recent events could enter.

A new summit is scheduled for Friday, December 11, focusing on the banking union and the capital markets union.


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