Tag Archives: Brussels

#EUCO: Charles Michel chairs EU Summit

“I look forward to welcoming you to the December European Council – my first European Council meeting as President” reads the invitation letter of the EU Council President Charles Michel.(Image above: archive).

“My intention is to build on the impressive work of my two predecessors and create a strong relationship with you, based on trust, confidence and transparency.

Together, we will provide the strategic guidance that Europe needs to tackle the many challenges identified in the Strategic Agenda adopted in June 2019.

Concerning this week’s European Council, the meeting will start at 15:00 on 12 December with an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli. This will be followed by our first working session, in which we will begin by adopting our conclusions on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

We will then move to the vital challenge of Climate Change. I want us to agree on the commitment for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050. This would be a major signal from the European Council that the EU will take a global leadership role on this crucial issue. It is my conviction that the transition to climate neutrality will create new opportunities for economic growth and development.

However, we must also recognise that it will require efforts from all Member States. We will put in place a framework and the necessary resources to chart a fair and balanced path towards our objective. This means taking into account the different national realities and starting points.

Over dinner, we will discuss the Multiannual Financial Framework. This is another key area for the future of our Union. We must enter into a new stage of our work and engage seriously. There is no point repeating known positions and maximalist requests; concessions will be needed from all sides. We will work to identify the key elements of a final agreement.

The first day will conclude with a debrief on the implementation of the Minsk Agreement along with short conclusions on WTO, Africa and Turkey.

On Friday, our meeting will begin at 10:00 in the presence of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Eurogroup President Mario Centeno. After an exchange of views on the economic situation, we will take stock of the progress made by the Eurogroup on strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union and give some indications on future work. A statement will be adopted to that end.

The proceedings will conclude in the Article 50 configuration.  We are ready for the next steps and reaffirm our desire for as close a relationship as possible with the United Kingdom. We will adopt short conclusions on Brexit.

I look forward to working closely with all of you on these issues, and many others, to make Europe bolder, more prosperous, and more self-confident.”

EU Council endorses Brexit Deal II

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU and the UK were “very close” to concluding Article 50 Agreement, often referred to as “Brexit Deal”. After the European Council Summit, endorsing the deal, the approval by Westminster and the European Parliament will be the final steps to seal it.

President Tusk was addressing the press corps at Brussels Brexit Summit after the 27 European Union member states agreed to approve of a deal, under which Britain will leave on October 31 in an orderly fashion.

However the experts say the Brexit deal is far from being sealed, while there is growing scepticism among British Members of Parliament, who oppose it, claiming that the second version of the Article 50 Agreement is worse than the forme Prime Minister May deal.

Since day one, the EU has been United. We negotiated with the #UK as one union, one family. We put peace and people above everything else. Now it’s time to turn a page and look towards our new partnership with the UK #Brexit”, the EU top negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Brexit meeting delayed to 17 CET

The meeting on debriefing for the EU member-states on the latest developments of Brexit talks has been delayed to 1500 GMT on October 16 from 1200 GMT, European diplomats said, commenting on state of affairs between Brussels and London on sealing a deal for orderly Brexit was postponed on, Reuters news agency reports.

Later the reports of further delay were posted on Twitter, indicating 17 CET as planned time for the meeting.(Image above; Michel Barnier, archive)

https://twitter.com/tconnellyrte/status/1184427393777360896?s=21

Italy insists on change of Dublin rules

On his first visit to Brussels after becoming head of a government backed by the anti-establishment 5-Star and center-left Democratic Party (PD), Giuseppe Conte repeated calls for changes to migration regulations. (Image: archive).

Past governments made similar requests, causing prolonged disputes with the European Union. 

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited Brussels on September 11 in Brussels to meet with the president-designate of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

New EU Commission team announced

The new head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen named her 27-strong team on September 10, attributing to Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) the EU Competition Commissioner portfolio,  and appointing an Irishman in charge of settling future trade relations with the UK.

The team of Ursula von der Leyen  will take office on November 1, assuming they receive the approval from the European Parliament.

Von der Leyen team is closer to gender balance with 13 women and 14 men, which is an improvement vis-à-vis dominated by men Juncker‘s  Commission.

Salvini blames Brussels influences

Italian League party leader Matteo Salvini said the emerging new government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) had been “born in Brussels to get rid of that pain in the neck Salvini“.  (Image: archive).

Today, “coincidentally”, the German ex-commissioner Oettinger speaks and says that Brussels is ready to do anything to help this government be born and reward it” he added.

Salvini added that Prime minister designate Giuseppe Conte “is the first member of the PD”, that “if they change the security and migrant decrees they’ll do Italians wrong”, and that the new government was “one of seats and posts, and I’m not giving up”.

 

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Salvini also confirmed his determination to conduct “Italians First!” policy “forever“, and wherever he and Lega party serves his country.

NATO-Russia “fundamentally different”

The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 29 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Friday July 5 to discuss Ukraine, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and transparency and risk reduction. This was the second meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this year. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “Our discussion was frank but necessary. Allies and Russia hold fundamentally different views but we are committed to continuing our dialogue.”

Outcome of the Council meeting: It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up” Russian mission to NATO wrote in Twitter micro blog after the meeting. The detailed comments have been published on the Facebook page of the mission:

The NRC meeting on July 5 focused on the security situation in Europe in the context of US announced withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2. The Russian Side indicated that attempts to shift the blame on Russia for the demise of the INF were unjustified. It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up. We drew the attention to real risks of further aggravating military and political situation in Europe. The Russian Side noted the need to exercise restraint. We confirmed that in our planning of the steps to ensure the interests of Russia’s military security in the context of the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty we are not intended to deploy corresponding missile systems in Europe and other regions unless the US intermediate- and shorter-range missiles are deployed there. We called on NATO countries to make the same statement”.

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