Tag Archives: Charles Michel

EU-China video-Summit

Brussels 30.03.2022 The 23rd EU-China summit will take place on 1 April 2022 via video conference.

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by High Representative Josep Borrell, representing the EU, will meet Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in the morning and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the afternoon.(Image: Shanghai, China)

The main focus of the summit will be on the war in Ukraine, the engagement of the international community to support Ukraine, the dramatic humanitarian crisis created by Russia’s aggression, its destabilising nature for the international order and its inherent global impact.

The leaders will also discuss the state of bilateral relations and areas of shared interest such as climate change, biodiversity and health, as well as ways to ensure a more balanced and reciprocal trade relationship.

The EU will take the opportunity to stress the need to uphold the rules-based international order and universal values. The EU will call for the resumption of the EU-China human rights dialogue in a substantial way.

EU-US:enhancing transatlantic security & defence

Brussels 24.03.2022 Today, the European Council was joined by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States have issued the joint readout:

“The leaders discussed the coordinated and united response of the European Union and the United States to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression in Ukraine.

“They reviewed their ongoing efforts to impose economic costs on Russia and Belarus, as well as their readiness to adopt additional measures and to stop any attempts to circumvent sanctions.

“Leaders discussed the urgent needs caused by Russia’s aggression, committed to continuing providing humanitarian assistance, including to neighbouring countries hosting refugees, and underscored the need for Russia to guarantee humanitarian access to those affected by or fleeing the violence.

“Leaders welcomed the opening of international investigations, including by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and ongoing efforts to gather evidence of atrocities.

“In addition, leaders discussed EU-U.S. cooperation to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels, accelerate the transition to clean energy, as well as the need to respond to evolving food security needs worldwide.

“The leaders also concurred on the importance of strengthening democratic resilience in Ukraine, Moldova, and the wider Eastern partnership region.

“Finally, leaders underscored the importance of enhancing transatlantic security and defence, including through robust NATO-EU cooperation as described in the EU’s Strategic Compass”.

EU: Michel invitation to Versailles Council

Brussels 09.03.2022 Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their informal meeting of 10 and 11 March 2022:
“Russia has brought war back to Europe. This unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and undermines European security. Russia is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. We commend the people of Ukraine for their courage in defending their country. Together with Ukraine, we stand firmly on the side of freedom and democracy. Ukraine is part of our European family.

“In response to Russia’s aggression, the European Union has shown unity and strength. We have imposed on Russia the strictest sanctions ever adopted. The European Union and its Member States are providing coordinated humanitarian, political, financial and material support to Ukraine. Member States are also showing immense solidarity in hosting countless people fleeing the war.

“This conflict and its consequences will be at the heart of our informal meeting in Versailles on 10 and 11 March, which President Macron will kindly host.
Over the past years, faced with multiple crises and challenges, we engaged together on an ambitious strategic agenda. In the light of recent events, it is more urgent than ever that we take decisive steps towards building our sovereignty, reducing our dependencies and designing a new growth and investment model.

“Consequently, at our informal meeting, I would like us to focus on three particular issues, namely:

bolstering our defence capabilities;
reducing our energy dependency, in particular on Russian gas, oil and coal, and
building a more robust economic base.

Our meeting will start on 10 March at 5:30 pm with an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament. Our objective on the first day is to focus on the situation in Ukraine, as well as on defence and energy.

On 11 March, our morning session and our working lunch will be devoted to our new growth and investment model in the presence of the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the Eurogroup.

“I look forward to seeing you in Versailles (pictured above)”.

EP: Tribute to late president Sassoli

Strasbourg 17.01.2022 Today evening, the European Parliament will pay tribute to late President David Sassoli, who passed away earlier this month, in a ceremony in Strasbourg. Council President Charles Michel,
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and former Italian Prime Minister and former MEP Enrico Letta, as well as political group leaders, will speak during the ceremony. Sassoli had been a member of the Parliament since 2009 and was elected President in July 2019 for the first half of this legislature.

In Rome, President David Sassoli lied in state on Thursday 13 January from 10.00 to 18.00 in Sala della Protomoteca of the Campidoglio. The funeral service took place on Friday 14 January at 12.00 in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration

Brussels 01.11.2021 “We, the Leaders of the G20, met in Rome on October 30th and 31st, to address today’s most pressing global challenges and to converge upon common efforts to recover better from the COVID-19 crisis and enable sustainable and inclusive growth in our Countries and across the world. As the premier forum for international economic cooperation, we are committed to overcoming the global health and economic crisis stemming from the pandemic, which has affected billions of lives, dramatically hampered progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and disrupted global supply chains and international mobility. With this in mind, we express our profound gratitude to the health and care professionals, frontline workers, international organizations and scientific community for their relentless efforts to cope with COVID-19.

“Underlining the crucial role of multilateralism in finding shared, effective solutions, we have agreed to further strengthen our common response to the pandemic, and pave the way for a global recovery, with particular regard to the needs of the most vulnerable. We have taken decisive measures to support Countries most in need to overcome the pandemic, improve their resilience and address critical challenges such as ensuring food security and environmental sustainability. We have agreed upon a shared vision to combat climate change, and taken important steps towards the achievement of gender equality. We have also further advanced in our common efforts to ensure that the benefits of digitalization are shared broadly, safely and contribute to reducing inequalities”.

EUCO: EU leaders convene in Brussels

Brussels 21.10.2021 Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their meeting of 21 and 22 October 2021:
“I would like to invite you to our European Council meeting on 21 and 22 October.

“During our first working session, we will address the current hike in energy prices which is challenging the post-pandemic recovery and severely affecting our citizens and businesses. Building on the Commission’s recent communication, we will look closely into what can be done at the EU and national level, both in terms of short term relief for those most affected as well as measures for the medium and long term.

“We will also discuss the current COVID-19 situation. The pandemic is not over yet and figures are on the rise in several Member States. Vaccination has brought significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 but more still needs to be done, especially regarding vaccine hesitancy and disinformation. We will touch upon international solidarity, to ensure the speedy delivery of vaccines to countries most in need. We must also take action to ensure we are better prepared for pandemics in the future.

“We will also touch upon recent developments related to the Rule of Law during our working session.

“Over our working dinner we will have a strategic discussion on trade. When it comes to the EU’s global influence, trade remains the most effective instrument in our toolbox. We will discuss how to best make use of this instrument, both in terms of the objectives we seek and in terms of the process for the involvement of Member States, in light of experiences over the last few years.

“Another topic will be the preparations for important upcoming summits such as COP 26 and COP 15 on biodiversity. Looking ahead to the COP 26 summit, we need an ambitious global response to climate change. All major economies should set ambitious targets and meet their commitments on climate finance. We will also prepare the upcoming ASEM and Eastern Partnership Summits.

“On Friday, we will come back to the topic of migration, to follow up on the implementation of the June European Council conclusions on the external dimension of migration, in particular when it comes to financing. Our external borders need to be effectively controlled. We should also sustain our efforts to reduce secondary movements.

“We will then turn to Europe’s digital transformation, which is a key driver for economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. We will provide additional guidance on the digital agenda, including cyber security and connectivity, and give a political push to work on existing and future proposals and initiatives.

“I am confident that we will have a productive meeting, in a spirit of trust and dialogue. As demonstrated in the past unity is our strongest asset. I look forward to seeing you in Brussels.”

Kosovo: EU calls to de-escalate

Brussels 26.09.2021 “I continue to follow the situation in the north of Kosovo closely. Serbia and Kosovo need to unconditionally de-escalate the situation on the ground, by immediately withdrawing special police units and dismantling of roadblocks. Any further provocations or unilateral and uncoordinated actions are unacceptable” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

“Kosovo and Serbia must find solutions to defuse the situation and agree on the way forward. The EU will actively support these efforts. Both Kosovo and Serbian leaders are fully responsible for any risks to the safety and well-being of local communities is on both Kosovo and Serbia. I stressed this in my calls with President Vucic and Prime Minister Kurti this week.

“The EU-facilitated Dialogue continues to be the only platform to address and resolve all open issues between the Parties, including those related to freedom of movement and licence plates, and I strongly urge Kosovo and Serbia to use it. Both Chief Negotiators coming to Brussels in the coming days is a first positive step. It is crucial that they come with a mandate to discuss the way forward and find sustainable solutions that are in the interests of the citizens.

“We repeat that we expect both Kosovo and Serbia to return to fostering an environment conducive to reconciliation, regional stability and cooperation for the benefit of their citizens. This is crucial for reaching a comprehensive and legally-binding agreement on normalisation of their relations, which is necessary for both to advance on their respective European paths.

“I am in close touch with NATO Secretary General, whom I thank for the excellent cooperation between KFOR and EULEX. KFOR plays a key role in supporting regional stability in the Western Balkans”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN General Assembly: “When it is beneficial to the West, the right of peoples to self-determination is elevated to an absolute. And then, in violation of the UN Security Council resolution, they recognise the artificially created formation of Kosovo, which was forcibly torn away from Serbia. No one is embarrassed that the Malvins are 12 thousand km from Britain…”

Michel on access to Hamid Karzai airport

Brussels 24.08.2021 Remarks by President Charles Michel following the G7 leaders’ meeting on Afghanistan via videoconference: “We just participated in the virtual G7 leaders’ meeting on Afghanistan”.

“First, we tackled what remains our most pressing priority: the safe evacuation of the coalition’s citizens, Afghan staff, and their families.

“The EU and its member states spare no effort to evacuate EU citizens, and those who have partnered trustfully with us. We are concerned, about their ability to safely reach the Kabul airport. We call on the new Afghan authorities, to allow free passage to all foreign, and Afghan citizens, who wish to get to the airport.

“We have also raised this issue with our American friends and partners on two particular aspects: first, the need to secure the airport, as long as necessary, to complete the operations; and second, a fair and equitable access to the airport, for all nationals entitled to evacuation.

On humanitarian aid and migration, I will just make two remarks.

First, the EU will do its part, to support the safety and proper living conditions of Afghans, who flee their country. We will work with the countries in the region, especially Iran, Pakistan, and central Asia, to address the different needs. International protection will be needed for those facing persecution and for other vulnerable Afghans. And EU member states will contribute to this international effort.

Second point: let’s be clear, let’s not allow the creation of a new market for smugglers and human traffickers. We are determined to keep the migratory flows under control and the EU’s borders protected.

Today it is too early to decide what kind of relations we will develop with the new Afghan authorities. We call for an inclusive political settlement and if we want to remain a positive influence for the Afghan people, especially in supporting their basic needs, we will have to deal with the new authorities.

This will be subject to strict conditions, regarding the deeds and attitude of the new regime. Both in preserving the political, economic and social achievements for the Afghan citizens, and their human rights, notably of women, girls and minorities. And in terms of the international obligations of Afghanistan ¬– in particular, security, the fight against terrorism, and drug trafficking.

On security, the cooperation between NATO and other allies will be key. Sharing data among allies and partners, to prevent entry of foreign terrorist fighters will also play an important role.

Finally, on the geopolitical implications of these event: ending the military operation in Afghanistan is not the end of our commitment to promoting rule of law, democracy, and human rights in the world. On the contrary, we should be more determined than ever. This must be clear to actors who are trying to take advantage of the current situation. The EU will continue to firmly protect and promote its interests and values.

And to conclude: there will be more lessons, to draw from what happened in Afghanistan. These events show, that developing our strategic autonomy, while keeping our alliances as strong as ever, is of the utmost importance, for the future of Europe. In due time, I will propose a discussion on this question to my fellow leaders of the European Council.

Belarus suspends Eastern Partnership

Brussels 28.06.2021 “Belarus has taken another step backwards today by suspending its participation in the Eastern Partnership” the EU Council President Charles Michel (pictured) wrote on his Twitter micro blog page.
“This will escalate tensions further and have a clear negative impact on the people of Belarus by depriving them of opportunities provided by our cooperation” he added.

The head of the European Union’s Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. The diplomats have informed him about the steps Belarus has been “forced to take” in response to the “unprecedented restrictive measures” imposed on the country by the EU.

Belarus has suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on its website on 28 June.

EU-US: transatlantic partnership renewed

Brussels 15.06.2021 The EU-US summit on 15 June 2021 marked the beginning of a renewed transatlantic partnership and set a joint agenda for EU-US cooperation in the post-pandemic era. The leaders committed to regular dialogue to take stock of progress.

Key summit deliverables include three major new trade initiatives. The leaders agreed to:
– create a Cooperative Framework for Large Civil Aircraft;
– engage in discussions to resolve differences on measures regarding steel and aluminium by the end of the year;
– establish an EU-US Trade and Technology Council;
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, represented the EU. President Joe Biden represented the United States. It was the first EU-US summit since 2014 and the first visit by a US President to the EU institutions since 2017.
At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted a joint statement.

The European Union and the United States represent 780 million people who share democratic values and the largest economic relationship in the world. We have a chance and a responsibility to help people make a living and keep them safe and secure, fight climate change, and stand up for democracy and human rights. We laid the foundations of the world economy and the rules-based international order after World War II based on openness, fair competition, transparency and accountability. Some of the rules need an update: to protect our health, our climate and planet, to ensure democracy delivers and technology improves our lives.

“We, the leaders of the European Union and the United States, met today to renew our Transatlantic partnership, set a Joint Transatlantic Agenda for the post-pandemic era, and commit to regular dialogue to take stock of progress.

“Together, we intend to: (i) end the COVID-19 pandemic, prepare for future global health challenges, and drive forward a sustainable global recovery; (ii) protect our planet and foster green growth; (iii) strengthen trade, investment and technological cooperation; and (iv) build a more democratic, peaceful and secure world. We are committed to uphold the rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core, reinvigorate and reform multilateral institutions where needed, and cooperate with all those who share these objectives”.

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