Tag Archives: Charles Michel

Prague: EU leaders convene informally

Brussels 07.10.2022 EU leaders meet in Prague to discuss the three most pressing, and interlinked, issues facing the EU, namely Russia’s war in Ukraine, energy and the economic situation.

Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of Prague leaders meetings on 6 and 7 October 2022
The leaders will continue to discuss these topics at the upcoming European Council in Brussels on 20 and 21 October 2022.
This informal European Council meeting takes place following the first meeting of the European Political Community on 6 October 2022.

EU leaders will discuss the EU’s response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the Kremlin’s continuous escalation, including the organisation of a national mobilisation campaign, the sham coercive ‘referenda’ and the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. In their statement from 30 September 2022, EU leaders firmly rejected and unequivocally condemned the illegal annexations.

In this context, EU leaders will discuss how to continue providing support to Ukraine, including economic, military, political and financial support as well as how best to protect our critical infrastructure.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has a dramatic impact on the energy situation in Europe, with a spillover effect on the economy. In this context, EU leaders will discuss how to guarantee security of supply and affordable energy for households and businesses, particularly for the coming winter.

As part of the discussions, EU leaders will assess the decisions already taken in this regard, including a set of energy measures to reduce electricity demand and to collect and redistribute the energy sector’s surplus revenues for final consumers, which EU energy ministers reached a political agreement on at the end of September.

In light of the discussions, EU leaders will also provide guidance for further reforms and measures to ensure a well-coordinated European response.

Michel on Queen Elizabeth II legacy

Brussels 09.09.2022 “We remember a remarkable woman today. A remarkable human being. Who shouldered an immense responsibility over the past 70 years. Her inspiration has spanned generations. And touched the lives of so many” writes the president of the European Council Charles Michel.

“While we all mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, we also consider her reign. It has left a legacy like few others in European and global history. From the turbulent years of the Cold War well into the globalised era of the 21st century.
For many, she was an anchor of stability in a rapidly changing world. She was once called “Elizabeth the Steadfast”. She was indeed a wise leader who never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in this modern world – values like service, commitment, and tradition.
‘She once said: “grief is the price we pay for love”. She was respected, esteemed, and sincerely loved by so many around the world. Our thoughts are, first and foremost, with the King and the Royal Family, with the people of the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth.
For us in the European Union, her reign covered almost the full arc of post-war European integration. We will always remember her contribution to reconciliation among our nations after World War II and the Cold War. She had experienced the devastation of World War II and knew the importance of trust and cooperation among our countries.
Many of our past and present European leaders have experienced her warm hospitality. So did I at several occasions.
“We will do our part to carry on her legacy. Her special legacy of building bridges and of building trust among nations.”

Michel: Invitation to EU Summit

Brussels 28.05.2022 Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their special meeting on 30 and 31 May 2022:
“We gather for a special meeting of the European Council on 30-31 May to take forward our discussions on Ukraine, energy, food security, and defence.

“Ukraine is showing incredible courage and dignity in the face of the Russian aggression and atrocities. From the very first day, we have been unwavering in our humanitarian, financial, military and political support to the Ukrainian people and their leadership. We will continue putting pressure on Russia. Our unity has always been our strongest asset. It remains our guiding principle.

“We will address the situation in Ukraine at our first working session, and President Zelenskyy will join us via video link at the beginning of this discussion. One of our most pressing concerns is assisting the Ukrainian state, along with our international partners, with its liquidity needs. We will also discuss how best to organise our support for Ukraine’s reconstruction, as a major global effort will be required to rebuild the country.

“We will come back to the issue of energy including high prices, which are hitting hard on our homes and businesses. We must accelerate our energy transition if we are to phase out our dependency on Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible. Building on our decisions taken in Versailles, we will discuss the best ways to take work forward.

“Russia’s military aggression risks having a dramatic effect on global food security. Food prices have spiked and we are facing serious risks of famine and destabilisation in many parts of the world. At our meeting, we will discuss concrete ways to help Ukraine export its agricultural produce using EU infrastructure. We will also see how to better coordinate multilateral initiatives in this regard. Given African countries’ acute vulnerability to food insecurity, African Union Chairperson Macky Sall will join us via video link to discuss the topic.

“Russia’s war against Ukraine has further bolstered our ambition for a strong, coordinated European defence. In March, we tasked the Commission, in coordination with the European Defence Agency, with putting forward an analysis of the defence investment gaps and proposing any further initiatives to strengthen the European defence industrial and technological base. Our most urgent priority is to coordinate Member States’ efforts to replenish stocks and build a European industrial base. We will discuss how to address these two issues.

“In terms of timing, our meeting will start on Monday at 4 p.m. with the traditional exchange of views with European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola.

“I look forward to seeing you in Brussels”.

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…”

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