Tag Archives: EU Summit

Michel invites for EU Summit

President Charles Michel issued an invitation letter to the members of the European Council ahead of their video conference on 23 April 2020:

“I would like to invite you to our fourth videoconference dedicated to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its negative effects. We have moved quite some way over the past weeks, and I would really like to thank you all for your constructive spirit and bold actions so far. But there is still a long way to go to overcome this crisis.

The health of our citizens remains our top priority. We mourn the many lives lost and express our condolences to all the families who have lost a loved one. This pandemic touches all of us in every Member State and in every household. It knows no boundaries and calls for even more coordination and unity. It is my conviction that we must show even greater determination in overcoming our differences.

Health workers and doctors have worked relentlessly and tirelessly. We cannot show them enough gratitude. They represent the best of Europe. We commend the dedication of those who are at the forefront to combat the virus and those who are providing essential services to the population.

Restrictive measures, including limitations on some of our fundamental freedoms, continue to disrupt the daily lives of our citizens and our economies, but we will continue to do all that is necessary to combat the virus and to protect the health of our people. At the same time we have to prepare for the constraints to gradually end.

With that dual objective in mind and in line with the mandate you gave us three weeks ago, last week Ursula and I issued a Joint European Roadmap towards lifting of COVID-19 containment measures, charting the best way towards lifting the exceptional constraints without causing negative spill-over effects. The situation should be followed closely and there should be as much coordination as possible to meet the challenges ahead of us linked to the lifting of the restrictions, especially with regard to the summer season.

I now attach to this invitation a Roadmap for recovery with a strong investment component, which sets out some important principles and defines four key areas for action. I believe that these roadmaps provide a coherent and useful framework for our joint action towards overcoming the crisis and moving forward.

At our last videoconference, we also tasked the Eurogroup in an inclusive format to present proposals to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the crisis. On 9 April, the Eurogroup agreed on a package worth €540 billion, with three important safety nets for sovereigns, for private companies and for the protection of employment. We should give the go-ahead to these important initiatives and insist on them becoming available as quickly as possible. The aim should be for these three safety nets to be in place and operational by 1 June.

The comprehensive economic response to the crisis also includes a fourth element that was discussed by the Eurogroup, but not yet agreed, namely the idea of a European Recovery Fund. My suggestion is that we agree to work towards establishing such a fund as soon as possible. It should be of sufficient magnitude, targeted towards the sectors and geographical parts of Europe most affected, and be dedicated to deal with this unprecedented crisis. To this end, I propose that we task the Commission to analyse the exact needs and come up with a proposal that is commensurate with the challenge we are facing. The Commission proposal should clarify the link with the MFF, which will in any event be at the heart of the EU’s contribution to recovery and will need to be adjusted to deal with the current crisis and its aftermath.

It is critical that we discuss these issues openly among ourselves and urgently move ahead in order to make progress.

For other matters of common interest, whether international or internal to the EU, that are less directly related to this specific crisis, we continue to closely monitor the situation and will tackle them together in due course.

The videoconference will start at 15:00 on 23 April with the traditional exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli. We will then move to our discussion, in the presence of the President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde and the President of the Eurogroup Mario Centeno.

I look forward to our discussion”.

Sassoli defends MEPs position on EU budget

President David Sassoli reminded EU leaders Parliament approval is needed for the EU seven years budget (MFF) and said MEPs would not accept agreement irrelevant to the European ambitions.

Sassoli was speaking at the start of an EU Council (EUCO) aimed at finding an agreement between member states on the EU’s next long-term budget. The budget for 2021-2027 will be the first since the UK left the EU.

The speaker told the heads of state and government that Parliament was prepared to reject any agreement that did not give the EU the means to address the many challenges it faces.

“We must equip the Union with all the means necessary to address the challenges that we face together,” he said. “The first and most urgent is climate change. The Green Deal offers an ambitious plan for Europe to become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. Achieving this will require a major financial effort.

“We need resources to boost growth and development, and to support countries, businesses, and people through this transition. We also need to invest in research to ensure Europe is at the forefront and does not need to rely on importing new technologies to whose development it has not contributed.”

He also said that “the artificial dichotomy between net contributors and beneficiaries” should be broken. “All member states, without exception, profit from the EU.”

Parliament agreed its position on the long-term budget in 2018. Any agreement can only come into effect if approved by the Parliament.

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.

EU top jobs apple of discord

The EU leaders discussion of the attribution of  bloc’s top jobs  started at late dinner concluding agenda of Summit in Brussels (#EUCO). However the chances to come to an agreement remain minimal as France and Germany cast doubt on any imminent deal, also the Eastern European member-states (Vicegrad 4) vividly opposed both leading candidates from biggest European political groups the EPP and S&D for various reasons.

The 28 national leaders meet in Brussels on June 20-21 to assign the top jobs of the bloc for coming years on the entire spectrum of issues.

“In Europe, our coalition of progress must prevail. We need to find the women and men who can carry an ambitious roadmap at the heart of the European institutions. This is a key issue for the European Council meeting today“, French President Emmanuel Macron said at arrival to the European Council.

Antonio Tajani,  the president of the European Parliament, was  reminiscent of cardinals locked to select a Pope, hinting of disagreements among the member-states, and European political families.

However the nominations should be made before the new European parliament starts its session on July 2 in Strasbourg. By the time the European Council has to announce the major appointments, including the top job of the President of the European Commission, de facto “Prime Minister of Europe“.

 

 

 

Macron supports strong personalities for EU top jobs

At his arrival to the EU Informal Summit President Emmanuel Macron said on he prefers two women and two men with strong personalities to lead the European Union in the next five years. French President declined to name his favorite candidates at this stage, but he mentioned the  names of the contestants as Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager, and Michel Barnier, next to the official spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber.

The key for me is for the people at the most sensitive positions to share our project and be the most charismatic, creative and competent possible,Macron told press corps after an informal dinner of EU leaders in Brussels. 

I’m not part of those who… want leaders of the European Commission or the European Council who don’t overshadow national leaders,” he explained. And added that it is not about the names or candidates, but about uniting people, and advancing the European project.

EU offers 22 May Brexit deadline

The European Union 27 leaders, gathering for a Summit in Brussels offered an extension of Brexit deadline to 22 May, the day before the European election voting starts in member-states (23-26 May).

However the deadline extension is not unconditional, EU27 Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said at arrival to the European Council. A short Brexit delay “should be conditional on a positive vote next week in the House of Commons“.

We have done our best, now the solution is in London,” Barnier said.

EU Summit Brexit deadline dilemma

The European Council will start on Thursday (21.03.2019) afternoon with our usual exchange with President Tajani. We will then turn to Prime Minister May who will share her assessment of the latest developments regarding Brexit. After this, we will discuss the next steps concerning Brexit at 27″ Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council wrote in his open letter.

In the statement president Tusk underlined “..even if the hope for a final success may seem frail, even illusory, and although Brexit fatigue is increasingly visible and justified, we cannot give up seeking – until the very last moment – a positive solution, of course without opening up the Withdrawal Agreement. We have reacted with patience and goodwill to numerous turns of events, and I am confident that, also now, we will not lack the same patience and goodwill, at this most critical point in this process.” 

I believe that we could consider a short extension conditional on a positive vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons. The question remains open as to the duration of such an extension. Prime Minister May’s proposal, of the 30th of June, which has its merits, creates a series of questions of a legal and political nature”,  Tusk continued, adding that the issues would be discussed during the  European Council Summit #EUCO.

 

June 30 Brexit deadline announced

Theresa May announced June 30 as a new deadline for Brexit to be requested at the upcoming European Union Summit on 21-22 March in Brussels.

The leader of a recently established Brexit party,  Member of European Parliament,  Nigel Farage has immediately reacted on a new deadline, insisting there should not be any extension “in first place”. He also requested the guarantees that the new deadline would be respected: “why should we believe her?” Farage wrote in his Tiwtter micro blog.

AMENDED: According to President of the European Commission press-person the telephone consultation between him and Prime Minister Theresa May are ongoing.

May expected to request Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Theresa May will request a “short delay” for departure of the UK from the EU in a letter to the European Council on March 20, Sky News cited an s senior government source. The move is feared by the Leavers to become a first step in a sequence of events leading to de facto cancellation the results of the Brexit referendum.

The request of delay, almost three years since Britons voted in referendum to leave the European Union, leads to the Brexit uncertainty with options of the a sequence of delays, mounting up to next five years of negotiations to produce a meaningful and mutually acceptable Article 50 Agreement. Some experts consider the delay in reality might become open-ended, without any  definite deadline to respect, but causing by obligation of the UK to participate in the upcoming European elections, and engage in the next Brussels political cycle.

In need to postpone the formal Brexit date March 29  Prime Minister May has to apply to European Council President Donald Tusk, responsible for the EU Summit preparations to present the request to the heads of states and governments of the EU member-states on 21 of March.

However the length of the delay beyond May 24 inevitably leads to the engagement of the UK in the European elections, and the next political cycle in the EU, the move that the Leavers presume will jeopardise the entire Brexit process for years to come.

There are also concerns among the European politicians about the import the Westminster political crisis to Brussels, affecting the future of the bloc. The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk indicated via his Twitter micro blog, that ‘no-dealBrexit, or the break with the UK without any agreement, is still on the cards.

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Conte defends Silk Road to Italy

Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the Memorandum of understanding his government has scheduled to sign for China‘s Belt and Road Initiative during Chinese President Xi Jinping visit this week is risk free. The initiative is a huge infrastructure plan that aiming at construction of a modern Silk Road to connect China with Europe and Africa.

The attention to economic and trade terms is totally legitimate,” Conte told the Parliament as he reported to the lawmakers ahead of this week’s EU Summit in Brussels. “And it is justified precisely because of our national interests. We can boost our exports to a market of an enormous size”, Prime Minister explained.
The content of the memorandum, which was negotiated for months with China involving all the interested administrations, does not feature any risk for our national interest and is fully in line with the EU‘s strategy”, Conte ensured.

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