During their two-day meetings on June 24 and 25, EU Heads of State or Government discussed COVID-19, migration and external relations, including Turkey and Russia, the economic recovery and the challenges for the euro area.
The European Council welcomed the good progress on vaccination and the overall improvement in the epidemiological situation, while stressing the need to continue vaccination efforts and to be vigilant and coordinated with regard to developments, particularly the emergence and spread of variants.
Member States are committed to apply the agreements reached on the EU Digital COVID Certificate and on the revision of the two Council Recommendations on travel within the EU and on non-essential travel into the EU in a manner that ensures the full return to free movement as soon as the public health situation allows.
The EU is committed to international solidarity in response to the pandemic by pushing for global production of vaccines and universal access to them, including coordinated action for their distribution.
The EU will continue working towards an international treaty on pandemics, following the decision adopted by the 74th World Health Assembly to set up a special session of the World Health Assembly in November 2021 on a Framework Convention on Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
The European Council concluded that while the measures taken by the EU and Member States have brought down the overall irregular flows in recent years, developments on some routes give rise to serious concern and require continued vigilance and urgent action.
Mutually beneficial partnerships and cooperation with countries of origin and transit will be intensified, as an integral part of the EU’s external action, in order to prevent loss of life and to reduce pressure on European borders. The approach will be pragmatic, flexible and tailor-made, make coordinated use, as Team Europe, of all available EU and Member States’ instruments and incentives, and take place in close cooperation with the UNHCR and IOM. It should address all routes and be based on a whole-of-route approach, tackling root causes, supporting refugees and displaced persons in the region, building capacity for migration management, eradicating smuggling and trafficking, reinforcing border control, cooperating on search and rescue, addressing legal migration while respecting national competences, as well as ensuring return and readmission.
To this end, the European Council called for the immediate reinforcement of concrete actions with, and tangible support for, priority countries of origin and transit. It also called for action plans for priority countries of origin and transit in autumn 2021, indicating clear objectives, further support measures and concrete timelines.
The Commission shall report to the Council by November, on its intentions of how to make the best possible use of at least 10% of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, as well as funding under other relevant instruments, for actions related to migration.
Finally, the European Council condemned and rejected any attempt by third countries to instrumentalise migrants for political purposes.
The European Council reverted to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the EU’s relations with Turkey, and recalled the EU’s strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey.
With regards to Libya, the European Council confirmed its commitment to Libya’s stabilisation process under the auspices of the United Nations. Elections should take place on December 24, 2021 as agreed in the Roadmap “For the Preparatory Phase of a Comprehensive Solution” and their results accepted by all. The European Council calls for progress on the inclusive and Libyan-owned political dialogue and for the withdrawal without delay of all foreign forces and mercenaries.
The European Council discussed relations with Russia, and reiterated its commitment to a united, long-term, and strategic European approach based on the five guiding principles on the EU’s policy towards Russia. The European Council invites the Council, the Commission and the High Representative to continue to implement them fully, with due regard to the EU’s values, principles and interests.
The European Council welcomed the timely implementation of the measures concerning Belarus, in line with its conclusions of May 24-25, 2021 and reiterated the call for the immediate release of all political prisoners and arbitrarily detained persons, including Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, and for an end to repression of civil society and independent media. It reiterated the democratic right of the Belarusian people to elect their president through new, free and fair elections.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND EURO SUMMIT
On June 25, EU leaders took stock of the implementation of the Next Generation EU in view of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans for a full and inclusive, green and digital economic recovery.
Joined by the Presidents of the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup, leaders also discussed the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. They also reviewed progress on the banking union and the capital markets union.« Back