December European Council

EU leaders discussed COVID-19, crisis resilience, energy, security, migration and Belarus

On December 16, EU Heads of State or Government discussed developments related to COVID-19, crisis management and resilience, energy prices, security and defence, external aspects of migration and the situation in Belarus.

COVID-19 naturally topped the agenda of discussions, focusing on vaccination as the best tool to fight the new virus variants. Coordination, both within the EU and globally, was given the highest importance, both for stepping up the efforts and to remove bottlenecks in the sharing and administration of vaccines, as well as to preserve mobility. Such issues were also addressed in light of collective preparedness, response capability and resilience to future crises.

The other matters discussed, addressed the rise in energy prices and their impact on citizens and businesses in Europe, the assessment of migratory routes and the operationalisation of the action plans with priority third countries as well as their financing.

The situation in Belarus was discussed in the context of undermining of fundamental rights and the Russian military build-up along the border with Ukraine.

EU leaders also met for the Euro Summit to assess the economic situation as well as the latest developments related to the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union.

Read the Council Conclusions here.

Eastern Partnership Summit
On December 15, EU leaders and leaders of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries met for the sixth Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels.

The eastern partners present at the summit comprised Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Belarus has suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership but the EU continues to cooperate with the people of Belarus.

The leaders stressed that their partnership remains firmly based on common fundamental values, mutual interests and shared ownership, responsibility, inclusivity, differentiation and mutual accountability.

The Eastern Partnership seeks to foster stability, prosperity and mutual cooperation, and to advance the commitment to the necessary reforms and to address the global and regional challenges.

At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted a joint declaration.

Visit the meeting page for the full results of the EaP summit.