In the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the surge in energy costs in Europe, the informal summit in Versailles is taking place. The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Antalya, Turkey, preceded earlier today, during which no white smoke came out and no progress was seen in the agreement for a ceasefire. Instead, the image from Kyiv is that the Russians have begun their advance towards the center of the Ukrainian capital.
From the Summit, its host, Emmanuel Macron, wants as a key & # 8220; victory & # 8221; a pre-announcement for the mega-eurobond to be used for energy and defense spending, although there are still significant German objections to the issue of further debt consolidation.
the European Union's position and Europe's response to Russia's attack on Ukraine.
In the draft of the joint declaration, as informed by the KYPE, the 27 Member States emphasize the need to strengthen the security and defense capabilities of the EU, reduce dependence not only on energy (especially on Russian gas) but also in general sectors such as industry, health and technology, as well as the need to strengthen the EU's economic base and create a new growth and investment model with a time horizon of 2030.
In terms of energy, The 27 member states are expected to emphasize the gradual decoupling from Russian gas but also from oil and coal imports from the country.
As noted, this will be done through the general reduction of the use of fossil fuels and the transition to renewables, always taking into account the specificities of each Member State and the choices of each country in relation to its energy mix.
Among the alternatives that the EU will pursue for the decoupling from the above energy sources is the diversification of the supply through the enhancement of the supply of liquefied natural gas but also the development of biogas and hydrogen as well as the renewable energy sources. At the same time, the EU is stepping up its efforts to improve gas storage.
Members of the European Council also call on the Commission to make concrete proposals to security of supply and ensuring affordable prices next winter.
Leaders will return to the issue of high energy prices and the impact they have on EU citizens and businesses at the next European Council scheduled for March 24-25, the draft says.
On the issue of defense, It is emphasized that strengthening the EU's defense is complementary to NATO, and that the 27 agree on a significant increase in defense spending and investment, as well as encouraging joint investment by Member States in joint projects and joint procurement of equipment. p>
As noted, the 27 will promote partnerships with innovation and industry, as well as better preparedness for hybrid threats by enhancing, inter alia, cyber defense and defense and digital infrastructure, and promoting a counter-intelligence strategy.
In this context, it is stated that the Strategic Compass will guide the dimensions of the defense and security of the European Union.
In the draft, of which KYPE has information, there was no specific commitment for Ukraine's request for membership in the European Union, apart from reports for strengthening ties and partnership with the country. According to reports, there is disagreement over the commitments that the EU can and should make towards the country, given that even if the application is accepted, the accession process itself is a long process.
French President Emmanuel Macron said today, ahead of an informal summit in Versailles, that European Union countries would have to agree on a rate at which they would break free from Russian fossil fuels. On Ukraine's request to join the EU in a “fast-track process”, the French president said he thought it was “unrealistic” to start accession talks with a country at war.
“It is important that Ukraine has applied for membership of the European Union, but there is no quick process of accession,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, attending an informal summit of EU leaders in Versailles. Ukraine applied to join the EU shortly after Russia invaded its territory two weeks ago.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, before the start of the informal meeting of EU Heads of State and Government, said that “the answer to this drama can only be European”.
President Anastasiadis noted that the Republic of Cyprus, as an occupied country that has been experiencing the consequences of the Turkish invasion for almost 48 years, fully understands what is happening now in Ukraine and expressed Cyprus' firm support for the diplomatic efforts to end the war.
He also referred to the strengthening of the EU's defense capabilities in order to be able to act as a reliable security provider, where needed, in the wider EU neighborhood, including the Eastern Mediterranean region.
President Anastasiadis also stressed that the relevant plans of the EU should take into account the threats and challenges faced by the European Union and the Member States from Turkey.
Presidents of the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup present tomorrow
On the second day of the Summit tomorrow, Friday, the “27” will discuss the “new growth and investment model” of the EU, in the presence of its President European Central Bank and the President of the Eurogroup. The aim of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU is to strengthen in the long run the EU's autonomy in strategic areas, not only in energy and defense, but also in raw materials, health, semiconductors and the digital market. and technologies.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Cruz, who traveled with Ursula von der Leyen by train from Brussels to Paris, “uploaded” a photo on twitter stating that they met with three young girls , refugees from Ukraine, with whom they traveled.
Onderweg naar de Europese Top in Parijs.
Onderweg kruiste ik samen met Commissievoorzitster @vonderleyen drie Oekraïense meisjes op de vlucht voor de oorlog in hun land.
— Alexander De Croo 🇧🇪🇪🇺 (@alexanderdecroo) March 10, 2022