The first lessons of the pandemic, immigration including the dimension of hosting Syrians in Turkey and foreign relations, including EU relations with Russia and Turkey, will be the key issues of the first day of the regular Summit to be held on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.
According to a Community official who spoke to the press in Brussels, the 27 will adopt conclusions on Russia and will examine the situation in relation to the Belarusian regime.
Regarding Turkey, the EU official said: “We expect the de-escalation to continue. We are working at different levels at the same time – the technical discussions have started for the modernization of the customs union “.
He also noted that “on immigration, the Summit will be informed by the Commission about possible funding. “A positive agenda could be confirmed if we see constructive behavior from Turkey.”
However, he clarified that “the most basic thorns in our relations are Cyprus and the discussions on the Cyprus issue that were not positive”.
“The two-state solution does not exist for the EU,” the EU official clarified. “We are also worried about Varosha,” he said.
“The issue of Turkey also sticks to the issue of immigration, which is on the agenda. Remember that the Summit called on the Commission to table a proposal. Yesterday, the Commission gave the Member States a non paper. The leaders will be informed by this, but they also want a formal proposal to see where the money will come from, where it will go and this requires normal budget conditions. That is, it must then be approved by the Council and the EP. About September October.
Referring to immigration, the EU official said: “The focus is on the external dimension. We believe that there is room for improvement with countries of origin or transit. “Now we are asking the Commission and the High Commission for this for an action plan in September or October.”
“External border control, routes, illegal trade, but also the primary causes of immigration. Avoid losing lives in the Mediterranean. Difficult issue among leaders. “Focusing on this dimension is the intention of the leaders.”
He noted that the intention is not to be able to instrumentalize immigration and clarified that the issue of approval or not of 3.7 billion euros for Turkey, “is not on the agenda.”
“I would not say that it is enough, this role is not mine. So far, good work is being done in Turkey to support the refugees, and this must continue with education, social assistance and the needs have increased. That is why we want a precise proposal to see what is needed “, explained the community official.
Another diplomatic source, who briefed a group of journalists after the EU official, spoke of “specific proposals from Greece in relation to the text of the conclusions”. He said that Greece asked “to improve the vocabulary for Cyprus, to have a substantial rejection of the logic of the two states on the Turkish side, to avoid any provocations Varosia in view of the warm season in July with Erdogan visit in the summer, to make it clear that not yet The issue of customs modernization has started, but we are working on the mandate to the Commission to start “.
Specifically for the customs union, he explained that: “the technical work has never stopped, the relevant consultative committee has not been convened – the whole process is just at the level of letter exchange”.
As he said, “we had asked in October for the meetings to stop and since then there have been exchanges of letters. Commissioner Varcelli has sent a letter to the Turkish side, pointing out all the points that Turkey does not implement the customs union. In response, a letter from the Turkish authorities has arrived, but it is very incomplete. “Letters are therefore being exchanged with the Commission now to fill the gaps.”
He pointed out that it is “the 4th European Council that deals with Turkey, so the Europeanization of our differences with Turkey is a given”. “Turkey remains on the agenda of the European Council, with a clear statement that it will monitor the issue. He does not throw it in the High or elsewhere. He remains committed to it. We also want a reference to the conclusions-statement of March “, pointed out the same source.
Regarding immigration, he stressed the following: “It is important for us – we are putting Jordan and Lebanon (on our own proposal) for immigration funding. We are interested in politics because it is not only Turkey that has lifted the burden of refugees and a clear message to the neighborhood that those who work with us, offer to de-escalate, the EU should embrace them. The proposal was made in March, it will be adopted tomorrow “. Regarding the future financing, he explained: “what is changing is that we are moving to a hybrid budget and contributions of 3 billion. for Turkey until 2024, 2.2 Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. He also referred to the proposal for financing a bridge amounting to 535 million euros by the end of the year – beginning of 2022 for the humanitarian programs that are already running.
The full agenda of the Summit is included in the official letter of invitation of Charles Michel to the 27 Heads of State and Government.
In particular, in the official letter of invitation sent to the 27 national delegations, the President of the European Council Charles Michel emphasizes the following: “I am very pleased to invite you to the meeting of the European Council on 24 and 25 June, which will begin with an exchange of views with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on global challenges and geopolitical issues “.
As he notes, “recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the EU and worldwide, will be a key issue. The successful vaccination campaign underway across the EU, together with the launch of the COVID Digital Certificate, which will facilitate free movement in the summer months and beyond. However, we must carefully monitor the variants and limit their spread in a coordinated manner. As agreed in February, we will also be conducting a first exchange of lessons from the pandemic so far to better prepare for future crises. We will discuss how the EU can continue to lead efforts to vaccinate the world through exports and donations and how to increase global vaccine supply. “
With regard to immigration, the President of the European Council said: “We will look at the situation on various fronts and our aim remains to prevent the loss of lives and reduce the pressure on the EU border. So we will focus on the external dimension, with a view to strengthening our cooperation with countries of origin and transit. We need to mandate action that will yield results quickly. “
“On international issues, we will return to the EU's relations with Turkey, as announced in March. We will discuss relations with Russia, following our in-depth discussion in May and the report of the Commission and the High Representative. We will look at the implementation of our recent decisions on Belarus. “I also look forward to adopting conclusions on Libya, the Sahel and Ethiopia.”
“In terms of economic recovery, we will consider the implementation of Next Generation EU. Once approved, national recovery and resilience plans will allow for a full and inclusive economic recovery. “They will also pave the way for the Union's green and digital transitions, the twin engines of European growth in the coming decades.”
At the end of our meeting on Friday, the 27 will meet with the Presidents of the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup for the Euro Summit in a comprehensive format: “We will have a forward-looking discussion on how to promote a strong and sustainable economic recovery. “This means looking at the way forward for the banking union and the capital markets union, as well as coordinating policies in the euro area.”
Regarding the minutes of the Summit, the leaders will start at 13:00 local time on Thursday with a working lunch with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. They will then hold the traditional exchange of views with EP President Sassoli. Following a report by Prime Minister Costa on the work of the Council, they will consider the situation in relation to COVID-19 and after immigration at the first regular meeting. Our work dinner will focus mainly on external relations. They will continue on Friday morning with a working session on economic recovery, before starting the Eurozone Summit in a comprehensive format.
The draft Conclusions:
The European Council intends to welcome the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, to offer a gradual, proportionate and reversible positive commitment to Turkey, and to recall that the EU remains fully committed to the overall settlement of the Cyprus issue in accordance with UNSCR 7899 (especially , 1251), according to the latest draft conclusions seen by KYPE.
More specifically, the draft conclusions of the Summit on Turkey note the following “
“The European Council reiterated the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the European Union's relations with Turkey, as agreed in March, and recalled the EU's strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in developing a cooperative and mutually beneficial welcomes the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which must be maintained “.
“The European Council reiterates the EU 's readiness to work with Turkey in a gradual, proportionate and reversible way to strengthen cooperation in various areas of common interest, subject to the conditions set out in March and previous European Council conclusions.”
“In this context, it notes the start of work at the technical level for the modernization of the EU-Turkey customs union and recalls the need to address the current difficulties in the implementation of the customs union, ensuring its effective implementation in all Member States.”
“It also notes the preparatory work for high-level dialogues with Turkey on issues of mutual interest, such as public health, climate, counter-terrorism and regional issues.”
“The European Council calls on the Commission to submit without delay a proposal for continued funding for Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region, according to a statement by members of the March European Council. 2021 ”.
“The European Council recalls its previous conclusions and remains fully committed to the overall settlement of the Cyprus issue in accordance with the relevant UNSC decisions (in particular 550, 789, 1251). It regrets that the informal meeting in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations did not pave the way for the resumption of formal negotiations. The European Union will continue to play an active role in supporting the process. “
“The rule of law and fundamental rights in Turkey remain a key concern” of the EU. women's rights. “Dialogue on such issues remains an integral part of the EU-Turkey relationship.”
“In the common interest of the EU and Turkey for regional peace and stability, the European Council expects Turkey and all actors to make a positive contribution to resolving regional crises. ”