(Source: European Council)
It is my pleasure to invite you to our European Council meeting on 24 and 25 June, which will start with an exchange of views with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on global challenges and geopolitical issues.
Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the EU and worldwide, will be a key topic. The successful vaccination campaign that is well underway across the EU, together with the launch of the Digital COVID Certificate, will facilitate free movement over the summer months and beyond. However, we need to keep a close eye on variants and contain their spread in a coordinated manner. As agreed in February, we will also engage in a first exchange on lessons learned from the pandemic so far, so as to best 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 the worldwide supply of vaccines.
On migration, we will take stock of the situation on the various routes. Our aim continues to be to prevent loss of life and to reduce pressure on the EU’s borders. We will therefore focus on the external dimension, with the aim of strengthening our cooperation with countries of origin and transit. We should mandate action that will deliver results rapidly.
As regards 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 debate in May and the Commission and High Representative’s report. We will review the implementation of our recent decisions on Belarus. I expect us also to adopt conclusions on Libya, the Sahel and Ethiopia.
Turning to the economic recovery, we will take stock of the implementation of Next Generation EU. Once approved, national Recovery and Resilience Plans will enable a full and inclusive economic recovery. They will also pave the way for the Union’s green and digital transitions, the twin engines of Europe’s growth in the decades to come.
At the end of our meeting on Friday, we will be joined by the Presidents of the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup for a Euro Summit in inclusive format. We will have a forward-looking discussion on how to foster a strong and sustainable economic recovery. This entails addressing the way forward on the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union as well as policy coordination in the euro area.
As to the practical proceedings, we will start at 1:00 pm on Thursday with our working lunch with UN Secretary-General António Guterres. We will then hold our traditional exchange of views with President Sassoli. After a report by Prime Minister Costa on the work in the Council, we will address COVID-19, then migration in our first working session. Our working dinner will mainly focus on external relations. We will resume on Friday morning with a working session on the economic recovery, before turning to the Euro Summit in inclusive format.