Chancellor Merkel has accomplished a feat: she has brokered a compromise in the bitter dispute over the blockade of the EU budget. But it gets difficult with another topic.
Photo series with 11 photos
After a breakthrough in the budget dispute, discussions at Friday night’s EU summit lingered on the issue of the European Union’s future climate target. According to information from EU circles, the 27 states were broadly in agreement to significantly increase the 2030 target. According to reports, Poland and some other eastern countries were pushing for additional financial support for the energy transition. There was no solution by early morning.
The summit statement stated that the EU would reduce its greenhouse gases by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. So far, the target has been minus 40 percent. At the end of this year, an increase is needed under the Paris Climate Agreement. Such a big step would be an important sign internationally. But hours of negotiations on the subject initially yielded no results.
Important budget agreement
On Thursday, the 27 states reached a major budget deal: the summit paved the way for the 1.8 trillion financial package for the next seven years.
Read here why Poland and Hungary see themselves victorious in the dispute
The breakthrough came with a compromise between Germany and approved by all heads of state or government. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) can thus achieve success shortly before the end of the German presidency of the EU Council.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (from left) with Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission and President of the EU Parliament David Sassoli: The climate goals were fought for hours on end. (Source: Oliver Hoslet / AP / dpa)
Hungary and Poland blocked the budget package, including EUR 750 billion in corona aid, because they disagreed with a new rule of law mechanism. But the EU countries badly affected by the pandemic were urgently waiting for the money. The community was in danger of serious and ongoing conflict. Aid can now flow, with the consent of the European Parliament. The EU will also likely be saved an emergency budget in 2021.
New sanctions against Turkey
EU states have also vowed to take a closer coordinated line in the fight against the corona pandemic. Particularly with the possible relaxation of the previous travel restrictions, they want to work together – as soon as the health situation allows. The European Commission is expected to make recommendations on the use and mutual recognition of rapid antigen testing. A common approach to vaccination records should also be developed.
The heads of state or government also agreed on sanctions against Russia and Turkey. The EU’s economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine will be extended by six months until the end of July next year.
New sanctions are being imposed on Turkey. The reason for this is the unauthorized Turkish gas exploration for Cyprus, as evidenced by the summit resolution. The sanctions can affect individuals as well as companies involved in the boreholes that are considered illegal. The penalties must ultimately be decided by the Council of Ministers and include entry bans and property freezes. For now, however, there are no sanctions against entire branches of the economy or an EU arms embargo.