|Author (Corporate)||European Council|
|Publisher||General Secretariat of the Council|
|Content Type||Blog & Commentary, News, Overview, Policy-making|
National Leaders from the Member States of the European Union (EU) gathered for a meeting of the European Council on 15 December 2022. The European Council adopted conclusions adopted conclusions on Ukraine/Russia, energy and economy, security and defence, the Southern Neighbourhood, transatlantic relations and other items, covering Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran.
At the summit, the European Council condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. It also called on Russia to cease actions endangering the security of civilian nuclear facilities. EU leaders reaffirmed Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Support to Moldova, notably as regards energy security, was also reiterated. The European Investment Bank (EIB) was invited to step up its support for Ukraine's most urgent infrastructure needs. Leaders welcomed further efforts to ensure full accountability for war crimes, and underlined the EU's support for the investigations by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). They also took stock of the options to use frozen assets to support Ukraine's reconstruction.
Leaders discussed how to further increase collective pressure on Russia to bring the war to an end and withdraw its troops. The reinforcement of EU restrictive measures against Russia was welcomed, including the ninth package of sanctions and the international oil price cap. The European Council underlined the importance of ensuring the effective implementation of restrictive measures, and condemned the military support provided to Russia by the Iranian authorities. In this context, the sanctions adopted against Iran on 12 December were welcomed.
Global food security was also addressed by EU leaders, who underlined the importance of the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes, the UN Black Sea Grain initiative and the Grain from Ukraine programme. Leaders also reviewed progress on EU measures to tackle the energy crisis, with reference to previous European Council conclusions. The importance of strengthening coordination in view of future cold seasons was underlined.
In light of the impact of high energy prices across the EU, the European Council underlined the importance of safeguarding the EU's economic, industrial and technological base and of preserving the global level playing field. The importance of an ambitious industrial policy was also highlighted. The European Commission was invited to propose improvements to framework conditions for investment.
Leaders called on work seeking to increase the EU's capacity to act autonomously in defence matters, and pursue a strategic course of action. Strengthening the industrial and technological base of the EU's defence sector is of key importance in this respect, as is the transatlantic bond in the EU's Strategic Compass and NATO's Strategic Concept. The importance of supporting the EU's partner was also highlighted. EU leaders welcomed the agreement in the Council of the European Union on a proposal seeking financial sustainability for the European Peace Facility (EPF).
The European Council held a strategic discussion on transatlantic relations and key aspects on the relations between the European Union and the United States (US). There was also a discussion on the EU's Southern Neighbourhood. Leaders held a political debate on the Schengen area and welcomed Croatia's entry into it from January 2023. In this context, they also discussion the accession of Bulgaria and Romania. Leaders agreed to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They also condemned the death penalty sentences pronounced in the context of the protests and escalating violence in Iran.
EU leaders recalled the determination to have Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the OECD Tax Framework implemented, as agreed in October 2021. They urged the Commission to monitor negotiations of the multilateral convention on Pillar 1 and tabled an appropriate solution by the end of 2023 should an agreement not be reached.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Subject Tags||European Council|
|Keywords||European Council Summits
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|