European Council, 20-21 October 2022

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Publication Date October 2022
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National Leaders from the Member States of the European Union (EU) gathered for a meeting of the European Council on 20-21 October 2022. The European Council adopted conclusions on the energy sector and the economy, and discussed the situation in Ukraine, critical infrastructure and external relations.

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EU leaders discussed Russia's latest escalation and atrocities in the war against Ukraine, and condemned the country's indiscriminate missile and drone attacks targeting civilians and civilian objects and infrastructure. Leaders also expressed concern for the safety of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The European Council demanded that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military from the entire territory of Ukraine.

Leaders took stock of the latest sanctions imposed to increase pressure on Russia to end the war in Ukraine, and urged Belarusian authorities to stop enabling it by permitting Russian armed forces to use its territory and supporting it. They welcomed the European Commission's latest guidelines on visa procedures for Russian applicants, and the Decision to establish an EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM) to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They also condemned the use of Irianian drones in Russia's aggression, and introduced sanctions against Iran.

The European Council called for the timely provision of remaining financial support to Ukraine through macro-financial assistance (MFA) operations, and for a more structured solution to providing assistance to Ukraine. Leaders also discussed the governance and financing of the effort to support Ukraine's rehabilitation and reconstruction.

EU leaders addressed the global food crisis. They also condemned acts of sabotage against critical infrastructure, and stressed the need for rapid progress in the work ensuring a coordinated EU response to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure.

The European Council discussed the energy crisis and agreed the need to accelerate and intensify efforts to reduce energy demand, avoid rationing, secure supply and lower prices. Leaders stressed that the integrity of the EU's Single Market had to be preserved, and urged the Council of the European Union and the European Commission to urgently submit concrete decisions on additional measures and on existing Commission proposals. They also insisted on the need to assess their impact on existing contract, and to take into account different energy mixes and national circumstances.

Leaders reiterated the need to step up investments in energy efficiency, future-proof energy infrastructure and innovative renewable technologies. They invited the Commission to speed up work on the structural reform of the electricity market, and called for further progress towards a full Energy Union.

The Council held a strategic discussion on the European Union's relations with China. Leaders also discussed the preparations for a forthcoming EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, as well as for the COP27 summit and the CPC on Biological Diversity.

EU leaders condemned the use of force by the Iranian authorities against peaceful protesters, and welcomed the latest restrictive measures adopted by the EU against the perpetrators of these human rights violations. The EU called on Iran to stop the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and release those detained.

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European Council: Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their meeting on 20 and 21 October 2022 (18 October 2022)
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European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel ahead of the European Council on 20 October 2022
European Commission: Opening remarks by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel following the meeting of the European Council of 20 October 2022
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel following the first working session of the European Council, 20 October 2022 (21 October 2022)
European Council: European Council conclusions, 20-21 October 2022
European Commission: Opening remarks by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel following the meeting of the European Council of 21 October 2022

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