|Author (Corporate)||European Council|
|Publisher||General Secretariat of the Council|
|Publication Date||February 2021|
|Content Type||Blog & Commentary, News, Overview, Policy-making|
EU National leaders held a videoconference on 25-26 February 2021 to discuss the latest developments concerning the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the overall preparedness for health threats. They also focused on security and defence matters, as well as on relations between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood.
EU leaders took stock of the epidemiological situation and agreed on the need to further prolong restrictions on non-essential travel. Leaders highlighted the need to accelerate the authorisation, production and distribution of vaccines, as well as vaccination. They underlined the need to enhance surveillance and detection capacity to identify COVID-19 variants as early as possible so as to control their spread. There was also a discussion on a common approach to vaccination certificates.
Leaders agreed to launch work on strengthening the EU's health resilience going forward, and invited the European Commission to present a report on the lessons learnt from the pandemic. A discussion was held on ways to reinforce international solidarity and health cooperation.
The European Council held an exchange of views on EU-NATO relations. Strategic debates were held on the EU relations with the Southern Neighbourhood and on the European security and defence policy. Leaders reviewed ongoing initiatives on investment in defence, capability development and operational readiness. They also discussed measures to increase the EU's resilience, in particular against cyberattacks and hybrid threats.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Subject Tags||European Council|
|Keywords||European Council Summits
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|