Video conference of the members of the European Council, 25 March 2021

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Publication Date 25/03/2021
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EU National leaders held a videoconference on 25 March 2021 to take stock of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation. They also discussed transatlantic relations together with US President Joe Biden. The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, relations with Russia, the single market, digital agenda and the international role of the euro were also on the agenda.

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Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, EU leaders agreed to accelerating the production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. They underlined the importance of transparency and the use of export authorisations. They reaffirmed that companies must respect contractual delivery deadlines. The pro-rata population key for the allocation of vaccines was also confirmed. Leaders agreed that restriction - including non-essential travel - should remain in place. Even so, they also agreed that preparations on a common approach for the gradual lifting of restrictions should proceed. They called on work relating to the proposed digital certificates to be taken forward urgently.

Leaders held a discussion with the President of the United States of America on the bilateral EU-US relations. On the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, leaders welcomed recent de-escalation and the resumption of talks between Greece and Turkey. They were also informed about the latest developments in relations between the EU and Russia.

EU leaders underlined the importance of a strong and fully functioning single market and the need to boost the competitiveness and resilience of industry in the European Union. They called for the update of the European industrial strategy to take into account lessons learnt from the sanitary crisis. Leaders also reaffirmed the need to enhance the EU's digital sovereignty in self-determined and open manner. Finally, leaders reiterated their commitment to a forthcoming global solution on international digital taxation but also their readiness to support the EU in moving forward in case of absence of agreement.

A video conference of the Euro Summit was held on the same day. Heads of state/government discussed the international role of the Euro with the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the President of the Eurogroup. EU leaders agreed on a statement where they expressed their support for strengthening the position of the Euro on the global stage. This included exploratory work on the potential launcher of a digital euro.

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Eurogroup: Letter of the President of the Eurogroup to the President of the Euro Summit on the international role of the euro (19 March 2021)
European Council: Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their video conference of 25 and 26 March 2021
US Embassy in Italy: News, 23/03/2021: President Biden to Meet Virtually with EU Leaders at European Council Summit
European Commission: Speech by Vice-President Šefčovič on behalf of President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary debate ahead of the European Council of 25-26 March 2021 (24 March 2021)
General Secretariat of the Council: Background Brief for Video conference of the members of the European Council, 25 March 2021
General Secretariat of the Council: Statement of the Members of the European Council (25 March 2021)
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel, following the videoconference of the members of the European Council (25 March 2021)
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel following the video conference of the members of the European Council of 25 March 2021
European Council: Introductory remarks by President Charles Michel at the videoconference of EU leaders with US President Biden (25 March 2021)
General Secretariat of the Council: Statement by the Members of the Euro Summit, meeting in an inclusive format (25 March 2021)

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