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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Summary:

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.

Further information:

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.

Source Link https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2021/03/25/
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Commentary and Analysis
Euronews, 24/03/2021: EU summit in Brussels: Four key things to look out for https://www.euronews.com/2021/03/24/eu-summit-in-brussels-four-key-things-to-look-out-for
Politico, 26/03/2021: Joe Biden, honorary EU leader for a day https://www.politico.eu/article/us-president-joe-biden-european-council-charles-michel-eu/

News
Reuters, 24/03/2021: Turkey says EU needs to stop 'playing for time', take concrete steps for better ties https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSA4N2IH01B
Kathimerini, 24/03/2021: Athens and Nicosia object to summit draft https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1157750/athens-and-nicosia-object-to-summit-draft/
Politico, 24/03/2021: EU leaders struggle to grip coronavirus vaccine crisis https://www.politico.eu/article/health-crisis-takes-crazy-turns-as-eu-scrambles-to-address-scarcity-of-vaccines/
Deutsche Welle, 25/03/2021: EU leaders eye potential Turkey trade-off on gas, migrants https://p.dw.com/p/3rCHw
France24, 25/03/2021: 'Wrong to lack ambition': Vaccine failures overshadow EU summit as Covid-19 surges https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210325-european-leaders-hold-summit-on-ongoing-covid-crisis-response
Reuters, 25/03/2021: EU turns up heat on Astrazeneca as new COVID-19 wave surges https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2BH1MJ
Deutsche Welle, 25/03/2021: COVID: EU leaders agree to up vaccine production in bloc https://p.dw.com/p/3rCUN
RTÉ News, 25/03/2021: US, EU to work closely on vaccine delivery - Taoiseach https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2021/0325/1205989-coronavirus-europe/
Associated Press, 25/03/2021: EU leaders grapple with surge of infections, vaccine issues https://apnews.com/article/f0f2e31638dc92b56ac5b83d26056054
BBC News, 25/03/2021: Covid-19: EU leaders to discuss boosting vaccine supplies https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56519331
France24, 25/03/2021: EU leaders to discuss relations with Turkey during video summit https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210325-eu-leaders-to-discuss-relations-with-turkey-during-video-summit
Deutsche Welle, 25/03/2021: EU summit to tackle vaccination drive, receive Joe Biden https://p.dw.com/p/3r5xe
Politico, 26/03/2021: Frustrated EU leaders pass vaccine fight to ambassadors https://www.politico.eu/article/european-council-eu-leaders-coronavirus-vaccines-ambassadors/
France24, 26/03/2021: EU leaders warn they will block AstraZeneca exports until bloc gets ‘fair share’ https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210326-eu-leaders-warn-they-will-block-astrazeneca-exports-until-bloc-gets-fair-share
Politico, 26/03/2021: EU leaders will relaunch Turkey cooperation — with caveats https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-leaders-will-relaunch-turkey-cooperation-with-caveats/
EUObserver, 26/03/2021: EU leaders grasp Turkey's olive branch https://euobserver.com/world/151368
EurActiv, 26/03/2021: EU dangles carrots for Turkey if ‘de-escalation sustained’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-dangles-carrots-for-turkey-if-de-escalation-sustained/

Official
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) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/48897/210319-peg-letter-to-pec-cm.pdf
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 https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/03/23/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 https://it.usembassy.gov/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) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_21_1385
General Secretariat of the Council: Background Brief for Video conference of the members of the European Council, 25 March 2021 https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/48967/210325-final-background-note.pdf
General Secretariat of the Council: Statement of the Members of the European Council (25 March 2021) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/48976/250321-vtc-euco-statement-en.pdf
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) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_21_1444
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel following the video conference of the members of the European Council of 25 March 2021 https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/03/25/remarks-by-president-charles-michel-following-the-video-conference-of-the-members-of-the-european-council-25-march-2021/
European Council: Introductory remarks by President Charles Michel at the videoconference of EU leaders with US President Biden (25 March 2021) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/03/25/introductory-remarks-by-president-charles-michel-at-the-videoconference-of-eu-leaders-with-us-president-biden/
General Secretariat of the Council: Statement by the Members of the Euro Summit, meeting in an inclusive format (25 March 2021) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/48975/25-03-21-eurosummit-statement-en.pdf

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