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European Council

Latest news from the Council of the European Union.

EU gender equality plan puts women's rights at heart of global recovery
The EU executive and its foreign affairs arm put forward ambitious plans Wednesday to promote gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union.

G20 leaders agree to make Covid vaccines available and affordable for all
At the weekend summit of the G20 countries, leaders expressed a commitment to coordinated global action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and support for the most vulnerable and fragile countries.

EU leaders to step up pandemic coordination
EU leaders agreed Thursday to strengthen coordination on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on mutual recognition of tests, vaccine deployment and a common approach to lifting restrictive measures.

EU agrees deal on long-term budget for post-COVID recovery
The EU Parliament and Member States agreed Tuesday on Europe's long-term budget and extra funding to rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe centred on jobs, competitiveness, and better climate protection.

EU leaders strengthen resolve as 2nd Covid wave hits Europe
EU leaders at a summit Thursday resolved to strengthen their collective effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on testing and tracing policies, and on vaccines.

Eco-schemes feature in EU's greener common farm policy
Farmers will be afforded flexibility on the way to higher environmental standards in farming in the post-2020 common agricultural policy reform package agreed provisionally by EU ministers Wednesday.

EU steps up 'no-deal' preparations as UK refuses to budge
With time running out for successful conclusion of an EU-UK trade deal and insufficient progress on key issues, EU leaders called on the UK at a summit Friday to make moves to make an agreement possible.

EU imposes sanctions on Russian officials for Navalny poisoning
The EU imposed sanctions Thursday against six Russian officials involved in the assassination attempt on Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, poisoned in Russia with a Novichok toxic nerve agent.

EU summit agrees sanctions against Belarus regime
EU leaders at a summit Friday agreed to impose sanctions on the Belarus regime, calling for an end to violence and repression and for new free and fair elections without external interference.

Europe needs to be a player, not a playing field, EU tells China
The EU needs a balanced relationship with China, EU president Charles Michel told Chinese president Xi Monday in a summit which underlined differences over human rights, climate and trade issues.

EU set to impose sanctions on Belarus for unfair elections
Following a European Council video conference Wednesday, EU leaders made clear they did not recognise election results presented by the Belarus authorities, which did not meet international standards.

Marathon EU summit secures EUR 750 bn recovery fund
Following a marathon four-day summit, EU leaders agreed Tuesday a EUR 750 billion recovery fund for Europe, and a long-term budget to help the EU rebuild after the pandemic and support green investment.

Post-Covid recovery the focus for Germany's EU presidency
Germany took over the presidency of the EU Council from Wednesday 1 July, with key priorities being climate action, digital sovereignty and Europe’s role in the world, alongside post-Covid-19 recovery.

EU extends current CAP rules until end 2022
EU farm ministers reached provisional agreement with the European Parliament Wednesday on continuing farming support under the current legal framework until the new CAP enters into force end 2022.

Importance of China to EU's COVID recovery underlined at summit
The importance of the EU's trading relationship with China for recovery from COVID-19 was underlined at a video conference summit Tuesday but Hong Kong and human rights was high on the agenda.

EU and UK agree new push for Brexit deal in July
EU leaders and British prime minister Boris Johnson agreed in a videoconference Monday to intensify Brexit talks in July to create the best conditions for concluding and ratifying a deal by the end of 2020.

EU, Japan strenthen ties to face COVID-19 crisis
EU and Japan leaders at a video conference Tuesday signalled close coordination in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, stressing the importance of global solidarity, cooperation and multilateralism.

EU gives go-ahead to EUR 540 bn recovery package
EU leaders endorsed in a video call Thursday an agreement on safety nets for workers, businesses and sovereigns amounting to a package worth EUR 540 bn, calling for the package to be operational by 1 June.

EU diverts nearly all resources to fight COVID-19
The EU Council adopted two proposals Tuesday to make almost all remaining funding from this year's EU Budget - plus an additional EUR 3 billion - available for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

EU shuts borders to non-essential travel for 30 days
EU leaders agreed in a video conference Tuesday that they would reinforce the EU's external borders by placing coordinated, temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days.

EU in solidarity with Greece over refugee crisis
The EU made a strong show of support for Greece Tuesday as its leaders were welcomed by Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to review the refugee crisis and tensions at the Greek-Turkish border.

Cayman Islands added to EU tax haven list
EU finance ministers at their meeting on Tuesday added the Cayman Islands and Panama to the EU list of 'non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes', in addition to the 8 jurisdictions that are already listed.

VAT rules simplified for Europe's smaller businesses
EU finance ministers adopted simplified VAT rules applicable to small businesses Tuesday, with a view to reducing administrative burdens and compliance costs and helping more efficient trade across borders.

EU states agree fish quotas for 2020
The EU Council reached political agreement Wednesday on 2020 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate.

EU, without Poland, agrees to aim for climate neutrality by 2050
EU leaders, not including Poland, endorsed Friday the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050 in line with the Paris agreement, as they ended their two-day summit in Brussels.