On October 6th, an informal EU Summit convened in Granada under the EU Spanish Presidency.
This Summit followed a series of significant diplomatic engagements and policy developments. In preparation, the EU Council and EU Commission held meetings with leaders from pre-Accession Countries in the Western Balkans and countries from Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. Notably, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Ministers held a historic meeting in Kyiv. Additionally, the NATO-Ukraine Council met, and the European Political Community of 47 EU and non-EU leaders gathered in Granada. After the Granada Summit, EU Leaders will convene formally on October 26-27 in Brussels to continue discussions on pressing matters.
On the Summit’s agenda, three primary issues were addressed:
- EU Security: The discussion highlighted the increased need for the EU to bolster its sovereignty and protect its people and economy, especially in the face of events like the ongoing war in Ukraine and the global pandemic. A focus on defense readiness, technological advancements, military mobility, and resilience against cyber and hybrid threats is at the forefront. The EU seeks to work closely with the U.S. on these matters.
- Green and Digital Transitions: The Summit recognized the urgency of addressing environmental risks, climate change, and geopolitical tensions. The EU is committed to driving its green and digital transitions, emphasizing energy and resource efficiency, circularity, research, decarbonization, and resilience to natural disasters. The goal is to build a more cohesive, innovation-driven, competitive, and interconnected Single Market.
- Supply Chains and Trade: The importance of diversifying EU supply chains and enhancing partnership, trade, and investment agreements was emphasized. The EU aims to promote sustainable development and net-zero emissions while focusing on global trade’s reinvigoration, with the WTO playing a central role.
Enlargement & Migration
In the context of EU Enlargement and migration policies, the Summit underscored the strategic importance of both processes for peace, security, and prosperity in the region. The EU called for candidate countries to intensify their reform efforts, particularly concerning the rule of law.
However, a consensus was not achieved on the issue of EU migration and asylum rules, signalling the need for further work and compromise. The European Council will continue discussions on these topics in the coming months, leading to the adoption of a new Strategic Agenda in 2024.
At the margins of the Summit, Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron met with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. The EU side underlined its unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of Armenia. EU leaders also expressed their support for the strengthening of EU-Armenia relations, they agreed on the need to provide additional humanitarian assistance to Armenia and they remain committed to all efforts directed towards the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.