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HomeNewsGlobal NewsInvitation letter by president Charles Michel to the members of the European...

Invitation letter by president Charles Michel to the members of the European Council

Dear colleagues

We are gathering in Brussels this week for two meetings: the EU-ASEAN Commemorative summit on Wednesday 14 December and our European Council the following day.

The EU-ASEAN meeting will give us an opportunity to exchange on our strategic partnership and discuss important issues of common interest, including security challenges, connectivity, trade, the green and digital transitions and food security. I am convinced that this will be the first of many regular engagements of our two like-minded regions.

Our European Council on Thursday 15 December will be a one-day meeting. We will focus on strategic issues on which our unity will be key.

Ukraine is, as always, at the heart of our concerns. Russia’s massive military escalation since 10 October, with its repeated targeting of Ukraine’s critical facilities and energy infrastructure, has caused huge damage to Ukraine’s power grid. Millions of civilians are left without electricity, heating and running water. The situation, exacerbated as snow and sub-zero temperatures set in, requires an appropriate response from us, including in terms of humanitarian preparedness and assistance.

Beyond the country’s immediate needs, a substantive debate is also needed on how to guarantee the sustainability of our military and financial support to Ukraine.

This year has radically transformed our energy landscape and has made it clearer than ever that we need to act together. Ensuring security of supply and reducing prices for citizens and businesses remain our priority. Against this backdrop, we will review progress since October and give further guidance.

We will also look ahead to next year’s challenges in order to be fully prepared. One of the most important milestones of 2023 will be the electricity market reform to be proposed by the Commission as soon as possible.

Our coordination efforts, however, need to be coupled with concrete projects and a committed investment in innovation, infrastructure and energy efficiency to phase out our dependency on Russian fossil fuels.

Our new energy horizon has had spill-over effects on our economy, which has been more heavily impacted than that of our trading partners. Our future growth perspectives depend not only on how well we manage the energy shock in the short term, but also on our industries’ ability to remain competitive, and our capacity to innovate and invest in the technologies of tomorrow. We will therefore focus on how we can better manage our coordinated policy response, including with the support of common European solutions.

Exactly two years after our last exchange on EU-US relations, we will hold a strategic discussion on our transatlantic relations, particularly in the light of the evolving global context. The discussion will cover a broad range of issues, in particular our security and economic cooperation.

On security and defence, we will take stock of progress since Versailles and provide further guidance as necessary.

Lastly, we will have a strategic discussion on the Southern Neighbourhood and follow up on the recent Summit with the Western Balkans in Tirana. This will provide us with an opportunity to discuss the multifaceted aspects of our cooperation with these countries, including migration.

I look forward to seeing you in Brussels.

Invitation letter

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