Brussels, 1 June 2022 (TDI): The European Council approved a decision on Ukraine and food security. They adopted conclusions on security and defense and energy as well.

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, joined EU leaders via video. This occurred on the first day of the summit, during the discussion on Ukraine.

Macky Sall, the African Union’s Chairperson, joined them on the second day of the summit. This also happened during the discussion on food security, through a video conference.

Main Results
Russia’s Aggression against Ukraine

EU leaders have called on Russia to stop its unselective attacks on civilians and infrastructure. They demanded that Russia withdraw all of its troops and military equipment from Ukraine’s entire land.

Withdrawl must be immediate and unconditional. It should focus on what is inside its internationally recognized borders.

Leaders emphasized the importance of adhering to international humanitarian law. The Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War is one example.

They also demanded that Russia allow rapid humanitarian access and the safe passage of all civilians in the area and the safe return of Ukrainians deported to Russia.

Prosecution of War Crimes

The European Council praised all the people who helped in collecting evidence and examining the crimes of war. They expressed their support for the work done by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General also supported the council. The EU and its member states are assisting it. The EU leaders of states and governments have supported the establishment of a joint investigation team.

This is being led by Eurojust. They also expressed gratitude for the continuous operational assistance being given by Europol.

Sanctions

The European Council has approved the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. This will apply to crude oil and petroleum products delivered to member states by Russia. A limited exception will be given for crude oil delivered by pipeline.

To maintain supply security, there will be emergency actions taken. This will be of use in the event of a supply interruption. Leaders asked the European Union’s Council to complete and adopt the additional sanctions as soon as possible, ensuring:

  • A well-functioning EU single market,
  • Fair competition,
  • Member-state solidarity and
  • A level playing field for weaning the EU off Russian fossil fuels
EU support for Ukraine

The European Union has bolstered Ukraine’s overall economic, social, and financial resilience. This has been the case since the start of Russia’s aggression.

Humanitarian Aid

The EU and its member states have provided safety to millions of migrants fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, according to EU leaders. They haven’t changed their minds about embracing them and assuring their safety.

The Commission was also invited to offer fresh projects. This is part of the Multiannual Financial Framework’s attempt to assist in this endeavor.

The European Council also praised the outcomes of the high-level international donors’ summit. The summit was co-hosted by Poland and Sweden.

Financial Support

The EU will continue to support Ukraine’s government in meeting its pressing financial needs. EU heads of state and governments emphasized this.

It also stated that in 2022, there are preparations to provide Ukraine with further special macro-financial support worth up to €9 billion.

Reconstruction of a Democratic Ukraine

The European Council noted that a platform for Ukraine’s rehabilitation should be explored. The Ukrainian government, the EU, and its member states should all be represented on this platform.

It should also include foreign partners, financial institutions, and organizations. The European Investment Bank should be included. EU leaders emphasized that EU reconstruction assistance would be conditional.

This is on the execution of measures that are compatible with the EU’s policy. They asked the European Commission to make recommendations based on this. Further solutions in compliance with EU and international law were also supported by the European Council.

They are being looked into right now. The options include repurposing frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine’s rehabilitation.

Military Support

The EU is committed to enhancing Ukraine’s ability to protect its territorial integrity and power in the future.

In this regard, the European Council applauded the recent Council’s decision to boost military assistance to Ukraine. The European Peace Facility will be in charge of this.

Trade Measures

The European Council welcomed the approval of a decision to suspend import taxes on all Ukrainian exports to the European Union for a year.

Political Support

The preparation of the Commission’s opinions on Ukraine’s, Moldova’s, and Georgia’s applications for EU membership was noted by EU leaders. They stated that they would revisit the issue in their June meeting.

They emphasized that the EU and its member states will increase their efforts to reach out to third nations in order to prevent sanctions evasion and circumvention by countering Russia’s false narrative and information manipulation.

EU support for Neighboring Countries

The European Council highlighted the impact of Russia’s assault on Ukraine on neighboring countries. The highlights also included the impacts on the Western Balkans. They underlined the importance of providing all necessary help to the Republic of Moldova.

The European Council reaffirmed its desire for persecution in Belarus to be ended. They reminded the Belarusian people of the democratic right to new, free, and fair elections.

Food Security

The Russian attack against Ukraine is directly affecting global food security. The European Council urged Russia to:

  • Stop attacking Ukraine’s transportation infrastructure; and
  • Enable food exports, particularly from Odesa;
  • Ease the blockade on Ukrainian Black Seaports

The damage and illegal takeover of agricultural production in Ukraine by Russia is sharply disapproved by the European Council. Russia is using food as a weapon of war.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, noted this. It is killing farms, blocking tons of grain, and putting the world on the verge of famine.

The EU is making every effort to unlock Ukraine’s overland exports. It’s also looking for alternate marine routes. EU leaders urged member states to speed up work on the European Commission’s proposed solidarity lanes to help Ukraine’s food exports.

International Coordination

Leaders from the European Union have advocated for more effective international collaboration. This is to ensure a global response to food security concerns that is comprehensive.

They applauded a number of international initiatives in this regard. These include the international food and agricultural resilience mission (FARM) initiative.

It also includes the United Nations Global Crisis Response Group. Another initiative is the future G7 plan to build a worldwide alliance for food security (GAFS).

Leaders noted their commitment to keeping global trade in food commodities free of unfair trade barriers. They promised to enhance solidarity towards the most vulnerable countries.

They also noted increasing the production of local, sustainable food. The European Council invited the Commission to explore the options of mobilizing funds from the European Development Fund.

This is to support the most affected partner countries. EU leaders also underlined the importance of the common agriculture policy (CAP) in the EU’s contribution to food security. They called for the swift adoption of the CAP strategic plans.

Leaders restated their pledge to avoid unfair trade problems in the global food business. They all agreed that more solidarity should be shown toward the world’s most needy countries.

They also agreed on the need to increase local sustainable food production. The European Council asked the Commission to look into the potential of using European Development Fund reserves.

This is in order to assist the most severely affected partner countries. The relevance of the common agricultural policy (CAP) in the EU’s commitment to food security was also emphasized by EU leaders.

They demanded that the CAP strategic plans be adopted as soon as possible. The European Council urged more coordination with international partners.

This is to promote more efficient fertilizer use and alternatives. This is in response to current fertilizer shortages in the global market.

Security and Defense

The European Council considered EU security and defense. This came as a result of Russia’s actions against Ukraine. EU leaders stressed the importance of following the Strategic Compass closely.

This came as a result of the new framework. It included the Versailles Declaration and the decisions of the European Council on the 24th and 25th of March 2022.

This strengthens the EU’s partnerships, improves its resilience, and boosts security and defense capabilities. This will be accomplished by making more and better investments.

Much focus was on recognizing strategic gaps. According to leaders, the transatlantic connection, as well as EU-NATO collaboration, are critical to our overall security.

Security and defense are key. A stronger and more capable European Union will contribute to global and transatlantic security. This is in addition to NATO, which continues to be the cornerstone of collective defense for its members.

Leaders of the EU also looked through a report on defense investment shortfalls. The European Commission and its High Representative, Josep Borrell, made this proposition. This was in collaboration with the European Defense Agency.

They requested that the Council investigate a number of concerns. These include efforts to coordinate cooperative defense purchases.

It also included the urgent need to refill lists, particularly in light of the assistance to Ukraine. This is in addition to bolstering Europe’s industrial and technological foundation.

Strengthening EU’s Energy Independence

The European Union’s leaders discussed the progress made in phasing out Russian gas, oil, and coal imports. As stipulated in the Versailles Declaration, this should happen as soon as practicable.

This takes into account the various energy situations and circumstances of EU member states. In light of previous decisions on Russian import bans and the European Commission’s REPowerEU initiative, EU leaders have called for:

  • Diversifying supply sources and channels, as a short-term priority, and ensuring energy supply at affordable costs.
  • In this regard, leaders urged the use of the EU energy procurement platform as soon as possible, ahead of next winter.
  • They asked the Commission to look into ways to bring down growing energy prices.
  • This includes looking into the possibility of putting in place temporary pricing caps.
  • They asked the Council to move the EU’s foreign energy involvement plan forward.

EU leaders emphasized the need for domestic energy sources for supply security hastening the adoption of renewable energy sources.

This will need expediting the permitting process for renewable energy projects right away. It necessitates the enhancement of innovation, capacity, skills, and supply networks.

  • Increasing energy efficiency and supporting energy conservation wherever possible.
  • Investing in infrastructure for existing and new projects to complete and improve the interconnection of European gas and electricity networks.
  • This includes securing future-proof electricity and hydrogen-ready gas linkages across the EU, as well as increasing renewable energy capacity.

The European Council also requested that the Council evaluate the Commission’s recommendations as soon as possible. This is to meet the REPowerEU objectives. This includes their financial situation.

Preparedness Measures

Leaders urged the EU to be more prepared for catastrophic supply disruptions. This includes bilateral unity agreements. It also includes a coordinated European contingency plan. Major supply disruptions should be avoided as a result of this.

It is carried out in the spirit of European unity. In this context, leaders praised the recent agreement on gas storage reached by the Council and the European Parliament. They demanded that it be implemented as soon as possible.

European Electricity Market

The European Council took note of the report of the EU Agency for Energy Regulators’ Cooperation (ACER). They urged the Commission to increase its work on improving the productivity of the electricity market in Europe.

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