The EU Discussed the Covid Crisis, Nuclear Energy and Sanctions against RussiaEU | December 17, 2021, Friday // 14:51| views
At the last summit of the year, EU leaders failed to agree on travel measures related to the Omicron variant, as well as on the issue of nuclear energy. The 27 leaders of the European Union found it difficult to find common ground on travel restrictions and additional measures to prevent the spread of the latest version of COVID-19.
Following the Brussels summit, they issued a statement saying that any new restrictions must be "based on objective criteria and not undermine the functioning of the single market or impede disproportionate free movement between EU Member States".
EU leaders also said they wanted "rapid adoption" of plans to limit the validity of the European Digital Vaccination Certificate, also known as the "EU Green Passport", for up to nine months for the first two doses, unless the person receives a booster injection. .
The statement said the European Commission "will adopt a delegated act on the issue", but did not specify when.
Speaking at a press conference after the summit, EU Council President Charles Michel said: "Scientific data is crucial when it comes to this new version of omicron, and we are fully committed to speeding up the third dose. We are also fully committed to strengthening the level of coordination on mobility. "
The summit lasted longer than expected as EU countries debated the list of energy sources as part of the EU's green plan.
A number of countries that oppose nuclear energy, such as Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, are fighting against nuclear energy not being classified as "green".
Thus, EU leaders have not been able to publish any statement related to the bloc's so-called "taxonomy" - the process of defining what is classified as green energy and what is not.
France, which relies on nuclear energy, insists it be considered a sustainable and "green" energy source in the EU.
"The differences around the table meant that we could not agree on the conclusions. We will return to that," EU Council President Michel said after the summit.
In a sign of Franco-German unity, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels. But the two leaders could not avoid the fact that they are on opposite sides of the dispute.
"The prospects are a little different in terms of the path our two countries intend to follow," Scholz said. "Germany has long decided that nuclear energy will not play a role for us in the energy transition."
About 70% of electricity in France is generated by nuclear power plants.
The Heads of State and Government of the European Union have decided to extend by six months the economic sanctions against Russia, which are linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine until July 31, 2022. The EU issued a joint warning to Russia "massive consequences" if it invades Ukraine, which will include measures coordinated with allies.
The leaders adopted a statement saying Moscow must "de-escalate the tensions caused by the military concentration" it has organized on the border with Ukraine, and called on it to engage in diplomatic talks through the existing forum with Paris, Berlin and Kiev.
An invasion would lead to "serious retaliatory measures, including restrictive measures coordinated with partners," is summed up in the final statement from the EU summit. It is also at the backdrop of reports that the United States was urging Europeans to prepare a joint retaliatory strike against Moscow.
The warning came at a time when Western allies flatly rejected Russia's attempt to thwart Ukraine's ambitions for NATO membership and Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to negotiate directly with the United States to resolve the crisis.
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