Focus on EU’s external action and building our stronger inner core: von der Leyen at the Special European Council

(Credit: European Union)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


On 1 and 2 October, EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss foreign affairs and the EU’s economic base.

They reiterated full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus ‘whose sovereignty and sovereign rights must be respected’. “The EU has a strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey”, the leaders stressed in the Council conclusions.

“We are convinced that differences must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and in accordance with international law”, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said after the first day of exchanges. “We want a positive and a constructive relationship with Turkey and this would also be very much in Ankara’s interest.” She highlighted that the EU would prefer to work on a new long-term EU Turkey relationship: a positive agenda that would include the modernisation of our customs union and a stronger cooperation on migration.

Leaders also discussed the situation in Belarus, condemning the unacceptable violence by Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters, and have agreed on imposing restrictive measures. “There will be no impunity for those who are responsible for the crackdown on demonstrators and opposition politicians”, von der Leyen said at the press conference following the first day of the Council.

The Council also adopted conclusions on China, Nagorno-Karabakh and the case of Alexei Navalny.

On the second day, the leaders discussed the EU’s single market, industrial policy and digital transformation. President von der Leyen spoke about improving the single market, in particular with regard to remaining barriers and problems with implementation that can deprive companies from the benefits of a large market.

“To accelerate the pace in this area, the Commission will present a first monitoring report early next year. We will then build on this to work concretely with Member States and stakeholders to resolve the problems companies face on a daily basis”, the President said. She also announced that the Commission would update the Industrial Strategy in the first half of next year to ‘take stock of where we are with industrial alliances for key technologies, and with efforts to improve our resilience such as on raw materials’.

“On the digital transition, Europe clearly needs to ‘up its game’”, von der Leyen said reminding of the three priorities – data, artificial intelligence and infrastructure – critical to making this Europe’s Digital Decade. She concluded that the Commission would push forward the Digital Decade, while investing 20 % of NextGenerationEU in the digital.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Agreement reached on new EU Solidarity Corps

UNIDO promotes post-harvest excellence for mangoes in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

GSMA & UNDP announce an ‘Impact Partnership’ Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals at MWC Barcelona 2021

Should Europe be afraid of the developing world?

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

COVID-19 has left many employees in the lurch. What’s next for the global workforce?

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

MEPs debate Brexit and relations with China following EU spring summit

Natural gas: Parliament extends EU rules to pipelines from non-EU countries

ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly: strengthening the partnership

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

Why India can show us how to achieve growth with purpose

This plastic drinks bottle is made from plants

Prevent future crises and empower youth – now!

COP21 Paris: The Final Agreement Adopted-full text

Migrants and asylum seekers on the Greek islands: committee debate

Victims of terrorism remembered

Five years on from ISIL ‘caliphate’ proclamation in Iraq, Security Council makes first-ever visit

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

This is why attractive cities do better economically

New UN report shows record number of children killed and maimed in conflict

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

Importance of teaching ethics in Brazilian Medical Schools

EU Solidarity Fund: Commission puts forward financial assistance worth €823 million for the Croatia earthquake, floods in Poland and the coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus: Commission proposes to activate fiscal framework’s general escape clause to respond to pandemic

‘Cataclysmic events’ in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, began ‘global push’ against nuclear weapons says Guterres, honouring victims

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

Has the treacherous theory about the ‘French patient’ finally prevailed?

Cohesion Policy after 2020: preparing the future of EU investments in health

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: UN Climate Chief Calls for Final Push to Meet Adaptation Fund Goal Very Close to Target

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

IMF’s Lagarde: Estimating Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector

From Graduation to professional career: has medicine, in Brazil, become more feminist?

“They are trying to make improvements, but of course they are quite slow for my generation”, Vice President of JADE Victor Soto on another Sting Exclusive

What the world can do to solve the Afghan refugee crisis

Why support for Latin America’s early tech hubs is vital for the region

What does leadership mean in an age of perpetual change?

Brexit: the Commission proposes the creation of a Brexit Adjustment Reserve

COVID-19 vaccination: MEPs call for EU and global solidarity

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

To Brexit or not to Brexit: British exceptionalism doesn’t allow any Obama telling Brits what to do

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

How can we build a workforce for our digital future?

EU adopts €130 million support package for Syrian refugees and local communities in Jordan and Lebanon

European Union and African Union sign partnership to scale up preparedness for health emergencies

How a start-up in India is pioneering a way to tackle the global e-waste problem

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

Smart cities are great but we also need smart villages

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

If we don’t protect the ocean, humanitarian disaster awaits

How COVID-19 and ‘work from anywhere’ can build the city of the future

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: