– When 27 people sit at the negotiating table, five hours of talks means an average of 10 minutes each, in which case each leader actually spoke, explained European Council President Charles Michel.
Ultimately, the leaders agreed that Israel had a right to “self-defense in accordance with international humanitarian law” and condemned Hamas “for its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks on Israel, including the use of civilians as human shields.” Rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip through “interruptions of hostilities” and humanitarian corridors through which the EU can deliver food, medical care and fuel.
However, the EU summit did not call for a ceasefire. Perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict vary greatly among the 27 countries. Israel’s side is clearly supported by, among others: the Germans, the Austrians and the Czechs. The loudest voices for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip came from the Irish, the Dutch, the Luxembourgers and the Spanish. Thanks to the latter, an “international peace conference” and a “two-state” solution to the conflict, establishing an independent Palestine on Israel’s borders, were included in the summit’s conclusions.
The divisions between the leaders did not disappear at the summit when the issue of the armed conflict in Ukraine, which is very close, even geographically, was discussed. President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the EU27 via video link about the need for permanent financial support, without which the country would not survive the war.
Current EU macroeconomic assistance to Ukraine (EUR 18 billion in cheap loans) ends in December, and no final decision has yet been made on new support. Also, it requires unanimity, and it is already known that Hungary and Slovakia are against it.
During the summit, Viktor Orbán posted on Facebook: “Brussels wants to pay more to bring in migrants and for war. We don’t support this! We need changes in Brussels!”
According to an EU official in the leaders’ meeting room, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico warned against corruption in Ukraine in his speech, saying spending extra money in Ukraine was a hard sell at home and he could not agree with it. Military spending or sanctions. Until he examines their impact on his country’s finances.
Presidents of Hungary and Slovakia: Viktor Orban and Robert Figo
However, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki did not block funding for Ukraine, although a few weeks ago in the Budget Committee of the European Parliament, Polish PiS MEPs voted against increasing funding in the EU budget, including: for this purpose.
In an interview with Onet, the PiS MEP and member of the EP budget committee explains, “Although the EU wants to transfer PLN 50 billion to Ukraine, the opposition is a result of the fact that the leading countries have no plans to increase the funds. Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, for example, already bear the disproportionate costs of accepting Ukrainian refugees.” are enjoying
MEPs also don’t want increased funds going to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (which the united right-wing government has refused to participate in) and the European Agency for Gender Equality, controversially due to gender ideology.
Although the fate of additional funds in the EU budget (the European Parliament is demanding more than 75 billion euros) is not certain, the host of the summit promised this morning that there is a consensus for an additional 50 billion euros (out of PLN 17 billion) for Ukraine. direct support and loans of EUR 33 billion).
– We are determined to remind you again and again that our support for Ukraine is unwavering as long as it is needed, said Charles Michael.
The EU is looking for money. The Germans joined the “miserly” camp
For EU capitals to agree to additional measures, including: migration, but the debt adjustment costs that the EU has paid in the markets to finance the reconstruction fund or the exhausted resources of the Solidarity Fund, which the EU helps countries affected by natural disasters, may be more difficult.
During the talks on this topic at the EU summit, Germany also joined the traditional group led by the Dutch, the so-called camp of misers, that is, countries opposed to increasing contributions to the EU budget. Opponents of increasing the resources of the EU budget have argued that new challenges do not necessarily mean new payments. As with national policy, they can be satisfied by changes and cuts in current areas of EU funding.
European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
– This cannot be done, there is no place to get this money – says Jan Olbrycht, PO MEP member of the Budget Committee of the European Parliament, in an interview with ONET.
– We are in the third year of the EU budget, which has been designed for seven years. Funds not yet spent result from this calendar. It is not money earmarked for new purposes, he adds.
According to Olbrycht, talks on revising and increasing the long-term EU budget could drag on until next year.
In order not to cut off the EU’s leeway for Ukraine, leaders could separate support for Ukraine from other additional funds needed in the EU budget and agree at the next summit in December.
Farewell to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg. There are still question marks regarding Morawiecki
Will Prime Minister Morawiecki still participate in this decision? That’s the question EU leaders asked themselves quietly at the summit. After losing the election, besides the Polish Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, the head of the Luxembourg government, also came to Brussels.
He received an honorary statuette from Charles Michel on the first day of the summit for “many years of service to the Council of Europe” (Bettel was prime minister for 10 years). Just before his last meeting with heads of state and government, Bettal also took a selfie with a group of leaders. Petal’s party will join the coalition government in Luxembourg, but without the prime minister’s portfolio.
In Brussels, Morawiecki received neither an honorary statue nor enthusiastic thanks.
— We still don’t know if this is his last peak. The next leaders meeting is scheduled to be held on December 14-15. An EU official participating in preparations for the summit tells Onet that the situation in Poland is unclear, so it is not possible to say goodbye to him today.
Morawiecki’s statement to the press has been cancelled
On Friday morning, the Government Information Center canceled the Prime Minister’s press conference at the last minute. At the end of the summit, the press conference of the head of the Polish government, as usual, can be organized far from foreign media and embarrassing questions, in the Polish embassy (permanent representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU in Brussels). Most EU leaders hold their press conferences in reserved rooms in the EU summit building, making it easy for journalists from across Europe to attend following leaders’ meetings.
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