Illustrative photo – Journalists are waiting for the arrival of the presidents and prime ministers of the countries of the European Union to the summit.
Brussels – Further aid to Ukraine, support for the competitiveness of the European green economy and the reform of the energy market will be the main topics of the upcoming Brussels meeting of the presidents and prime ministers of the countries of the European Union. During the two-day meeting, the heads of state and government of the European bloc are also expected to discuss the planned return to fiscal rules and the further integration of the eurozone. According to diplomats, however, the main discussions may revolve around support for nuclear energy and synthetic fuels for cars, which are currently being fought over by the camps led by France and Germany.
EU leaders will meet days after the bloc struck a deal to supply one million artillery shells and sent another payment to Kiev as part of regular financial aid. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi will join his partners remotely, who is going to the summit to assure him of further military and financial aid for the country, which has been resisting Russian aggression for more than a year.
The Union also wants to use the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs or institutions for this. According to the proposed conclusions of the summit, which is available to ČTK, the EU is ready to increase the pressure on Moscow to consider new sanctions. These are mainly promoted by the Baltic states or Poland and could relate to Russian nuclear energy or the export of diamonds. However, a number of countries are against it, and EU officials do not see a chance for a major move towards unity in the coming weeks.
A number of diplomats expect a more explosive discussion on economic topics connected with the transition to an environmentally friendly industry. The heads of state will discuss, among other things, the recent proposal of the European Commission, which wants to ensure the production of renewable technologies and the acquisition of raw materials in Europe with the aim of helping local companies and reducing dependence on imports from China. France is dissatisfied with the proposal, which, despite the opposition of Germany and other countries, is trying to promote the support of nuclear energy and intends to discuss it at the summit.
According to some officials, the dispute between Paris and Berlin could also resonate in Brussels on the issue of support for synthetic fuels for internal combustion engines, in which the commission also came to Germany's side.
“Those topics are on the table. I think the European Council can move it forward, an open debate between leaders can contribute to that,” Czech Minister for European Affairs Mikuláš Bek told ČTK. According to Bek, the Czech Republic, which will be represented at the summit by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, is in a “special position” because it supports both the French demand for nuclear support and the German effort to allow the use of synthetic fuels in new cars after 2035.
< p>Another topic of the summit meeting will be gas and electricity prices, due to whose record growth last year, the union introduced a series of emergency measures last year under the Czech presidency. The leaders in the draft conclusions want their evaluation and possible extension, if necessary in the interests of sufficient gas reserves and ensuring affordable prices. Among other things, the commission proposes to extend the voluntary fifteen percent reduction in gas consumption until the spring of next year.
The summit should also call for the rapid approval of the changes to the functioning of the energy market proposed by the commission last week, to come into effect by the end of this year.
On Friday, the leaders have on their agenda a meeting on the further deepening of the economic and monetary union of the eurozone, which this year expanded to include Croatia to 20 countries. The Eurosummit, in which the heads of states using their own currencies will also participate, will also focus on returning to the suspended application of the EU's budget and debt rules, the details of which the member countries have not yet agreed on.