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EU summit: Merkel and Co. discuss Brexit and climate | message


BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – Climate protection and the future relationship with Great Britain occupy this Thursday EU summit in Brussels. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her colleagues discuss how a trade deal with the UK could be achieved before the end of the year. It is also about the new EU climate target for 2030. The corona pandemic will also be the topic of the two-day meeting.

On Wednesday evening, summit chief Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone. Johnson then stated that while a trade deal was desirable, he was disappointed with the slow progress of the negotiations. He had actually set the EU a deadline of October 15, i.e. Thursday. After the phone call, he reserved the right to break off negotiations, but stated that he would wait for the summit first.

After the phone call, Von der Leyen tweeted: “The EU is working on a deal, but not at any price.” There is still a lot of work to be done. Council President Michel also wrote on Twitter: “On the eve of the European Council, we again insisted on progress at the negotiating table.”

At the summit, according to the draft final declaration, the 27 states want to express their concern that sufficient progress has still not been made for an agreement. At the same time, however, they want to commit to further intensive negotiations in the coming weeks. The envisaged contract is to avoid tariffs and trade barriers after the Brexit transition phase, which expires at the end of the year.

The CSU European politician Manfred Weber called for unity among the 27 EU states. “We should also be aware that Great Britain needs access to the EU internal market more than we need to the British market,” said the group leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament of the “Passauer Neue Presse” (Thursday). The EU is therefore in the stronger position.

For Thursday evening, the summit is planning a fundamental debate on a new climate target for 2030. In September the EU Commission proposed reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. So far, 40 percent have been targeted. Chancellor Merkel supports the new target, but some EU states have concerns. Council chairman Michel also called for more ambition before the summit. This is the only way to achieve the already agreed goal of making the EU climate neutral by 2050. A decision should not be made until the end of the year.

On Friday, the second day of the summit will be about better coordination between the EU states in the Corona crisis and EU-Africa relations. Other foreign policy issues could also come on the agenda, including the gas conflict with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. The ongoing EU dispute over the budget and corona package could also come up ./vsr/DP/stk

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