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Climate, long-term budget and Brexit at European Council

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EU climate objectives, the long-term budget and Brexit were among the issues that Prime Minister Stefan Löfven discussed with his EU colleagues when they met in Brussels on 12–13 December. The EU leaders also discussed deepening the EMU.

EU’s climate objectives for 2050

All heads of state and government – with one exception – supported the objective that the EU must be climate-neutral by 2050.

“There has long been broad consensus that we need to set clear objectives for 2050, but we are not in complete agreement. Some countries that have a longer way to go to achieve this are concerned about the costs and the transition that must take place. We were not able to reach consensus now either, since Poland decided not to commit to today’s agreement. But all 26 other countries now agree on the climate objective by 2050,” said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven after the meeting.

Mr Löfven also said:

“I would have preferred if we could have reached complete unanimity, but this is still a very clear signal to the world that 26 of 27 countries now stand ready.”

EU’s long-term budget for 2021–2027

The week before the meeting, Finland’s presidency presented a new proposal for the long-term budget with figures for the overall expenditure and the various expenditure areas. EU leaders had an initial discussion on the quantified proposal at the summit. President of the European Council Charles Michel will now hold individual talks with each country in order to move forward.

Brexit and the Euro Summit

At the meeting, EU leaders also discussed Brexit, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The preliminarily results of the UK general election on 12 December were presented during the meeting of EU leaders and left a clear mark on the discussions.

“We regret that the United Kingdom is leaving the EU. But we also want an orderly withdrawal, and it is important that we have a strong and close relationship with the UK once it has left the Union,” said Mr Löfven after the meeting.

On Friday, EU leaders also had a Euro Summit, at which non-euro area countries also took part.