I would like to invite you to our October European Council meeting in Brussels, that will start at 3pm on Thursday 26 October, as well as our Euro Summit meeting on the following day.
Our meeting comes at a time of great global instability and insecurity, exacerbated most recently by developments in the Middle East. These developments require our immediate attention, without distracting us from our continued support to Ukraine. Our responsibility is to remain united and coherent and to act in line with our values as enshrined in the Treaties.
The situation in the Middle East is a tragedy. We expressed our common position in our statement of 15 October. At our meeting I expect us to condemn once again in the strongest possible terms Hamas’ brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks against Israel and recognise Israel’s right to defend itself, in line with international law and international humanitarian law. We will also reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to be of grave concern. We need to discuss, firstly, how to urgently ensure the effective delivery of humanitarian aid, and access to the most basic needs. Secondly, we must engage, in a united and coherent front, with partners to avoid a dangerous regional escalation of the conflict. Furthermore, relaunching the peace process based on the two-state solution is the only way forward. Lastly, we should address the effects of this conflict in the European Union – this includes looking at its implications for the cohesion of our societies, our security, and migratory movements.
In relation to Ukraine, we will continue our unwavering support for as long as it takes. Among the various facets of our assistance, I would like us to address in particular ways to accelerate the delivery of military support, progress in our plans on the use of Russia’s immobilised assets, and intensify our diplomatic outreach to ensure the widest international support for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.
Our meeting will also be an opportunity to give guidance on the revision of the MFF, with a view to swiftly reaching an agreement. Following the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, we need to take a critical look at our most pressing needs, identify our priorities and decide how to finance them.
We will also pursue our discussion on our economy and competitiveness. I would like us to discuss what measures to take to ensure our long-term prosperity. The EU’s competitiveness has always thrived on its open market economy with the single market at its core. We now need to collectively position ourselves in a world in which other international actors and partners heavily subsidise their industry and companies.
We will follow up on the important topic of migration, assessing steps taken since our last discussion in Granada.
We will also cover other foreign policy issues of concern – including the situation in the Sahel, Pristina-Belgrade relations, and the South Caucasus.
At the Euro Summit, we will be joined by the Presidents of the European Central Bank and of the Eurogroup to discuss the economic and financial situation, and the continued close coordination and governance of our macroeconomic policies. We will also review progress achieved on our Capital Markets Union and Banking Union, as well as work launched on a digital euro.
I look forward to seeing you for what I hope will be a most fruitful meeting.