In a few days we will gather for two important events in Prague: the first meeting of the European Political Community on 6 October, and an informal meeting of the European Council the following day.
First meeting of the European Political Community
At the June European Council, we held a strategic discussion on the European Union’s relations with its partners in Europe.
With the dramatic consequences of Russia’s war affecting European countries on many fronts, we agreed to launch the European Political Community with the aim of bringing together countries on the European continent and providing a platform for political coordination. The ambition is to bring Leaders together on an equal footing and to foster political dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest so that, together, we work on strengthening the security, stability and prosperity of Europe as a whole.
During the various exchanges planned, you will have the opportunity to discuss themes such as peace and security, the economic situation, energy and climate, and migration and mobility. No formal written outcome of the European Political Community is envisaged.
In terms of the practical aspects, the meeting, which will take place in the Prague Castle on 6 October, will start with an opening plenary session from 13:00 to 14:00. You will thereafter be invited to participate in roundtable discussions until approximately 16:00. From 16:00 to 19:00, you will have the opportunity to schedule bilateral meetings. The closing plenary session will take place over dinner.
Informal meeting of the EU Heads of State or Government
We will meet on 7 October for our informal meeting. We will discuss the three most pressing – and interlinked – issues for us all, namely Russia’s war in Ukraine, energy and the economic situation.
The war in Ukraine continues to rage. Regrettably the Kremlin has taken irresponsible escalatory steps: it has organised a national mobilisation campaign, sham coercive “referenda” and the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories, and it pursues its threatening rhetoric.
In light of these developments, we must stand united and firm in our response.
Our solidarity with Ukraine and its people remains unwavering. We will continue to strengthen our restrictive measures to further increase pressure on Russia to end its war. At our meeting we will discuss how to continue providing strong economic, military, political and financial support to Ukraine for as long as it takes.
We will also examine how best to protect our critical infrastructure.
The war in Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on the energy situation in Europe, with a spillover effect on our economy. Our primary objective is to ensure that we guarantee security of supply and affordable energy for our households and businesses, particularly as the winter cold approaches. We will assess the decisions already taken in this regard and give guidance on further action needed to ensure a well-coordinated European response.
We will also examine how best to tackle these challenges for our economy overall. Addressing high prices for households and businesses, supporting growth and jobs and protecting the vulnerable who suffer the most from high energy bills are our prime concern. More than ever, the key will be our ability to stand united and coordinate our policy response, in a spirit of solidarity and in defence of our common interests.
I look forward to seeing you all in Prague.