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Remarks by President Charles Michel before the European Council meeting on 16 Octobre 2020

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Raad, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 16 oktober 2020.

Yesterday we had the opportunity to discuss climate change and to discuss our goals by 2030. Climate change is one of the most important challenges for us, as the European Union. We have tried to identify what can be the building blocks in order to make an agreement possible in December. We are convinced that we need more political will to be ambitious and to play a leadership role at the European level. But you also need to take into consideration national circumstances and the starting points in different member states. And we will work closely with the European Commission and the Member States to be able to take a clear decision by the end of the year.

We also had the opportunity to have an in-depth debate on COVID-19. The situation is serious and unprecedented. And we took the decision to strengthen our European cooperation, especially on testing and tracing. And we also took the decision to organise, on a regular basis, cooperation and coordination at the level of the head of states or governments.

Today we will have the opportunity to tackle international questions, especially our future relationship with Africa. In December, we will have in Brussels an important meeting with the African Union. It will be the occasion to renew our partnership and even our alliance with Africa. This alliance is natural for geographic reasons, for historical reasons, for cultural reasons. There is a huge potential if we take the right decisions together with African leaders.

We will also have today the opportuntity to tackle some other international topics like the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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