18:30 / 24.06.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Prime minister in Brussels for Council meeting

EU leaders gather in Brussels for Council meeting

EU leaders gather in Brussels for Council meeting

Foto: Pixabay / Pixabay

European Union leaders gathered in Brussels on Thursday for a European Council meeting to discuss the vaccine roll-out and epidemiological situation, economic recovery, external relations, migration, and the bloc's digital strategy.

The EU's vaccine rollout has come under sharp criticism for its considerably slow pace, so the speeding up of the process was one of the main talking points, especially as some European countries are being hit by a third wave of the virus. In this context, leaders addressed remaining obstacles related to the right of free movement across the EU.

EU leaders will then reviewed the state of play of the implementation of Next Generation EU - the bloc's long-term economic recovery plan.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković had this to say upon arriving in Brussels: "Coordinated activities and the gradual reopening of our collective economies at the EU level are extremely important for Croatia when it comes to tourism. Also, everything to do with the approval of our National Recovery and Resilience Plan. We expect the 6.3 billion euros in grants that we secured from the Next Generation EU and the new multi-annual financial framework will help Croatia to invest in key reforms in dedicated priority areas over the next decade."

External relations were also high on the agenda, including those with Russia and Turkey. US President Joe Biden is expected to join via video-conference in a bid to help rebuild their alliance.

On Friday June 25, EU leaders will discuss the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis at a Euro Summit. They will also review progress on the banking union and capital markets.

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