On 16 December 2021, EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss COVID-19, crisis management and resilience, energy prices, security and defence and external relations. The European Council discussed the current epidemiological situation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of a new variant. In this regard, EU leaders discussed continued coordinated efforts to respond to the developments, keeping in mind that any restrictions should not undermine the functioning of the single market or hamper travel between EU member states and to Europe. The European Council also touched upon the importance of vaccination in the fight against the pandemic, including the importance of rolling out vaccines to all and to deploy booster doses. Participants exchanged views on how best to tackle vaccine hesitancy and disinformation, and on the effectiveness of various measures and strategies in this respect. . Leaders also discussed the situation at the EU’s border with Belarus and Russia's military build-up at the border with Ukraine.