On 21 and 22 October, EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss COVID-19, digital transformation, energy prices, migration and external relations. EU leaders noted that vaccination campaigns around Europe have brought about significant progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the situation in some member states remains very serious. Leaders called for efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy to be stepped up, including by tackling disinformation, notably on social media. The European Council called for further coordination to facilitate free movement within the EU and travel into it. It encouraged the Commission to accelerate its work with third countries on the mutual recognition of certificates.
Leaders called for the rapid removal of obstacles hampering the global rollout of vaccines, and invited the Commission to further engage directly with manufacturers in this respect.
The European Council addressed the recent spike in energy prices and considered the impact of these price rises on citizens and businesses, especially those striving to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. EU leaders noted that the toolbox presented by the Commission contained useful measures for both the short and the longer term.
Following the European Council of 24 and 25 June 2021, the European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy presented eight action plans for priority countries of origin and transit. To prevent loss of life and to reduce pressure on European borders in accordance with EU and international law, EU leaders called on the Commission and the High Representative to make those plans operational, implement them without delay and underpin them with adequate financial support.