The European Council condemned Turkey’s unilateral military action in North East Syria and stated that it “causes unacceptable human suffering, undermines the fight against Daʼesh and threatens heavily European security”.
The EU also urges Turkey to end its military action, to withdraw its forces and to respect international humanitarian law. The European Council also discussed Turkeyʼs illegal drilling activities in Cyprusʼ Exclusive Economic Zone and reaffirmed its solidarity with Cyprus.
This occurred on the second day of the October European Council. Finland, as the country holding the Presidency of the EU, gave an introduction to two key issues: the next multiannual financial framework and the practical implementation of the Strategic Agenda.
The EU strategic agenda
Prime Minister Antti Rinne presented to EU leaders how Finland has worked to implement the EU Strategic Agenda for 2019–2024 adopted in June.
Addressing the European Council, he focused on four areas in which citizens expect results and where further efforts are expected from the next Commission: safeguarding the rule of law, countering hybrid threats, sustainable growth, and the EU as a global leader in climate action.
The Finnish Presidency will take forward the negotiations on the financial framework for 2021–2027 so that the European Council could reach agreement on the matter by the end of the year, as agreed at the June European Council. The task of the Presidency is to seek compromises that are ultimately acceptable to all Member States.
The establishment of a new rule of law mechanism as part of the financial framework package is a key objective for the Finnish Presidency. Ambiguities relating to certain details of the mechanism have been removed during the preparation process and the scope of application has been clarified.
With regard to the ‘new own resources’ that have been proposed to finance the future financial framework, the Presidency stressed Member States’ support for a charge that would be based on the amount of non-recyclable plastic packaging waste. There is no significant support from the Member States for other new own resources proposed by the Commission, Finnish Government explained.
The European Council invited the Presidency to submit a finalised proposal on the multiannual financial framework before the December European Council.
“Today we presented the figures that had been requested so that we can initiate concrete negotiations. Today’s debate was a good start. The Finnish Presidency is actively seeking a solution that the Member States can accept. We should remember that this is a matter requiring unanimity,” Prime Minister Rinne said.
UN Action climate summit
The European Council also welcomed the outcome of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 on ambition, action and solidarity. EU leaders felt that the "existential threat" posed by climate change requires enhanced ambition and increased climate action by the EU and at global level.
The European Council also decided to return to the issue of enlargement at its December meeting.
During the two-day European Council, Prime Minister Rinne had bilateral meetings with President of France Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.