Source: European Parliament
At the European Council meeting of 26-27 October 2023, EU leaders sought to show unity on challenging issues on which consensual positions have proven difficult to find in the past, in particular on the Middle East. On that topic, the European Council reiterated its condemnation of Hamas for its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks, emphasising Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law. At the same time, it called for ‘pauses for humanitarian needs’ and for an international conference to revive the peace process on the basis of a two-state solution. On Ukraine, EU leaders adopted deliberately long conclusions, reiterating their condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression and their continued unwavering ‘financial, economic, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes’. The discussion on the multiannual financial framework highlighted increasing unwillingness among Member States to agree to the current Commission proposal for an increase in the EU’s long term budget. In the absence of detailed conclusions on migration, European Council President Charles Michel pointed to the growing consensus among EU leaders on stronger cooperation with third countries. The European Council was followed by a Euro Summit, to discuss the EU’s economic and financial situation, banking union, coordination of fiscal policies and the digital euro project.