European Council, 23-24/10/2014
Europe leads the way in the fight against climate change and Ebola
On 24 October, EU leaders agreed to the world's most ambitious 2030 climate energy policy. They also decided to increase EU financial help to €1 billion to fight Ebola and discussed the state of the European economy. Euro area leaders also met in the Euro Summit format to discuss the euro area.
2030 climate and energy policy framework
The European Council endorsed 4 targets:
- a binding EU target of 40% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990
- a target of at least 27% renewable energy consumption
- a 27% energy efficiency increase
- the completion of the internal energy market by achieving the existing electricity interconnection target of 10% and linking the energy islands - in particular the Baltic states and the Iberian Peninsula
On energy security, the European Council endorsed further measures to reduce the EU's energy dependence and increase the security of its electricity and gas supplies.
€1 billion EU response to Ebola
The EU and its members states have already committed to more than €600 million in medical care and assistance to the affected region. They now have committed to increase financial assistance by raising total funding to €1 billion.
Moreover, member states committed to an increase in the deployment of medical care, equipment and the carrying out of exit screening at airports in the region.
They also agreed to guarantee appropriate care for international health workers, including through medical evacuation if needed.
EU leaders also called for further work to be done to protect European citizens, especially through reducing the risk of contagion and taking preventive measures such as screening passengers at European airports for potential exposure to the Ebola virus.
Christos Stylianides, the incoming Cyprus Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, has been nominated EU Ebola coordinator. He will be in charge of better coordinating the international response to the crisis between member states and international partners.
Taking into account the weak economic situation, EU leaders called for the swift implementation of the Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change, which was agreed in June 2014. Priority should be given to measures related to jobs, growth and competitiveness, and those aimed at empowering and protecting citizens.
The leaders also supported the Commission initiative to mobilise an extra €300 billion in public and private investment over the period 2015-2017. The European Council expects this initiative to be implemented without delay and to asses it in December.
The leaders also welcomed the launch of the single supervisory mechanism, which is part of the banking union. It will start operating on 4 November 2014.
The Euro Summit examined more particularly the economic and employment situation within the euro area. It agreed that closer coordination of economic policies is essential to ensure the smooth functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union.
On the conflict in Ukraine, EU leaders urged all sides to respect the ceasefire, and fully implement the Minsk accords aimed at restoring peace.
They welcomed progress in the resolution of the Ukrainian energy crisis and look forward to the finalisation of the negotiations between the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the European Commission on energy supply.
EU restrictive measures will remain as they are. The European Council will be kept updated with the evolution of the situation in Ukraine in order to decide whether sanctions may be amended, suspended or repealed in whole or in part.
European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR)
The European Council endorsed the strategy adopted on 29 September 2014, and called on all relevant actors to implement it without delay.
The European Council also adopted the decision appointing the European Commission, enabling its entry into office on 1 November 2014.
It was also the last European Council chaired by Herman Van Rompuy.