Energy prices, Migrants, Poland … The hot issues of the European summit this Thursday

The European Council opens this Thursday, October 21 in a deleterious atmosphere as Poland multiplies attacks against European institutions. Until tomorrow, the 27 EU leaders will have to debate, in particular, the price of energy and the migration issue.

Energy prices at the heart of the debates

France is not the only country affected by the rise in energy prices. The whole of Europe is concerned. The price of gas has quadrupled there in just 6 months. The increase is particularly spectacular in certain countries such as Spain where the price of electricity has increased by more than 35% in one year, or in Italy where gas prices have jumped by 30%.

Spain, supported by France, calls for “exceptional measures” such as the joint purchase of gas to create strategic reserves or reform of the electricity market. The European Commission is being more cautious and believes that member states already have the tools to deal with the energy crisis. In Brussels, “the leaders will assess the measures that could be taken both at national and European level to cope with this price increase,” the European Council announced in a press release.

Concern about migratory flows

The migration issue will also be discussed during this summit. While irregular arrivals in the EU were down in 2020 compared to 2019, the pace accelerated in 2021. “The central Mediterranean route (travel from North Africa with, often, a transit in Libya ) experienced, with 83%, the most significant increase ”among the different migratory routes, indicates the site dedicated to public policies vie-publique.fr.

The European Council will have to assess the implementation of the conclusions adopted last June. The Member States then recommended “to immediately reinforce the concrete actions carried out with the priority countries of origin and transit, as well as the tangible support measures in their favor”.

The European Council also set itself the objective of “presenting in autumn 2021 action plans (…) and concrete timetables” to tackle “the root causes” of migration, eradicate “trafficking and migrant trafficking ”, strengthen“ border control ”or even better cooperate“ in the search and rescue ”of migrants.

POLAND AT LEGAL WAR AGAINST THE EU

The Polish case risks once again parasitizing the discussions between the Twenty-Seven. The European Commission has in fact been engaged since the beginning of the month in a standoff with Poland, after a Polish court ruled certain articles of the EU treaties “incompatible” with the country’s Constitution. The Commission and several Member States see it as an unprecedented challenge to the primacy of European law and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU, one of the founding pillars of the EU.

Brussels has so far frozen 36 billion euros promised in Warsaw as part of the European recovery plan and warned the Polish government that it would have to restore the independence of the judiciary before being able to touch these funds. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, also raised the possibility of initiating a new infringement procedure, which could lead to a referral to the Court of Justice of the EU. For his part, the head of the Polish conservative government, Mateusz Morawiecki, denounced a “blackmail” and a “paternalistic attitude”.

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