The Variant Omicron on the menu this Thursday at the European summit

The 27 countries of the European Union have one goal: to improve their coordination in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak. European leaders will meet on Thursday for this, as the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has prompted several EU countries to unilaterally restrict entry conditions into their territory.

The threat of a new conflict between Moscow and Kiev will be another dominant of this summit in Brussels with the consideration of additional sanctions in the event of an attack by Russia. ” We are ready. In the event of a new military aggression, the cost to be paid by Russia will be very high and there will be serious consequences ”, moreover assured Wednesday evening the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Austria and Germany will impose vaccination

On the pandemic front, the concern around the Omicron variant will therefore occupy the first discussions of heads of state and government. It could become dominant in Europe by mid-January, according to the Commission. Leaders should stress the importance of further expanding immunization, including the administration of booster doses. Some 67% of Europeans are fully vaccinated but this rate is less than 50% in three countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia), Croatia being barely above (50.4%). The issue of compulsory vaccination, which Austria and Germany are preparing to impose, should be tackled, even if the subject is the choice of each member state.

The debate will then focus on the energy crisis, against a backdrop of soaring prices, even if no concrete decision is expected. The response to be brought divides the countries, some like France and Spain, pleading for a reform of the European electricity market while a majority of States remain reluctant to it, estimating the cyclical crisis and deeming the systems more effective. national consumer support.

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Another subject on the agenda, migration, with the recent influx of refugees at the borders of three European countries that Belarus is accused of having orchestrated, and more generally the will of the 27 to limit migratory flows. Leaders want action plans to be implemented “without delay” with a range of countries of origin and transit of migrants, and call on the Commission to ensure “necessary funding is mobilized,” according to one version. provisional findings.

Finally, while France will take the six-monthly presidency of the Council of the EU on January 1, Emmanuel Macron is expected to speak on his projects. This summit will also be the first for German Chancellors Olaf Scholz, Austrian Chancellors Karl Nehammer as well as Swedish Prime Minister Madgalena Andersson.

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