European Council President Charles Michel | Pool photo by Francisco Seco/AFP via Getty Images
Out of isolation, Michel invites EU leaders to summit
Heads of state and government will focus mainly on foreign policy, especially Turkey, with a footnote on Brexit talks.
Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday formally invited EU heads of state and government to a summit in Brussels later this week, where the main discussion will focus on relations with Turkey.
In his invitation letter, Michel told the leaders that he wanted to use the meeting to consider “Europe’s place in the world and our capacity to shape our own destiny.”
The EU’s physical place in the world may not have changed much. But Michel nonetheless put forward a wide-ranging agenda that will explore relations with China, the response to the coronavirus pandemic and economic shock, the ongoing political upheaval in Belarus, the recent poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny, and the escalating military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On China, Michel wrote: “We also want to insist on a more balanced and reciprocal economic relationship, ensuring a level playing field. And we will continue to promote our values and standards.”
Michel said leaders would spend their dinner on Thursday evening focused entirely on Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean, where an array of conflicts have escalated in recent months.
“Our objective is to create a space for a constructive dialogue with Turkey to achieve stability and security in the whole region, and to ensure full respect for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all EU Member States,”