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LGBTIQ and Russia on European Council agenda
Discussions on the situation in Russia and how the EU should manage it, along with LGBTIQ issues, dominated the EU summit on 24–25 June. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and other EU leaders also addressed the COVID-19 situation and the economic recovery.
LGBTIQ issues in Hungary
The EU leaders began the summit with a discussion on new legislation in Hungary and the EU’s fundamental values.
- Many of us are appalled by the legislative amendments proposed by Hungary. In addition to restrictions on academic freedom and limitations on freedom of the press and on civil society, Hungary has now crossed another line. The proposed amendments are appalling and contrary to the EU’s fundamental values relating to the equal value of all human beings. The EU must now continue the legal proceedings currently under way to protect our common values. If you are a member of the EU you must respect all people, commented Mr Löfven after the meeting.
Russia and Belarus
The situation in several countries and regions was discussed at the summit, including Turkey, Russia, Libya, Belarus and the Sahel.
- There must be dialogue and contact between the EU and Russia, and these already take place. But what several of us pushed for was to make clear demands for Russia to change the direction of its actions. The most important of course is to end the illegal annexation of Crimea and the involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, said Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren at a press briefing in connection with the summit. The EU leaders also followed up the discussions they had in May on the situation in Belarus, and reiterated the demand that all political prisoners in the country be released, including Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega.
COVID-19 coordination and migration
The EU leaders had a general discussion on vaccination efforts and the COVID-19 situation in and outside the EU, and what lessons for the future can be learned from the COVID pandemic.
Some Member States had presented conclusions on the external dimension of migration – how migration is affected by the situation in countries around the EU.
Economic recovery and Euro Summit
On Friday, the heads of state and government discussed economic recovery in the EU after the pandemic, with focus on the Next Generation EU recovery plan they had adopted in July 2020.
A Euro Summit in inclusive format with President of the Eurogroup Paschal Donohoe and President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde was also held on Friday.