Here are the five key takeaways from the latest EU summit

Here are the five key takeaways from the latest EU summit
Copyright Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS
Copyright Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS
By Lauren ChadwickCristina Abellan-Matamoros
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Brexit, budget, climate, enlargement, Turkey's military incursion in Syria — what the EU leaders decide on the key issues?


The latest two-day European Council summit was the last one for outgoing EU chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk.

But what emerged from the get-together? 

The EU and UK agree on Brexit

EU leaders unanimously backed a new Brexit deal with the UK on the first day of the meeting. Now Prime Minister Boris Johnson must get British MPs to back it on Saturday. 

European Commission President Juncker said he was happy they had reached a deal but sad the UK was quitting the EU, sentiments echoed by EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Tusk, president of the European Council. 

Further enlargement of the EU is controversial

Senior European officials accused France on Friday of “making historic error” by blocking the start of entry talks for North Macedonia and Albania.

The pair have been working to join the bloc ever since the end of the Balkans war in the 1990s.

French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that the membership bids could not progress until the EU rethinks its structures because in its current form it was not able to face current challenges or handle another financial crisis, let alone allow in two more states.

Juncker called the move a "historic error".

The budget is causing deep divisions

EU leaders discussed a new budget plan that would allow the bloc to spend up to €1.1 trillion in the 2021-2027 period.

However, there are deep divisions among governments, who may block a deal for months to come.

The proposal, created by Finland, who currently holds the rotating EU presidency, cuts spending on farmers and poorer regions. It reportedly united EU leaders in their criticism, with one diplomat telling Reuters “the text has caused nearly unanimous dissatisfaction".

Eastern and southern states who benefit largely from EU subsidies are not happy with the proposed cuts.

Additionally, the proposal includes rules that would suspend funding to member states with rule-of-law issues, irking countries like Poland and Hungary.

No targets agreed on climate change

Nothing really new was settled on tackling climate change, with EU leaders calling for enhancing climate action but not setting any targets.

“The existential threat posed by climate change requires enhanced ambition and increased climate action by the EU and at global level,” said the EU Council summit conclusions document.

Leaders will finalise the EU’s position on their targets at a December meeting.

Condemnation of Turkey's military incursion in Syria

EU leaders issued a statement condemning Turkey’s military incursion into Syria and urged Ankara to end its military action.

It came after Turkey agreed to a 120-hour ceasefire. 


On Friday, Macron called Turkey's offensive "madness" and criticised the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for failing to prevent the conflict.

Take a scroll through Euronews coverage of the summit

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