According to the EuropeanVoice Online, EU leaders meet to discuss climate financing and economic situation at summit.
EU leaders are meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow for their regular winter summit, with the principal subject of discussion expected to be the scale of financing that the EU should give developing countries over the next three years to help them deal with the effects of climate change.
Sweden, which holds the EU presidency until the end of December, would like to secure a voluntary commitment from member states to provide around €2 billion in fast-start financing to help developing countries over the next three years. The UK has already volunteered €883 million, Sweden has offered €765m and the Netherlands is expected to offer €300m. Germany, France and Denmark are each expected to offer several hundred million euro.
The funding is for so-called ‘fast start’ projects that will run until 2012, when a new global deal to replace the Kyoto protocol should be in place. For the post-2012 period, the financial needs of developing countries to combat the effects of climate change and reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions are estimated to be €100 bn in each year to 2020. EU leaders have not, however, yet agreed what proportion of that money they are prepared to provide.
The EU summit is taking place at the same time as the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen and, in another signal to negotiators, EU leaders are expected to confirm the EU’s willingness to make deeper cuts to its emissions than currently pledged. The EU has offered to cut annual greenhouse-gas emissions by 20% by 2020, using 1990 as the reference year, but has said that it would be willing to reduce emissions by 30% if other countries make significant cuts
The Copenhagen summit is scheduled to last until 17-18 December, with the possibility of being extended if more time is needed to reach a deal. EU leaders are planning to attend the last few days of the Copenhagen summit to ensure that negotiations are conducted at the highest political level.
Finance and justice issues
EU leaders meeting in Brussels are also expected to agree on the principles of its new system of financial-market supervision and on the need to start ‘exit strategies’ to phase out measures taken in response to the financial crisis by 2011 and to reduce the currently very high levels of public debt across the EU.
They will also agree the Stockholm programme of measures to improve public security, improve legal protections for immigrants and asylum-seekers and move towards common EU asylum and immigration policies.
Course of discussions
Jerzy Buzek, the Presdient of the European Parliament, will address EU leaders on Thursday evening before a first working session on climate change.
Over a working dinner starting at eight o’clock, Herman Van Rompuy, the newly appointed President of the European Council, will lead a discussion on future EU summits under the Lisbon treaty. The discussion will focus on whether, and subject to what criteria, heads of government should invite other ministers to attend summits. The discussions could lead to finance or economics ministers being invited to the next summit, where the agenda is expected to be dominated by economic issues.