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Official speeches and statements - December 18, 2018

Published on December 18, 2018

1. European Union - Euro Summit meeting - Statement - Press communiqué issued by the Council of the European Union (Brussels - December 14, 2018)

Following the mandate given in June 2018 to the Eurogroup, the Euro Summit endorses all the elements of the Eurogroup report to Leaders on EMU deepening, which was prepared in an inclusive format. This comprehensive package paves the way for a significant strengthening of the EMU. In particular, the Euro Summit agreed today on the following.

1. We endorse the terms of reference of the common backstop to the Single Resolution Fund (SRF), which set out how the backstop will be operationalized, and anticipated provided sufficient progress has been made in risk reduction, to be assessed in 2020.

2. We also endorse the term sheet on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) reform. On that basis, we ask the Eurogroup to prepare the necessary amendments to the ESM Treaty (including the common backstop to the SRF) by June 2019.

3. We look forward to the final adoption of the Banking Package and the non-performing loans (NPL) Prudential Backstop preserving the balance of the Council compromises. We call to advance work on the Banking Union and for ambitious progress by Spring 2019 on the Capital Markets Union, as outlined in the Eurogroup report to Leaders.

4. In the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), we mandate the Eurogroup to work on the design, modalities of implementation and timing of a budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness for the Euro Area, and ERM II Member States on a voluntary basis. It will be part of the EU budget, coherent with other EU policies, and subject to criteria and strategic guidance from the Euro Area Member States. We will determine its size in the context of the MFF. The features of the budgetary instrument will be agreed in June 2019. The instrument will be adopted in accordance with the legislative procedure, as foreseen by the Treaties, on the basis of the relevant Commission proposal to be amended if necessary.

5. The Euro Summit takes note of the communication of the Commission on a stronger international role of the euro and encourages work to be taken forward to this end.

2. United Nations - Kosovo - Joint statement by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK (New York - December 17, 2018)

We, as the European Union members of the Council, would like to underline that a comprehensive and legally binding normalization agreement is crucial so that Serbia and Kosovo can advance on their respective European paths.

The initiation of the process of transition of the Kosovo Security Force is Kosovo’s sovereign right. We take note of its commitment to gradually transform its security force, in close coordination with NATO and its partners.

We call on the Kosovo authorities to make the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force in the next 10 years a transparent and inclusive process, associating all communities and to avoid any detrimental impact to the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

We also stress the need to maintain the existing arrangements with KFOR regarding the deployment of the Kosovo Security Force in the north of the country.

Almost two decades after the adoption of resolution 1244 and ten years after Kosovo’s declaration of independence, Belgrade and Pristina still have to agree on many aspects of their future relationship within the framework of a comprehensive normalization agreement.

We call on both sides to take steps to exercise restraint and to lower the tensions and create the conditions to resume as soon as possible their dialogue as facilitated by the EU High Representative.

A binding agreement addressing all issues should remain the key priority.

3. United Nations - Middle East Peace Process - Joint statement by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK (New York - December 18, 2018)

We, as the European Union members of the Council, would like to reiterate once more and emphasize the EU’s strong continued commitment to the internationally agreed parameters for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on international law, relevant UN resolutions and previous agreements. Any peace plan that fails to recognize these internationally agreed parameters would risk being condemned to failure.

The EU is truly convinced that the achievement of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation and resolves all final status issues, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2334 and previous agreements, is the only viable and realistic way to end the conflict and to achieve just and lasting peace.

The EU will continue to work towards that end with both parties, and its regional and international partners. There is a pressing need for a political horizon to be restored. This is why the EU and its Members States in past months have been so vocal in reconfirming their united, consolidated position in support for the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states.