Following the meeting of EU Heads of State and government, the president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, said:
“It has been a difficult year for everyone and we have been working relentlessly to provide the EU with the necessary means to face the Covid-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences, and also to pave the way for a more sustainable and fairer Union in the future. I am glad that finally the Council is unblocking pressing pending issues so that the funds and the new legal instruments will be in place in January.
“Next week, the Parliament will at last vote on the Rule of Law regulation, a legal document that remains unchanged despite the interpretative declaration adopted by the Council. This is a victory for the Parliament, who had been calling for such an instrument to link the EU funds to the respect of the rule of law since 2018. We will also vote on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and on the Recovery Fund which will provide the much needed support to our citizens and businesses and will reinforce our health systems.
“The EU plan to make sure that everyone living in Europe has access to an affordable Covid-19 vaccine is also very good news, and it allows for optimism to start a swift recovery in 2021.
“Another landmark decision is the adoption of the 2030 climate target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55%, as Socialists and Democrats have been requesting. It is in line with the Paris Agreement and necessary to achieve climate neutrality. However, it is still not enough, and we should now move from reduction targets to net targets of CO2 emissions.
“Let’s hope that there will be more good news on Sunday, so that we can finalise a deal with the United Kingdom on our future relationship before the end of the year. A deal is the only outcome that benefits both British and EU citizens.”