Europe

Rule of law row with Poland, energy prices, migration to dominate EU summit

Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending EU leaders' meeting for 107th and last time

Agnes Szucs   | 21.10.2021
Rule of law row with Poland, energy prices, migration to dominate EU summit

BRUSSELS

European Union leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit that will focus on questions of rule of law, energy prices, migration, and the bloc’s relations with Russia.

The heads of states and governments will start by discussing rising energy prices that are “challenging the post-pandemic recovery and severely affecting our citizens and businesses,” European Council President Charles Michel wrote in his invitation letter.

Partially related to this point, they will also talk about the bloc’s green transition and its relations with major gas supplier Russia.

They will assess the COVID-19 situation too, including potential steps against vaccine hesitation and disinformation, as well as speeding up vaccine donations to countries in need.

Michel said the EU leaders will “also touch upon recent developments related to the Rule of Law,” an indirect reference to Poland’s row with Brussels over the supremacy of EU law.

The leaders will discuss the possible fallout of a recent ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that questioned the primacy of EU law, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has branded as “a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.”

On Friday, the summit is expected to focus on migration and protection of the bloc’s external frontiers, including the rise of asylum seekers at the EU’s borders with Belarus.

The summit will be German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 107th and last European Council meeting before she steps down after 16 years in power.

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