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The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020, after 47 years of EU membership. In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, it is now officially a third country to the EU and hence...

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Ursula von der Leyen, Joe Biden, Charles Michel © EU
15/06/2021 - Covid-19 / Enlargement, external relations and trade / Security and defence

The EU-US summit on 15 June delivered a series of bilateral trade initiatives. Leaders agreed to resolve long-standing disputes regarding aircraft, discuss measures on steel and aluminium, and set up a Trade and Technology Council. They also discussed COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring a sustainable recovery, protecting the planet and cooperating on foreign and security issues.

Ursula von der Leyen, Justin Trudeau, Charles Michel © EU
15/06/2021 - Covid-19 / Energy, environment and climate / Enlargement, external relations and trade

At a summit held in Brussels on 14 June, the leaders of the EU and Canada agreed to further strengthen their strategic partnership. They committed to ensuring universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, ambitious climate action, and a sustainable and green economic recovery. The EU and Canada will also cooperate more closely in the areas of health, ocean protection, raw materials, and security and defence.

Ursuala von der Leyen, Charles Michel © EU
13/06/2021 - Covid-19 / Energy, environment and climate / Enlargement, external relations and trade / International aid, development and cooperation

At the Cornwall summit from 11 to 13 June, the G7 leaders committed to improving global access to COVID-19 vaccines, strengthening the global health system, and ensuring ambitious climate action.

Laboratory worker holding covid vial and syringe © EU
04/06/2021 - Covid-19 / Enlargement, external relations and trade

The EU has submitted its proposal seeking the commitment of World Trade Organization (WTO) members for a multilateral trade action plan to expand the production of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and ensure universal and fair access.

Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel © EU
27/05/2021 - Covid-19 / Energy, environment and climate / Enlargement, external relations and trade

At a summit held by videoconference, the leaders of the EU and Japan concluded a ‘green alliance’ that will boost cooperation to accelerate climate and environmental action. They also discussed global access to COVID-19 vaccines, digital transformation, bilateral relations, and foreign and security policy.

Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel © EU
25/05/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Institutional affairs / Security and defence

On 24 and 25 May 2021, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, climate change, Belarus, Russia, the UK, the Middle East and Mali.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Augusto Santos Silva © EU
20/05/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade

The Council exchanged views on the trade policy review. Ministers reviewed the state of play of the WTO reform and preparations for the next Ministerial Conference of the WTO and took stock of latest developments and prospects in EU-US trade relations.

Maroš Šefčovič, Ana Paula Zacarias © EU
11/05/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Institutional affairs

Ministers focused on the state of play on the COVID-19 EU coordination and the Conference on the Future of Europe. Under any other business, the Council was informed about matters related to the Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process, and the EU-Switzerland relations.

Josep Borrell Fontelles © EU
10/05/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Security and defence

EU ministers of foreign affairs were briefed about current affairs and exchanged views on Western Balkans and transatlantic relations. The Council also adopted conclusions on Security and Defence, and the Horn of Africa.

EU Industrial Strategy illustration © EU
05/05/2021 - Business, taxation and competition / Enlargement, external relations and trade

The legislative proposal follows the adoption of the White Paper in June 2020 and an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. It aims at closing the regulatory gap in the Single Market, whereby subsidies granted by non-EU governments currently go largely unchecked, while subsidies granted by Member States are subject to close scrutiny.

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement © EU
29/04/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade

The Council adopted a decision on the conclusion of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and the security of information agreement. This is the last step for the EU in the ratification of the post-Brexit deal. Both agreements will enter into force on 1 May 2021.

EU and UK flags © EU
28/04/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade

Parliament voted with a large majority in favour of granting its consent to the agreement setting the rules of the future EU-UK relationship. The consent decision was adopted by 660 votes for, five against and 32 abstentions, while the accompanying resolution, setting out Parliament’s evaluation of and expectations from the deal, passed by 578 votes, with 51 against and 68 abstentions.

Ms Ursula VON DER LEYEN, President of the European Commission; Mr Charles MICHEL, President of the European Council © EU
25/03/2021 - Covid-19 / Economy and the euro / Enlargement, external relations and trade

EU leaders met via video conference to take stock of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation. They also discussed transatlantic relations together with US President Joe Biden. The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, relations with Russia, the single market, digital agenda and the international role of the euro were also on the agenda.

Boxes of vaccines supply in Portugal © EU
24/03/2021 - Covid-19 / Enlargement, external relations and trade

The European Commission has introduced the principles of reciprocity and proportionality as new criteria to be considered for authorising exports under the transparency and authorisation mechanism for COVID-19 vaccine exports.

Josep Borrell Fontelles © EU
22/03/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Security and defence

The Foreign Affairs Council was briefed about current affairs and exchanged views on Southern neighbourhood and Turkey. Ministers also held an informal exchange with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel © EU
26/02/2021 - Covid-19 / Enlargement, external relations and trade / Institutional affairs / Security and defence

On 25 February, the members of the European Council met via video conference to discuss the current situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness for health emergencies. On 26 February they met again, focusing on security and defence, and relations with the Southern Neighbourhood.

Josep Borrell Fontelles © EU
22/02/2021 - Covid-19 / Enlargement, external relations and trade / Security and defence

EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs were briefed about current affairs and exchanged views on Russia, and Hong Kong. The Council also adopted conclusions on: Myanmar/Burma, a human-rights-based post-COVID-19 recovery, and EU priorities in UN human rights fora in 2021.

Valdis Dombrovskis © EU
18/02/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade

The European Commission has set out its trade strategy for the coming years. Reflecting the concept of open strategic autonomy, it builds on the EU's openness to contribute to the economic recovery through support for the green and digital transformations, as well as a renewed focus on strengthening multilateralism and reforming global trade rules to ensure that they are fair and sustainable.

17/02/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Justice and citizens’ rights
Olivér Várhelyi © EU
09/02/2021 - Enlargement, external relations and trade

To relaunch and strengthen the strategic partnership between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood partners, the European Commission and the High Representative adopted a joint communication proposing an ambitious and innovative new Agenda for the Mediterranean.

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