Leaders of the 27 EU member states meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss in particular ways to ease the crisis between Greece and Cyprus, on the one hand, and Turkey, on the other, in connection with drilling activities. from the Eastern Mediterranean.

With regard to external relations, the European Council will hold a strategic discussion on Turkey. During the EU leaders’ video conference on 19 August 2020, some Member States discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey. Leaders expressed concern over rising tensions and stressed the urgent need to defuse. Members of the European Council also expressed their full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and recalled and reaffirmed previous conclusions on illegal drilling.

With regard to the elections in Belarus on 9 August, the EU stated at a video conference on 19 August that it did not recognize the results presented by the Belarussian authorities, given that the elections in that country were neither free nor fair.

Following the EU-China summit on 22 June 2020 and the meeting with President Xi on 14 September 2020, both held by videoconference, the European Council on 1-2 October will also discuss EU-China relations at the meeting.

With regard to the single market, the European Council will examine ways to deepen and strengthen the single market, developing a more ambitious industrial policy and further insisting on digital transformation. In this regard, EU leaders will focus on returning to a fully functioning single market as soon as possible, increasing the competitiveness of EU industries worldwide and accelerating the digital transition.

The European Council has agreed since July 2020 on an unprecedented recovery package to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies and societies of EU Member States. The two pillars of such a recovery are the green transition and the digital transformation. These, together with a strong single market, will foster new forms of economic growth and strengthen the EU’s resilience, writes the European Council’s website.

The EU Special Summit was originally scheduled for September 24-25, but was postponed due to the fact that European Council President Charles Michel was quarantined due to contact with a person infected with COVID-19. He was subsequently tested negative for the new coronavirus.

“Our goal is to make room for a constructive dialogue with Turkey in order to achieve stability and security throughout the region and to ensure full respect for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all EU Member States,” Charles Michel said in a statement. letter of invitation addressed to the leaders of the member countries.

Cyprus wants to sanction Turkey for its gas exploration in the area, while other member states are leaning towards a diplomatic solution.

NATO members Turkey and Greece have a dispute over maritime jurisdiction and exploration rights in the Eastern Mediterranean over divergent views on the boundaries of the continental shelf. Ankara provoked the irritation of Greece in August when it sent the seismic study vessel Oruc Reis to the disputed area. Turkey says the ship is currently being withdrawn for regular technical maintenance.

According to a European diplomatic source, the adoption of sanctions against Turkey is unlikely at the summit that ends on Friday.

The agenda of the EU summit also includes relations with China, the situation in Belarus and the case of Alexei Navalny’s poisoning, but also the single market, industrial policy and digital transformation.