EPC Update – COVID-19 / Omikron | Energy crisis | Ukraine/Russia

YouTube, 17.12.2021

Online Briefing

Link to video on YouTube


At this EPC Update, moderated by Jacki Davis, EPC Director of Studies Janis A. Emmanouilidis, EPC Senior Policy Analyst Amanda Paul, and EPC Chief Executive Fabian Zuleeg focused on key topics discussed at the European Council meeting on 16-17 December. EU leaders discussed the followings: COVID-19, crisis management and resilience, energy prices, security and defence, as well as external relations issues. 

Given ongoing developments, we analysed in particular the EU's and member states' responses to the escalating situation regarding the pandemic. What do we (not) know about the new omicron variant and how does it change the overall situation? How can the Commission fight disinformation around the pandemic and will the EU27 agree on a common stance regarding mandatory vaccinations? Will the Union be able to uphold free travel throughout Europe on the basis of the EU Digital COVID Certificate? How will the developing situation affect the EU's economic recovery process and the increasing worries about inflation? Last but not least, are the EU and its members doing enough to support the increase in global vaccination levels?

In addition, we also addressed the escalating situation between Ukraine and Russia. What does President Putin actually aim to achieve and will the Kremlin change its strategic calculus as a result of President's Biden threat to impose severe economic and political sanctions in the event that Russia decides to invade Ukraine? What role do the EU and, in particular, Paris and Berlin, play in this context? How does the stand-off with Moscow affect the energy crisis and the future of Nord Stream 2? And what does all this tell us about the Union's security and defence policy?

Link to video on YouTube here


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