MEPs welcome EU summit climate goals but criticise lack of budget ambition

  • Climate action welcome, despite Poland’s disagreement on the timeframe 
  • Finnish Presidency’s long-term budget proposal is unacceptable 
  • Strong cooperation needed with the UK after its departure from the EU

Most MEPs urged European Council President Charles Michel to ensure that the EU long-term budget reflects the climate neutrality goals agreed during the December summit.

During the debate on the results of the 12-13 December EU summit with Council President Charles Michel and Commission President von der Leyen, political group leaders representing a majority in Parliament welcomed the decision on the EU’s long-term climate strategy that would lead to the EU becoming climate neutral by 2050.

However, they heavily criticised the European Council’s unwillingness to agree to a viable solution on the 2021-2027 EU budget, which will need to provide appropriate funding not only for its traditional beneficiaries (citizens, regions, cities, farmers, researchers, students, NGOs and businesses), but also for the 2050 climate neutrality goals and the European Green Deal.

Many speakers asked for either the European Union’s own resources mechanism or the decision-making at Council level to be reformed, or both, to enable the EU to address key challenges on which no progress appears to be possible under current rules.

MEPs also commented extensively on the 12 December elections in the UK and Brexit, with most speakers regretting that the country is ready to depart from the European Union. Nonetheless, all of them highlighted that the democratic result needs to be respected. They called for negotiations to be successfully concluded, in order to safeguard the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the UK and the EU.

The rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in the EU, social policies, the EU’s relationship with Turkey, and the accession process for Albania and North Macedonia were also raised during the debate.

Watch the video recording of the interventions by clicking on the links below.

Opening statements by Council President Charles MICHEL and Commission President Ursula VON DER LEYEN

First round of political group speakers

Part 1 of MEP’s debate

Part 2 of MEP’s debate

Closing statements by Michel BARNIER, Chief Brexit negotiator and by Charles MICHEL

You can watch the debate in its entirety here.


On 29 October 2019, the European Council accepted the request of the UK Prime Minister to extend the Article 50(3) TEU period until 31 January 2020, with the option that this period could end earlier should the ratification and consent procedure be completed earlier, first in the United Kingdom and afterwards in the European Parliament.