Sánchez begins the round of contacts in Vienna prior to the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union

President's News - 2023.2.16

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Federal Chancellery, Vienna (Austria)

Pedro Sánchez stressed that this meeting with the Austrian Chancellor symbolises the constructive vocation with which Spain is facing the challenge of the Presidency of the Council: listening to the Member States, facilitating agreements, promoting debates and making progress together on the commission's legislative programme.

The two leaders discussed issues of great importance for the future of the EU, such as the energy transition. In this regard, the President emphasised the Austrian government's desire to advance in the green transition and reiterated the importance of continuing to promote the work being carried out in the framework of the 'Fit for 55' package and the RepowerEU plan.

Among the dossiers that Spain aims to advance during its presidency of the council is the revision of the energy market. In this context, the president emphasised three priorities: making energy prices affordable for households and businesses; reducing carbon emissions; and increasing open strategic autonomy, a "crucial priority" for this period, in the words of the president.

During the meeting, Sánchez and Nehammer were able to exchange views on the negotiations on the Migration and Asylum Pact. The President of the Government has conveyed to the Chancellor the desire to bring the different positions of the Member States closer together and to move this dossier forward during the Spanish Presidency, thereby complying with the agreed timetable. "Spain faces this presidency with the determined vocation to build bridges and bring positions closer together," he said.

Likewise, the chief executive reiterated unconditional support for the Ukrainian people to guarantee legitimate self-defence, stressing that both Spain and the rest of the EU will continue to provide Ukraine with the necessary aid to achieve a just and lasting peace based on international law. "The future of Ukraine rests on Europe's commitment," he explained, underlining that the EU-27 support the reforms Ukraine is undertaking, "just as we will support the reforms necessary for the accession of the countries of the Western Balkans".

Non official translation