Extraordinary meeting of the European Council

Pedro Sánchez on the agreement reached by the EU-27 in Brussels: "Good news for Spain, for Europe and for Ukraine"

President's News - 2024.2.1

Brussels (Belgium)

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has taken part in the extraordinary meeting of the European Council held in Brussels, in which European leaders have addressed issues such as the culmination of the review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, financial and military support for Ukraine, and the crisis in Gaza.

Pedro Sánchez expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached and stressed that it demonstrates the European Union's capacity for a united response to the great challenges it faces. He also emphasised Spain's constructive willingness to engage in dialogue throughout the negotiations, a hallmark of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, which has enabled agreements to be reached that are as important for the future of Europe as the reform of the electricity market and the Migration and Asylum Pact.

This constructive spirit, in collaboration with the European Commission, allowed an agreement to be tabled, under a Spanish proposal, on the EU budget, which received the support of 26 Member States at the last European Council, and which today has been endorsed by all 27. "This is good news for Spain, for Europe and for the Ukrainian people and the citizens of the free world in general," the president of the Government of Spain remarked.

The agreement reached also strikes a balance in terms of priorities and their funding in order to react swiftly to new emerging priorities, such as migratory challenges, natural disasters or the need to advance strategic autonomy. In this sense, Pedro Sánchez celebrated that "today we have managed to ensure that Europe continues to move forwards, united in its management of the great challenges of our time: the war in Ukraine, migration, climate change and the technological revolution".

The revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework ensures firm, predictable and long-term funding for Ukraine, with a package of 50 billion euros while including a provision for EU leaders to hold an annual discussion on the implementation of the aid package, and the possibility of a review in two years, if necessary.

The President of the Government of Spain also stressed that the Ukraine Facility "will serve to combat Putin's authoritarianism and protect our democracies". The European Council reaffirms the European Union's unwavering commitment to continue to provide political, financial, economic, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine and its people for as long as necessary.

The heads of State and Government attending the meeting of the European Council observe a minute of silence for the former president of the European Commission Jacques Delors, who died on December 27 | Pool UE

The second issue addressed by European leaders was the support of Ukraine through the European Peace Facility and the European Union Military Assistance Mission, as well as the strengthening of the European defence industry. This reiterates the determination of the EU and Member States to continue to provide timely, predictable and sustainable military support to Ukraine "for as long as necessary", Sánchez stressed.

Along these lines, the president of the Government of Spain stressed that "we will continue to provide Ukraine with the necessary material to defend its territory, its institutions and its population against Russian aggression".

The third issue addressed in the framework of the meeting, although without written conclusions, was the crisis in Gaza, a debate in which Spain, together with other Member States, defended the need for Europe to speak forcefully on this issue "to demand that Israel respect international and humanitarian law and to set in motion as soon as possible a constructive dialogue that will lead us to a just and lasting peace, on a two-state solution", stressed the president of the Government of Spain. He acknowledged that there are discrepancies on this issue within the Member States, but that "Spain will continue to work to ensure that Europe acts in a coherent manner". "We will not abandon the millions of Israeli and Palestinian citizens who want and deserve a future of coexistence in peace and security," he stressed.

In addition, and off the agenda, European leaders discussed the situation of European farmers. Pedro Sánchez stressed the right of farmers to demonstrate peacefully, but at the same time condemned the attack "on our hauliers and producers, who are doing their work within the law and who, with their efforts, supply European markets and homes".

Sánchez also stated that the Government of Spain is aware of the challenges facing the Spanish countryside and stressed that "we are the government that has dedicated the most economic resources to modernising and adapting farms, and that has approved the most ambitious legislative reforms to promote a more transparent and fairer price system for farmers".

Non official translation