16th January 2014

European Council December meeting

The heads of state and government of the EU member states met on 19 and 20 December 2013 in Brussels to discuss several key issues. An important part of the agenda was the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The European Council agreed that in order for the EU to have an effective and credible CSDP, further efforts need to be invested in its visibility and impact. These include also improvement of the financing of military and civilian operations. In the economic situation the EU member states are facing, the European Council stressed, cooperation on military capacity development is crucial. The European Defence Agency is supporting a number of cooperative projects, which include remotely piloted air systems or air-to-air refuelling capacities. The defence industry in Europe needs to be more integrated, innovative and competitive, too. The European Council called for better cooperation in military research and functionning mutual recognition of military certification. Special attention was paid to the area of cyber security, where the European Council called for specific action.

Other topics on the agenda included economic and social policy, namely youth employment, SME support and fight against tax evasion, Economic and Monetary Union issues such as banking union and solidarity mechanisms, and migration from the Mediterranean. The European Council also confirmed that accession talks with Serbia are to begin on 21 January.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic