At their summit, European Union leaders reached an agreement on the ninth package of sanctions against Russia.

In addition to that, the leaders finally came to an agreement on the macro-economic aid to be given to Ukraine as well.

At the beginning of the week, Hungary agreed to support the 18 billion euro aid package, but in the very last meters before the summit, Poland threw herself into trouble. However, during the summit, Poland also agreed to bend to the EU’s common front.

“The agreement on sanctions and the whole of Ukraine were important messages that Ukraine is on all of our minds. Support for Ukraine is still very strong”, the Prime Minister Sanna Marin (sd) stated at the end of the meeting.

According to him, the new banned list includes both individuals and companies.

Ball to the commission

Economic matters and energy were also discussed at the meeting. No decisions were made on either of them. EU energy ministers will continue negotiations on the natural gas price ceiling at their meeting on Monday.

The leaders discussed the U.S. climate package, as concerns have arisen in Europe that the package will drive investments from Europe to the United States.

The United States has decided to only subsidize the purchase of electric cars manufactured in the United States, Canada or Mexico. The EU is excluded from support.

The president of the EU Commission has suggested that the EU would have to relax its own state aid rules and establish a sovereignty fund as a counterattack.

“We gave the commission the task of preparing proposals for early next year on how we can support European companies and ensure their competitiveness. Speeches were also used to argue that we don’t want a trade war with our most important partner, the United States,” says Marin.

At the moment, it seems that an extra economic summit will be held during Sweden’s EU presidency. It would be in February.

Immigration issues may also be discussed at the meeting.

A sample of EU unity

At its meeting, the European Council decided to grant the status of a candidate country to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In the leaders’ discussion with the Speaker of the European Parliament, the suspicion of corruption related to the Parliament came up.

How united will the EU be in 2023?

“I think this year has been an example of European unity. When Russia attacked Ukraine, we immediately imposed very strong sanctions against Russia. We have been able to make very unified decisions, with some exceptions.”

According to Marin, the past year has shown that in difficult places the EU is capable of joint decision-making, even if the issues are very painful.

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