Michel and Von der Leyen present recent EU summit results at the European Parliament – Focus on Ukraine
February 7, 2024

Michel and Von der Leyen present recent EU summit results at the European Parliament – Focus on Ukraine

On 6 February, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) debated the results of the most recent EU summits, and in particular the Special European Council of 1 February, with Presidents Michel and von der Leyen.

Determination, unity and leadership” is the message, European Council President Charles Michel said, sent by the EU with its latest decisions on Ukraine to open accession talks and endorse a new financial aid package for the country. The EU will “not be intimidated by Russia”, and will support Ukraine for “as long as necessary”, he added. Michel repeated the EU’s promise to provide the country with more ammunition, and said “each euro mobilised for Ukraine is an investment in our own security, prosperity and stability”.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement on a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine provided strong predictability for the country over the coming four years. 

“The starting point is that Ukraine – and Europe – have shown that we are willing to fight and pay the ultimate price for the things that we believe in. And this was one of Putin’s greatest miscalculations in that month of February – as he amassed troops on the border and planned a quick lightning strike on Kyiv,” said von der Leyen. “Mr Putin, you made this mistake because you cannot understand what drives a human spirit when it is free to think, dream, create and prosper.” She added that “Putin cannot understand freedom and why we fight for it because his only instinct is to crush what he fears”

Von der Leyen also said the EU must think of Ukraine’s defence industry as part of the EU’s defence industry. As the first step, according to von der Leyen, the EU has involved Ukraine in the preparations for the EU’s Defence Industrial Strategy. 

“This would not only help us cater for Ukraine’s defence needs, it would also encourage convergence and joint planning between our militaries and defence industries. Ukraine is a future member of our European Union. So it must get much closer to us also in the field of defence,” said von der Leyen.

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Press release

Charles Michel speech

Ursula von der Leyen speech


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