In the closed session of the Council meeting, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit, first reported to ministers on the state of play of the EU-UK negotiations and the implementation of the withdrawal agreement. In addition, coordinating measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic were again on the agenda. The proceedings against Poland and Hungary for possible violations of EU fundamental values were also an important topic.
The public session of the meeting, which started at 15.30, focussed on the state of play regarding negotiations with the European Parliament on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the reconstruction package agreed upon by the European Council in July. As part of its multiannual legislative programming exercises, the Commission also presented its 2020 Strategic Foresight Report and its Work Programme for 2021 during the public session. This was followed by a press conference.
The General Affairs Council always takes place a few days before the European Council, where the heads of state and government of the European Union meet for deliberations.