Brussels European Council – Presidency Conclusions, October 2009

Sectors : Employment and Training, Institutional development, Energy, climate change and technology, Labour migration, International partnerships and support for Pan-African institutions, Peace-building and peacekeeping, Economic governance and public finance management, Energy, Agriculture, Climate change - general, Financial Institutions, markets, services and microfinance, Environmental degradation and natural resource management
Date made: 
Heads Of State


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Employment and Training

“29. As the employment situation in Europe can be expected to deteriorate further, a continued political commitment to active labour market policies is required. It is necessary to take measures to support the connection to the labour market and to prevent high unemployment levels from becoming persistent, thus ensuring high employment levels and sustainable public finances in the long run. Labour market participation is a prerequisite for economic growth, for the social and economic wellbeing of individuals and for a more socially cohesive Europe.

In this regard, active social inclusion and social protection policies should also be promoted. The European Union can contribute to these efforts by promoting cooperation, coordination and mutual learning.”


Commitments in: Technology - Energy, climate change and technology

“11. The European Council underlines the importance of creating incentives to engage the private sector in technology cooperation. R&D must be substantially scaled up, global technology objectives established and safe and sustainable technologies diffused.”



Commitments in: Migration - Labour migration

“40. In this context the European Council:

− calls for additional efforts to adopt, implement and evaluate instruments to continue with the realisation of the Common European Asylum System, addressing the issue of internal secondary movements as well as the need for tangible and effective solidarity with Member States under particular pressure;

− calls for the enhancement of the operational capacities of FRONTEX as well as progress in its development and invites the Commission to present proposals to that end early 2010. Such an enhancement could be based on the following elements:

i) the preparation of clear common operational procedures containing clear rules of engagement for joint operations at sea, with due regard to ensuring protection for those in need who travel in mixed flows, in accordance with international law;

ii) increased operational cooperation between FRONTEX and countries of origin and transit;

iii) examination of the possibility of regular chartering financed by FRONTEX of joint return flights;

− invites the Commission and Member States to accelerate the implementation of the Global Approach to Migration with emphasis to its strategic and effective application, including the Regional Protection Programmes. In this context it will be essential to secure effective use of all relevant existing financial instruments;

− calls on the Presidency and the Commission to intensify the dialogue with Libya on managing migration and responding to illegal immigration, including cooperation at sea, border control and readmission;

− underlines the importance of readmission agreements as a tool for combating illegal immigration.”


Commitments in: Development partnerships - International partnerships and support for Pan-African institutions

“1. The European Council welcomes the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon by Germany, Ireland and Poland, which means that it has now been approved by the people or the parliaments of all 27 Member States...”


Commitments in: Peace and security - Peace-building and peacekeeping

“41. The European Council endorses the conclusions of the Council meeting of 27 October on Afghanistan and Pakistan and welcomes the adoption of the plan for strengthened EU action in the region. The Plan of Action will strengthen the civilian capacity of the state institutions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The European Union now stands stronger to respond to the challenges facing the region...

...43. The European Council shares the concern about the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan and supports the government of Pakistan in its efforts to establish control over all areas of the country. The European Union stands ready to assist the affected population.”


Commitments in: Governance - Economic governance and public finance management

“32. In this connection, the European Council welcomes the outcome of the G20 Pittsburgh meeting, particularly as regards the preparation of a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth as well as continuing work on a Charter for Sustainable Economic Activity. It also welcomes the commitment to take measures to strengthen the international financial supervisory and regulatory system, including reforming international standards for compensation and achieving a single set of high quality global accounting standards. The European Council emphasizes that, in the context of the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, the IMF and the G20 will have to take fully into account the institutional economic policy set-up of the European Union and the euro area as a whole. It calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure thorough preparation by the European Union of future G20 meetings.”


Commitments in: Infrastructure - Energy

“33. The European Council welcomes the progress achieved with regard to energy infrastructures and interconnections as well as crisis mechanisms since last January as set out in the report presented by the Presidency (doc. 13068/2/09). It invites the actors concerned to implement as a matter of urgency the next steps set out in that report, in particular as regards the draft Regulation on security of gas supply, which should be adopted as soon as possible.”



Commitments in: Agriculture


The European Council remains fully committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme and urges Iran to fully co-operate in this effort. The European Council reaffirms its grave concern over the development of Iran’s nuclear programme and Iran’s persistent failure to meet its international obligations. The recent disclosure of a facility intended for enrichment near Qom has further deepened its concerns...

...The European Council will continue to review all aspects of the Iranian nuclear issue and will decide in the context of the dual track approach on our next steps.”



Commitments in: Climate Change - Climate change - general

“4. The climate is changing faster than expected and the risks this poses can already be seen. We experience widespread melting of ice, rising global sea levels and increased frequency, intensity and duration of floods, droughts and heat waves.

5. Just weeks away from the Copenhagen Conference, the European Union is more than ever fully determined to play a leading role and contribute to reaching a global, ambitious and comprehensive agreement. All parties to the negotiation need to inject new momentum into the process and the pace of the negotiations must be stepped up.

6. The Copenhagen agreement needs to include provisions on the 2°C objective, ambitious emission reduction commitments by developed countries, appropriate mitigation action by developing countries, adaptation, technology and a deal on financing, as outlined below. The European Council emphasises the need for a legally binding agreement for the period starting 1 January 2013 that builds on the Kyoto protocol and incorporates all its essentials. The European Council also recognises that all countries, including those not presently bound by the Kyoto Protocol, should take immediate action.

7. The European Council calls upon all Parties to embrace the 2°C objective and to agree to global emission reductions of at least 50%, and aggregate developed country emission reductions of at least 80-95%, as part of such global emission reductions, by 2050 compared to 1990 levels; such objectives should provide both the aspiration and the yardstick to establish mid-term goals, subject to regular scientific review. It supports an EU objective, in the context of necessary reductions according to the IPCC by developed countries as a group, to reduce emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

8. The European Union is at the forefront of efforts to fight climate change. It is committed to take a decision to move to a 30% reduction by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, as its conditional offer to a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2012, provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and that developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities...

...10. Adaptation is a necessary element that must be comprehensively addressed in a Copenhagen agreement. The European Council recalls the proposal to create a Framework for Action on Adaptation as part of this agreement. It underlines the need to scale up support for adaptation in developing countries, until and beyond 2012, focusing on countries and regions that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.”


“12. A deal on financing will be a central part of an agreement in Copenhagen. A gradual but significant increase in additional public and private financial flows is needed to help developing countries implement ambitious mitigation and adaptation strategies.

13. The EU is ready to take its fair share of the global effort by setting an ambitious mitigation target, allowing for offsets and providing its fair share of public support. The European Council endorses the Commission estimate that the total net incremental costs of mitigation and adaptation in developing countries could amount to around EUR 100 billion annually by 2020, to be met through a combination of their own efforts, the international carbon market and international public finance...

...15. An effective and efficient institutional framework for governance has to be developed at the forefront of financing. The European Council supports the establishment of a high-level forum/body to be set up under the guidance of the UNFCCC to inter alia provide an overview of international sources for climate financing in developing countries.

16. All countries, except the least developed, should contribute to international public financing, through a comprehensive global distribution key based on emission levels and on GDP to reflect both responsibility for global emissions and ability to pay, with a considerable weight on emission levels. The weight on emissions should increase over time to allow for adjustments of economies. The EU and its Member States are ready to take on their resulting fair share of total international public finance.

17. The European Council stresses that fast-start international public support is important in the context of a comprehensive, balanced and ambitious Copenhagen agreement. The purpose should be to prepare for effective and efficient action in the medium and longer term and avoid delay of ambitious action, with a special emphasis on least developed countries. Taking note of the Commission estimate that a global financing of EUR 5-7 billion per year for the first three years is needed following an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen, the European Council underlines that a figure will be determined in the light of the outcome of the Copenhagen conference. The EU and its Member States in this context are ready to contribute their fair share of these costs. The European Council stresses that this contribution will be conditional on other key players making comparable efforts...

...23. In parallel with deliveries of climate financing all international parties should commit that such financing would not undermine or jeopardize the fight against poverty and continued progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Innovative financing can play a role in ensuring predictable flows of financing for sustainable development, especially towards the poorest and most vulnerable countries.”


“24. The European Council endorses the conclusions adopted by the Council on 21 October 2009 (doc. 14790/09), which together with these European Council conclusions and the attached guidelines give the Union a strong negotiating position. It will allow the European Union to play a constructive role during the final phase of the negotiating process, in particular on key issues such as financing, technology transfer, adaptation, mitigation and good governance.”



Guidelines for the EU position on international climate finance

1. The EU STRESSES that addressing climate change by building greenhouse gas efficient and climate resilient economies is in the mutual interest of all countries and will underpin sustainable development as well as energy security. Success will require strong commitments and efforts by all countries.

2. The EU REITERATES that all countries, except the least developed, should cover their fair share of the costs of tackling climate change. RECALLING the March 2009 Council conclusions, developed countries should demonstrate their leadership and commit to ambitious emission reductions and step up their current pledges. Developing countries, especially the economically more advanced, should commit to appropriate mitigation action, reflecting their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Promoting additional efforts these commitments should be assisted by an effective and efficient international architecture for cooperation and appropriate support. International support should also assist adaptation to climate change.

Appropriate governance of climate finance
3. The EU RECALLS that the purpose of carbon market financing and international public support is to contribute to the objective of the Copenhagen agreement in full by ensuring effective and efficient mitigation and adaptation action in developing countries. This requires an effective and efficient institutional framework for governance which has to be developed at the forefront of financing. The overall basis for efforts should be comprehensive national strategies.

... 7. The EU STRESSES that international public finance should also assist adaptation to climate change in the developing countries especially for the poorest and the most vulnerable countries with limited national capabilities. Adaptation concerns should be effectively integrated with development strategies and national planning via country led processes and coordination. Financial support for adaptation would be based on these national strategies and plans. The international level should provide general guidance as well as analysis and sharing of good practices. Development cooperation and delivery of ODA-based investments should be fully consistent with the building of climate-resilient economies and all key players in development cooperation should as appropriate integrate climate concerns in their actions. Synergies in the implementation of international climate finance and other assistance in developing countries should be fully exploited, and implementation of international climate finance should respect agreed standards on aid effectiveness. The experience of existing institutions in delivering support to developing countries should be fully used. Reporting on progress on adaptation should also be country led via improved National Communications.

Covering incremental cost and private financing
8. The EU UNDERLINES that available financial support should be scaled up over time in line with absorptive capacity, the overall scale of efforts and the development and implementation of the effective framework for governance. Developing countries’ own efforts should increase with their level of development, also reflecting available mitigation potential. Mitigation support will be delivered against specific action anchored in an ambitious overall strategy of the recipient country.

9. The Commission estimate of mitigation financing requirements assumes implementation of the most cost efficient measures. The EU STRESSES that choosing measures other than the most cost efficient should not reduce the ambition of mitigation efforts and the extra costs entailed should be borne by the authorities making such choices. All developing countries are expected over the medium term to implement such own efforts mitigation action that deliver direct economic benefits and directly assist sustainable development, including by removing fossil fuel subsidies and other incentives to select overly emission-intensive patterns of production and consumption. Support for capacity building to facilitate such policy changes may be necessary.

10. All countries will have to generate private financing by pursuing appropriate policies that drive inter alia incentives for investment. In this context, the EU RECOGNISES the importance of well-functioning financial markets and an appropriate business environment in developing countries in enabling lending for low-carbon investments and ACKNOWLEDGES that lending from international institutions can also play a catalysing role.

11. Private financing will also be stimulated by developing a broad and liquid carbon market based on robust cap-and-trade systems in developed countries, a reformed CDM and sectoral crediting and trading mechanisms for action in developing countries.

12. The EU ACKNOWLEDGES that development and delivery of a robust carbon market relies on the ambition of mitigation targets and respective emission reduction paths in developed countries.

International public finance over the medium term
13. Financing through the carbon market should be monitored and recognised separately and cannot be counted towards fulfilment of commitments to public financial support, except for procurement of offset credits that are not used for compliance with quantified emission targets.

14. A global distribution key would increase the overall amount of financing raised including by ensuring trust in the fair distribution of financing, and it would increase global ownership and take into account developments in the world economy. At the same time it would ensure more stable levels of support and a benchmark against which financing deliveries can be verified. Developing countries would be net beneficiaries with magnitudes depending inter alia on their capabilities and mitigation potential.

15. Countries should finance their contributions based on national priorities and in accordance with budgetary frameworks and national budgetary principles. Countries may want to consider the use of revenues from specific sources. Revenues from specific sources should be recognised as contributions under the global distribution key to the extent such contributions unambiguously can be referred back to a country of origin.

16. Robust MRV for mitigation and monitoring and review for adaptation and regular review should enhance compliance with international financing commitments.

17. Contributions from global sources could complement other public finance contributions and could be directed through global accounts. Financing flows through global accounts should be channelled through existing institutions to implement support, maximise synergies and limit administrative costs. Such financing could focus on closing gaps in international financing.

18. To maximise global mitigation efforts and a level playing field vis-à-vis other emission sources the EU STRESSES there is a strong need for appropriate global regulation of otherwise unregulated emissions from international aviation and maritime transport. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) respectively are the appropriate forums to develop global frameworks, based on global sectoral targets set by UNFCCC, which should provide a flag-neutral, un-distortive coverage of each sector to avoid carbon-leakage, while building on market-based measures and observing national fiscal responsibilities. Moreover, to reflect different circumstances and respective capabilities, part of potential revenues could be directed to the benefit of climate change purposes in developing countries.

19. A comprehensive set of statistics for climate financing and support should be established, preferably by building on existing reporting mechanisms such as the OECD-DAC system for monitoring financial flows to developing countries, including ODA, based on proper engagement of developing countries. The statistics should be fully consistent and transparent and thus able to assist identifying any risk to poverty reduction efforts and efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals.


Commitments in: Environment - Environmental degradation and natural resource management

“35. The European Council adopts the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and endorses the Council conclusions on the subject (doc. 13744/09). This Strategy constitutes an integrated framework to address common challenges, i.a. the urgent environmental challenges related to the Baltic Sea, and to contribute to the economic success of the region and to its social and territorial cohesion, as well as to the competitiveness of the EU.”