EU heads of state gathered in Brussels on 20 and 21 March for their last summit before the EU elections in May, reaching an agreement on a European response to the crisis in Ukraine, energy and climate targets and more. Read our wrap-up of the European Council, below.
The heads of state and government gather in Brussels for March's EU summit - their last gathering before the European Parliament elections on 22-25 May.
Key topic is the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine: following the outcome of a referendum in Crimea on leaving Ukraine, the EU and the US imposed sanctions on a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials early this week. Russian president Vladimir Putin defied the sanctions and showed he is unlikely to lash control over the Crimea peninsula causing a fear of further escalation.
Apart from discussing a way out of the crisis in Ukraine, EU leaders will also conclude the first phase of the European Semester; discuss industrial competitiveness; debate the Commission's latest version of the proposal for the 2030 energy and climate package; and prepare an EU-Africa Summit to be held in early April.
>> See the Draft agenda here