President Juncker attends European Council; working calendar agreed until 2019, progress made on migration, digital agenda, security & defence
At today's European Council, President Juncker welcomed the working methods and calendar agreed for the two years ahead, setting out a path for the future of the EU at 27, working notably towards a European Summit of 27 in Sibiu in May 2019. Leaders agreed that business as usual is no longer an option, and that they would assume the responsibility at the highest level to take decisions, broker compromises and move forward on key files.
Leaders discussed various aspects of the EU's relationship with Turkey, and there was unity on the need for Turkey to show greater respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights, if it wishes to move towards rather than away from the EU. By the end of the year, the Commission will present the Council with options for adjusting or reorienting the pre-accession financial support given to Turkey. Leaders also discussed Iran and North Korea over dinner.
On migration, Heads of State or Government agreed to increase their contributions to the Africa Trust Fund to support North Africa in particular and also to better manage the central Mediterranean migration route. They also laid out a path to complete work on the Commission's proposed reforms to the Common European Asylum System by the middle of 2018. President Juncker reminded other leaders of the Commission's proposals on the digital agenda, and the importance of advancing with their adoption as soon as possible.
Leaders also took stock of progress on negotiations with the United Kingdom, along with the Commission's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier. There was not sufficient progress to move to the next phase of negotiations, but some progress was acknowledged and the Council and the UK agreed to work together towards resolving the outstanding issues and allowing for further progress at December's Council.
President Juncker also discussed at the Summit the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism, with the leaders of Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The President has asked Commissioner Christos Stylianides to present proposals within one month to strengthen this Mechanism and allow for more rapid and more effective response to emergency situations within and beyond our borders.
20 oktoober 2017