There is Turkey on dinner menu!

Les dirigeants de l’UE discuteront de questions relatives à la sécurité, à l’économie et à la politique étrangère

Les 22 et 23 juin, les dirigeants de l’UE se réuniront pour examiner un large éventail de questions, notamment la coopération en matière de sécurité et de défense. Ils procéderont également à un échange de vues sur l’économie et le commerce, les flux migratoires et les questions de politique étrangère. Le Conseil européen (article 50) se réunira également le 22 juin pour discuter des négociations liées au Brexit.

Les dirigeants examineront également l’évolution de la situation en ce qui concerne la route de la Méditerranée orientale, la déclaration UE-Turquie et les instruments créés pour s’attaquer aux causes profondes des migrations.

We will reconvene for a working dinner dedicated to external relations. I will share my reflections after the recent international summits and meetings, including with President Erdoğan.
President Donald Tusk

© photocredit

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European Council
22-23 June 2017
European Council (Article 50)
22 June 2017
BACKGROUND
Brussels, 21 June 2017

The June European Council will focus on the ongoing efforts to strengthen the European Union and protect its citizens through the work on counterterrorism, security and defence, external borders, illegal migration and economic development.

The first working session will focus on security and defence issues. Leaders will discuss counterterrorism and how to better combat radicalisation. The European Council is also expected to support a strengthening of EU cooperation on external security and defence.

The working dinner will be focused on foreign policy issues in light of recent summits and meetings, including with the US and Turkey leaders. The European Council will reaffirm its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate. Leaders will also take stock of the implementation of the Minsk agreements. At the end, PM May will inform the leaders about the Brexit negotiations.

After the dinner there will be a session of the European Council (Article 50), where the EU27 leaders will discuss the state of play of Brexit negotiations with the UK. In the margins of this meeting, the heads of state and government are expected to endorse the procedure to decide on the relocation of the two EU agencies currently located in the UK.

On Friday, the European Council will meet again to discuss economic and trade issues. Leaders will reaffirm their commitment to free trade and investment, while ensuring it is also fair and the benefits are reciprocal. European Central Bank’s President Draghi will inform leaders about the economic situation. The heads of state and government will also finalise the European Semester process.

Afterwards, leaders will take stock of ongoing measures to tackle migration issues and assess where further efforts are needed.

Finally, leaders will discuss how to move towards a digital vision for Europe.

Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk

It is fair to say that we will meet in a different political context from that of a few months ago, when the anti-EU forces were on the rise. The current developments on the continent seem to indicate that we are slowly turning the corner. In many of our countries, the political parties that have built their strength on anti-EU sentiments are beginning to diminish. We are witnessing the return of the EU rather as a solution, not a problem. Paradoxically, the tough challenges of the recent months have made us more united than before. But it is also thanks to your determination, that we have preserved this unity. I thank you for this, and I ask for more. Our unity is precisely the reason why we are in a much better place today, with the new-found optimism for the future.

However, we cannot be complacent or naïve. We have to prove to the people that we are capable of restoring control over events which overwhelm and sometimes even terrify. Last year we agreed that the EU will protect our people against security threats, illegal migration and uncontrolled globalisation, and we must continue to deliver. Therefore, during the upcoming European Council, I want us to move further on our policy response in these three areas.

Firstly, security. Terrorism remains a major threat. The recent attacks highlight the new wave of home-grown radicalisation. Let me be honest: the EU will not replace national states in this fight, because the policy response depends mainly on governments. But the EU can help to win this fight. So far we have made progress on foreign fighters and returnees. Now it is time to step up cooperation with the online industry. Terrorist propaganda makes its biggest impact within the first few hours of being posted. We should therefore encourage the industry to develop tools that will automatically detect and remove content that spreads terrorist material or incites to violence.

Given that Europe’s security is our common responsibility, I would also like us to agree on the need to launch Permanent Structured Cooperation in defence. For it to succeed, we will need your ambitious commitments: from projects that develop our defence capabilities, to more demanding tasks such as military operations. Decisions in this respect will demonstrate not only our determination to invest more in Europe’s security and defence, but also our responsibility for transatlantic relations, at a time when it is needed on our side of the Atlantic as never before. Every Member State should be invited to participate in the newly emerging defence cooperation and no-one should be excluded. This cooperation can be the best example that we are not promoting “different” speeds, but setting up a work method that should allow the whole EU to gain the “right” speed.

Secondly, on illegal migration, we need to review the situation on the Central Mediterranean route. The number of illegal arrivals of primarily economic migrants to Italy has increased by 26% compared to last year; around 1 900 people have lost their lives at sea, and the smuggling business is taking on a new dimension. Some operational results of our decisions have been achieved, namely the training of Libyan Navy Coastguards, the arrests of more than 100 smugglers and the neutralisation of more than 400 of their vessels. But this is clearly too little, and I don’t see why we cannot bear greater financial responsibility for the functioning of the Libyan Navy Coastguards. They are our allies in the fight against smugglers. I am drawing your attention to this, because at the working level some of your representatives are not taking the necessary decisions in this regard.

Finally, on uncontrolled globalisation. In order to protect our free trade agenda at home, we must prove that we can defend Europe against those who want to abuse our openness. To that end, we must ensure that our Trade Defence Instruments are efficient. We need to have a serious debate on how to enhance reciprocity and screen investments from countries that impose unfair restrictions. People need to know that we can protect them from unfair trading practices.

As for the meeting agenda, we will start our proceedings with the traditional exchange of views with the European Parliament President Tajani, at 15.00 on Thursday. Following this exchange, Prime Minister Muscat will update us on where we stand in implementing our previous conclusions. Our first working session will be dedicated to internal security, counterterrorism and defence. After the adoption of our conclusions on these points, we will suspend our work to meet the press. We will reconvene for a working dinner dedicated to external relations. Chancellor Merkel and President Macron will first present the state of play as regards the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Then I will share with you my reflections after the recent international summits and meetings, including with Presidents Trump and Erdoğan. In that context I would like us to recall that we stand united behind the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. At the end of the dinner, Prime Minister May will inform us on her intentions as regards the negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. After dinner, I will invite the 27 leaders to stay for a brief update on the negotiations, and to endorse the procedure for the relocation of the UK-based agencies.

On Friday, we will start at 10.00 with ECB President Draghi, who will present the current economic situation. Following that, we will move on to trade and adopt the relevant conclusions. We will then tackle conclusions on migration, where Prime Minister Muscat will inform us on the follow-up to the Malta Declaration. Before concluding, we will briefly turn to the concept of Digital Europe with Prime Minister Ratas, in view of the incoming Presidency’s work programme. Our meeting should end around lunchtime. I look forward to seeing you all in Brussels.

External security and defence

Leaders are expected to support a strengthening of EU cooperation on external security and defence with three key measures: the endorsement of the setup of a European Defence Fund, a decision on the need to launch of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and an agreement on permanent financing of the deployment of EU battlegroups. The European Council agreed on a specific plan on security and defence in its conclusions in December last year.

§ EU cooperation on security and defence

§ European Council conclusions, 15 December 2016

Internal security and counterterrorism

Leaders will discuss counterterrorism and recall the need to cooperate at the EU level. The heads of state and government are expected to look at how to better combat online radicalisation, including the responsibility of the industry.

§ Response to foreign terrorist fighters and terrorist attacks in Europe
Foreign policy

President Tusk will brief the heads of state and government about recent summits and meetings, including the meetings with US President Trump, Turkey’s President Erdogan, as well as the G7 and the summit with China.

Leaders are also expected to receive an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. This is expected to lead to a formal decision in the days following the summit concerning the rollover of economic sanctions on exchanges with Russia.

§ EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine

Paris Agreement

The European Council will reaffirm the EU’s commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, to contribute to fulfilling its climate finance goals and to continue to lead in the fight against climate change.

§ Paris Agreement: background information and timeline

Jobs, growth and competitiveness

Leaders are expected to reaffirm their commitment to a rules-based multilateral trading system, as well as to free trade and investment, while ensuring it is also fair and the benefits are reciprocal. In particular, they are expected to call for a swift agreement on modern trade defence instruments, complementary measures to improve their efficiency and the examination of ways to screen investments from third countries in strategic sectors.

ECB President Draghi will inform the leaders about the current economic situation. The European Council will conclude the European Semester process, by endorsing the country-specific recommendations.

Leaders will also take stock of the progress to complete the single market and identify areas where work needs to be stepped up.

§ Trade agreements

§ Single market strategy for goods and services

§ 2017 European Semester: Country Specific Recommendations

Migration

The closure of the Western Balkans route and the EU-Turkey statement have been successful in keeping the numbers of arrivals on the Eastern Mediterranean route at a very low level. However arrivals on the Central Mediterranean route continue. The seasonal changes reflect trends in previous years, but with an overall increase in numbers. The continuing high number of crossings has led to a correspondingly high number of lives lost, despite many successful search and rescue operations. Some operational results of previous decisions have been achieved, namely the training of Libyan Navy Coastguards, the arrests of more than 100 smugglers and the neutralisation of more than 400 of their vessels.

Leaders are expected to reiterate their determination to deliver on all the elements of the EU’s comprehensive migration policy as well as to continue the implementation of the Malta declaration and the work on the reform of the Common European Asylum System. The European Council will also discuss how to make further progress in return policy by cooperating with third countries.

§ EU response to migratory pressures

Digital Europe

Looking ahead to the work in the second half of the year and the Digital Summit in Tallin in September, the European Council will highlight the importance of an overarching approach to digital issues, that covers not only the economic aspects, but also cybersecurity, research and development and e-government, among others.

Brexit

Following the adoption of the European Council guidelines for the Brexit negotiations on 29 April 2017, the EU27 leaders will be briefed by the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on the first negotiating round that took place on 19 June 2017. The heads of state and government will have an opportunity to exchange views on the state of play and the process ahead.

§ Brexit: background information and timeline

EU agencies

The EU27 heads of state and government are expected to endorse the procedure to decide on the relocation of the two EU agencies currently located in the UK: the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA).

President Tusk and President Juncker have suggested to member states a specific procedure consisting of a call for offers from the member states, an assessment by the Commission based on objective criteria and a final vote by the 27 member states in the autumn of 2017.

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