In his invitation letter, President Donald Tusk set out the main items the European Council is expected to address during the meeting.
Information for the media
In order to tackle the unprecedented flows of refugees in 2015, the EU has set out a comprehensive strategy and is fully engaged in solving the most pressing issues.
According to a report by the Luxembourg Presidency, implementation has been advancing rapidly in some areas, but significant gaps still remain.
On 17 December, the European Council took stock of the implementation of the decisions already taken and agreed on further orientations focusing on:
the operation of hotspots
the implementation of the relocation decisions and returns
the control of the EU's external borders
cooperation with countries of origin and transit
Click on the image to access the interactive map (available in English and French only)
EU leaders also asked the Council to rapidly examine the European Commission's proposal of strengthening the EU's external borders released on 15 December.
The timeline outlines the main measures taken by the EU, together with the member states, over the last few months, to address the challenges created by migration.
See also the relevant policy page on our website:
Referendum in the UK
In November Prime Minister Cameron set out the four areas where he is seeking reforms to address the concerns of the British people over UK membership of the European Union.
The European Council exchanged views on the UK plans for the referendum and agreed to find solutions in all the four areas at their February meeting.
18 December: agenda highlights
Economic and Monetary Union
EU leaders will discuss the Presidents' report on the Economic and Monetary Union.
Further to the Commission communication "Upgrading the single market: more opportunities for people and business", the European Council will address the completion of the European single market in all its dimensions.
This includes also the energy union with a forward-looking climate policy, the digital single market and the capital markets union.
Fight against terrorism
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, the EU must step up even more its action against terrorism. The European Council will discuss further action in terms of:
exchange of information and terrorism financing
control at the external borders
conditions leading to terrorism, the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism
counter terrorism cooperation with third countries
The European Council will finish by adopting conclusions on Syria. The proposal to roll over sanctions on Russia for another 6 months will be on the agenda of the Coreper on Friday 18 December.
Second working session on:
the Five Presidents' report on Economic and Monetary Union
the completion of the single market
energy and climate change
the fight against terrorism
Press conference by Presidents Tusk and Juncker and Prime Minister Bettel of Luxembourg
European Council: Other meetings
Last reviewed on 18/12/2015
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