Building on the Commission's proposals for a Europe that protects and empowers the European Council discussed security, migration and the future of the EMU
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker participated yesterday and today in the October European Council which focused on migration and internal security and was followed by a working lunch on the Economic and Monetary Union. EU27 leaders also reviewed the state of the negotiations with the UK.
Building on the Commission's proposals tabled with President Juncker's State of the Union address the European Council adopted conclusions on the cooperation with countries of origin and transit, the fight against people smuggling networks and on returns, the Asylum Agency and the European Border and Coast Guard.
In particular, as underlined in the conclusions, "the European Council invites the European Parliament and the Council to examine, as a matter of priority, the recent Commission proposals on the Return Directive, the Asylum Agency and the European Border and Coast Guard, ensuring the most efficient use of resources and developing common minimum standards of external border surveillance, with due respect for the responsibility of the Member States".
The European Council assessed the state of implementation of its June conclusions and called for work to be continued on all elements as part of its comprehensive approach to migration
The European Council adopted conclusions on internal security, following the Leaders' Meeting in Salzburg on 20 September 2018. The heads of state or government took stock of progress achieved in upgrading police and judicial cooperation, fighting terrorism, strengthening border security and developing resilience in cyberspace.
They called for swift implementation of previous decisions and set out new measures to be taken. In particular, and taking into account the recent cyber-attacks against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, leaders called for further strengthening of its deterrence, resilience and response to hybrid, cyber as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. The European Council also emphasised the need to rapidly follow-up on a number of proposed measures by the Commission to combat disinformation, ahead of the 2019 European elections. As underlined in the European Council conclusions, "the measures proposed by the Commission on election cooperation networks, online transparency, protection against cybersecurity incidents, unlawful data manipulation and fighting disinformation campaigns and tightening the rules on European political party funding deserve rapid examination and operational follow-up by the competent authorities ".
Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union
Over lunch, EU27 leaders discussed the state of play of negotiations on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) with a view to the Euro Summit in December.
At the press conference President Juncker said: "Nous sommes tombés d’accord qu’il faudrait que nous complétions l’Union Bancaire, l’union des marchés des capitaux, que nous adoptions un calendrier pour ce qui est de l’examen et de l’adoption de la garantie des dépôts partout en Europe".
The European Council adopted conclusions on external relations, focusing on its relations with Africa. The heads of state or government also adopted conclusions on the upcoming EU-Arab League summit, climate change ahead of the UN climate conference COP24 to be held in Katowice, Poland and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its implementation.
Yesterday, at the European Council (Art. 50) working dinner, EU27 leaders reviewed the state of the negotiations with the UK. Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister May updated the leaders on the UK perspective of the negotiations. EU27 leaders reaffirmed their determination to stay united and noted that, despite intensive negotiations, not enough progress has been achieved at this stage to agree on the withdrawal agreement and subsequently start discussing on a future relationship. The European Council (Art. 50) called on the Commission's Chief Negotiator for Article 50 negotiations, Michel Barnier to continue his efforts to reach an agreement in accordance with previously agreed European Council guidelines. The leaders declared their readiness to convene a European Council, if and when the Commission's Chief negotiator reports that decisive progress has been made.