The Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras is in Brussels to participate in the EU Summit of the European Council which will be held on December 14-15.
Greece’s PM will attend the PES preparatory meeting and later on he will get together with Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations.
On the sidelines of the Summit, there will also be a quadrilateral meeting about EU-Turkey relations and the refugee/migrant crisis, with the participation of Alexis Tsipras, the President of the European Commission, Jean – Claude Juncker, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel and the Bulgarian premier, Boyko Borissov.
The agenda of the Summit as presented on the official website of the EU Council
“Our unity in recent months has been outstanding, and I would like to thank every one of you for this. We have demonstrated that we stand firmly together, supporting one another when needed. Also this week we can demonstrate that despite differences, maintaining unity is possible. The best example of this will be the launch of new cooperation in European defence, i.e. Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).”
EU leaders are expected to welcome the launch of the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO). On 13 November, 23 member states notified their intention to join PESCO to enhance defence cooperation.
The Council will also review progress in other fields, notably on EU-NATO cooperation.
Social issues, education and culture
The European Council will adopt conclusions on social issues as well as on education and culture.
The conclusions will build on the discussions held in Gothenburg during the Leaders’ Agenda debate on culture and education and the Social Summit.
In the light of events, the European Council may address specific foreign policy issues.
Under the Leaders’ Agenda, leaders will hold a debate on the way forward on migration policy, including both the internal and external dimensions. Further information is included in the note below.
“We should consolidate our comprehensive approach and make it more sustainable with secure external borders and the prevention of mass arrivals as a corner stone. In this context, we must also find a consensus by June 2018 on the internal dimension of our migration policy, based on the concepts of responsibility and solidarity.”
The European Council (Article 50), in an EU 27 format, will review the latest developments in the negotiations following the United Kingdom’s notification of its intention to leave the EU.
Leaders will reassess the state of progress in the Brexit negotiations to determine whether sufficient progress has been achieved on three specific issues:
Leaders are expected to adopt the draft guidelines to move to the second phase of brexit negotiations. This follows the confirmation from Michel Barnier, the EU Chief Negotiator, that sufficient progress has been made during the first phase of negotiations.
The Euro Summit will discuss the economic and monetary union (EMU) and the banking union, on the basis of the note below.
“At the Summit, leaders will be asked to spell out their preferred approach to further strengthening the EMU. However, there is no doubt that the first reality check is the completion of the Banking Union, which is both possible and necessary. If there is no significant progress in this area, it will be very difficult to envisage progress on the more ambitious ideas.”…/IBNA