Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk
We will meet later this week to discuss European and global challenges, first among ourselves and then with our partners from across Asia.
The European Council will start on Wednesday evening with a debate on Brexit. I have invited Prime Minister May to address the EU27, giving the UK Government's assessment of the negotiations. Later at 27, we will decide on how to take the negotiations forward, on the basis of a recommendation by our chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. As you remember from Salzburg, we wished for maximum progress and results that would lead to a deal in October. As things stand today, it has proven to be more complicated than some may have expected. We should nevertheless remain hopeful and determined, as there is good will to continue these talks on both sides. But at the same time, responsible as we are, we must prepare the EU for a no-deal scenario, which is more likely than ever before. Like the UK, the Commission has started such preparations, and will give us an update during the meeting. But let me be absolutely clear. The fact that we are preparing for a no-deal scenario must not, under any circumstances, lead us away from making every effort to reach the best agreement possible, for all sides. This is what our state of mind should be at this stage. As someone rightly said: 'It always seems impossible until it's done.' Let us not give up.
We will reconvene at 28 on Thursday morning for the regular European Council. After our usual exchange with the President of the European Parliament, Chancellor Kurz will debrief us on progress in implementing our previous conclusions, including on migration. We will then have a debate and adopt conclusions on migration, internal security and external relations. Our aim is to send a strong message about fighting smuggling networks, protecting our external borders and building our cooperation with countries of origin and transit. On the internal security front, we need to strengthen our resilience and our resolve, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. The latest cyber-attack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague demonstrated that we are facing evolving threats. We should also address our new partnership with Africa and the upcoming summit with the League of Arab States, as well as other global issues, in particular the fight against climate change ahead of COP 24 in Katowice.
Later, the Euro Summit will meet informally over lunch in an inclusive format of 27 to discuss the EMU reform state of play. Eurogroup President Centeno will update us on the ministers' work on the reform, while European Central Bank President Draghi will give us his assessment of the situation. In the current global environment, we need to focus especially on strengthening Europe's resilience also on the economic front. We need to make sure that there is a good progress in the EMU reform by the end of the year.
Before concluding, let me recall that the European Council will be followed by the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), hosted this year by the EU. Together with 21 Asian countries, the 28 Member States, along with Norway and Switzerland, will focus on how to make connectivity sustainable and how we can fortify the rules-based international order. The ASEM starts on Thursday evening and finishes on Friday afternoon. After that meeting, the EU will hold a Summit with the Republic of Korea, followed by the EU-ASEAN Leaders' Meeting.
European Council President Spokesperson
+32 2 281 51 50
+32 476 85 05 43
Latest News from
Recovery and Resilience Facility: Poland submits official recovery and resilience plan05/05/2021 09:25:00
The Commission has received an official recovery and resilience plan from Poland. This plan sets out the reforms and public investment projects that Poland plans to implement with the support of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
Coronavirus: Commission proposes to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU while addressing variants through new ‘emergency brake' mechanism04/05/2021 15:25:00
The Commission yesterday proposed that Member States ease the current restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU to take into account the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological situation worldwide.
Recovery and Resilience Facility: Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia submit official recovery and resilience plans04/05/2021 13:25:00
The Commission has received official recovery and resilience plans from Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia.
European Health Union: Commission publishes open public consultation on the European Health Data Space04/05/2021 12:33:00
The Commission yesterday published an open public consultation on the European Health Data Space (EHDS) – an important building block of the European Health Union.
Better Regulation: Joining forces to make better EU laws and to prepare for the future30/04/2021 15:25:00
The Commission yesterday adopted a Communication on Better Regulation, proposing several improvements to the EU law-making process.
Eurobarometer: EU citizens strongly support cooperating with partner countries and youth to reduce poverty30/04/2021 13:25:00
The latest Eurobarometer survey on development cooperation shows that almost nine in ten EU citizens say it is important to partner with countries outside the EU to reduce poverty.
EU defence gets a boost as the European Defence Fund becomes a reality30/04/2021 10:25:00
The Commission yesterday welcomed the adoption of the European Defence Fund (EDF), following the European Parliament's approval.
Remarks by Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi on the first deliveries of EU funded vaccines for the Western Balkans22/04/2021 13:25:00
Remarks given recently (20 April 2021) by Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi on the first deliveries of EU funded vaccines for the Western Balkans.