#FactOfTheDay: The June European Council deals with the current challenges the European Union is facing
Last Thursday and Friday, June 22nd and 23rd 2017, European Heads of State and Government gathered in Brussels for the June European Council. This summit mainly focused on security and defense issues, climate change, economic and trade issues, Brexit, digital economy and migration.
During these two days, EU leaders agreed on the fact that Citizens of the European Union need to be protected against terrorism and other issues such as the Brexit that the European Union is currently facing. At the end of the Summit, the European Council and European Heads of State and Government revealed their conclusions on which future actions should be taken by the European Union.
Security and defense were some of the main concerns of this European Council. Member State came to an understanding that the fight against terrorism was one of the main issue in Europe and needed to be solved at European level in accordance with third countries: “The European Council reiterates its commitment to strengthening EU cooperation on external security and defense so as to protect the Union and its citizens and contribute to peace and stability in its neighborhood and beyond”.
Another main topic was the question of climate change and the implication of the European Union on this matter. European Leaders renewed their will to implement correctly and as soon as possible the Paris agreement on climate change adopted in Paris in 2015. Whereas the United-State current government questions this arrangement, EU Member States agreed on the fact that “The Agreement remains a cornerstone of global efforts to effectively tackle climate change, and cannot be renegotiated”.
Issues on migration were also discussed during these two days of meeting. They discussed the solving the humanitarian crisis linked to the migration question: “The EU and its Member States will have to restore control to avoid a worsening humanitarian crisis”. To this end, the EU and Member States will have to further implement the action plans and other measures which were adopted in February 2017 in La Valetta.
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, expressed his intention at the end of these two days regarding migration issues: « Today, leaders discussed Libya and the Central Mediterranean route, where the situation remains critical in terms of irregular arrivals of migrants. While it is true that we are taking many of the right steps, the only result that really matters to us is to put a definitive end to this tragic situation. Leaders agreed that everyone will work harder in the coming weeks to better coordinate our efforts and support Italy more ».
Finally, the European Council also met to discuss Brexit. They mainly reaffirmed their position on this subject and “the unity and determination to reduce the uncertainty caused by Brexit”. As the president of the European Council explained in his remarks, the work regarding Brexit’s negotiation is still to be done. Indeed, for him, what “the UK’s offer is below our expectations, and that it risks worsening the situation of citizens. But it will be for our negotiating team to analyze the offer line by line, once we receive it on paper”.