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Migration, security focus of last EU Council summit before Maltese presidency

The heads of state or government of the 27 EU member states are meeting in Brussels today to discuss migration, security and relations with the Ukraine and Russia in the last summit presided over by Slovakia before Malta takes over the presidency of the European Council in January.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
15 December 2016, 10:42am
The European Council will discuss security, migration and Brexit in last summit before Malta takes over presidency
The European Council will discuss security, migration and Brexit in last summit before Malta takes over presidency
Migration, security and economic and social development are the main issues to be discussed by heads of state of the 27 EU member states in a summit of the European Council in Brussels today.

This is the last Council meeting to be presided by Slovakia, as Malta is set to take over the presidency in January for a six-month stint that is expected to be particularly engaging, with the UK expected to trigger Article 50 to start Brexit negotiations and elections in France and Germany.

The Council will today assess progress on the Partnership Framework on migration and the results achieved concerning the compacts with the selected African countries.

It is also expected to set orientations for further work, decide on the possible extension of the approach to other countries and assess the legislative progress on the External Investment Plan as it encourages swift adoption by the co-legislators

The EU leaders will look at the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement and discuss a possible reform of the Common European Asylum System, including on how to apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity in the future. 


Relations with Russia and the Netherlands' concerns on the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement will need to be addressed during the summit.

The European Council will address the implementation of the Security Agenda and the strengthening of EU cooperation on external security and defence. 


It will also take stock of progress as regards investment (EFSI), Single Market Strategies, youth-related initiatives and the fight against youth unemployment.

The heads of state are expected to start arriving at around 11.30am before sitting down for a working lunch session.

A press conference by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Prime Minister of Slovakia is scheduled for late in the afternoon.

Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat will also be addressing Maltese media before heading to an informal working dinner of the 27 heads of state.

European Popular Party congress

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil will meanwhile be attending a summit of the European Popular Party in Brussels, to be addressed by the president of the European Council Donald Tusk, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the PPE Joseph Daul, Germany chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish primie minister Mariano Rajoy and other European leaders.

The next EPP congress will be held in Malta in March 2017, with 1,300 participants expected to attend.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...