|Author (Corporate)||European Council|
An informal meeting of the EU heads of state and government was held in Malta on 3 February 2017. The agenda included the following topics:
+ Discussion on the external dimension on migration, in particular on the Central Mediterranean route and Libya;
+ Preparations for the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, including a discussion on the future of the European Union.
The informal summit took place in two parts:
+ an informal European Council meeting in which all EU Member States participated
EU-Libya cooperation: stemming the flow
In the declaration they noted that on the Central Mediterranean route over 181,000 irregular migrants arrived in 2016, and the number of persons dead or missing at sea reached a new record every year since 2013.
With the spring 2017 approaching, leaders decided to take additional action to significantly reduce migratory flows, break the business model of smugglers and save lives. In particular, the agreed to step up cooperation with the Libyan authorities.
Leaders also welcomed the intention of the Maltese Presidency to present a concrete plan for implementation to the Council at the earliest opportunity, to take work forward and to ensure close monitoring of results. The European Council should review progress on the overall approach at its meetings in March and in June 2017 on the basis of a report from the Maltese Presidency.
Ahead of the summit President Tusk met with Fayez al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of Libya. They discussed possible ways of better cooperation between the EU and Libya.
Preparations for the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties
The discussions built upon the political reflection on the future of the EU with 27 member states, launched immediately after the UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016 and continued in Bratislava on 16 September 2016.
In his letter on the future of Europe sent to the 27 heads of state or government on 31 January 2017, President Donald Tusk identified three main threats, dangerous for the stability of Europe. These include:
+ new geopolitical situation: an increasingly assertive China, Russia's aggressive policy towards Ukraine and its neighbours, wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa (with radical Islam playing a major role) and worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable
President Donald Tusk called on the leaders to stay united.
In the background of the meeting was much discussion of the way forward for relations with the United States under the Trump Presidency.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Europe|