Informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government, Bratislava, 16 September 2016

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Series Details 16.09.16
Publication Date 16/09/2016
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On the 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.

On 29 June 2016, the 27 heads of state or government met informally to discuss the political and practical implications of 'Brexit'. Leaders started a debate on the future of the European Union.

It was agreed during the summer of 2016 that the heads of state or government of the 27 would meet in Bratislava, Slovak Republic on the 16 September 2016. They would continue a political reflection to give an impulse to further reforms and to the development of the EU with 27 member states.

President Tusk consulted all EU leaders ahead of the Bratislava meeting with a view to discussing both its handling and substance. A number of meetings were scheduled and confirmed for August and September 2016.

These included a working dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 18 August 2016 as well as meetings with French President François Hollande, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Just prior to the Summit Mr Tusk called for a 'sober and brutally honest assessment of the situation'. Journalists and commentators observe the meeting with a mixture of hope and scepticism.

At the informal summit on the 16 September 2016 leaders agreed on the Bratislava Declaration and Roadmap, which set out the objectives for the coming months.

These objectives included:

+ restoring full control of the external borders
+ ensuring internal security and fighting terrorism
+ strengthening EU cooperation on external security and defence
+ boosting the single market and offering better opportunities for young Europeans

The Bratislava Roadmap would guide EU action over the next months. 27 leaders would meet again in Malta in January 2017 and the reflection process would conclude at a Rome meeting in March 2017.

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