Pre-summit Briefing 2019/8

 December 12 and 13: the changing of the guard

The heads of state and government have a lot to discuss on 12 and 13 December.

  • At the European Council proper, they will address the Conference on the Future of Europe and Climate Change during the first session and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and sundry foreign policy and security questions of considerable importance over dinner.
  • In the Euro Summit on Friday morning, they will review the current economic situation, take stock of the work of the Euro Group on strengthening EMU and discuss the international role of the euro.
  • In an article 50 session, also on Friday, they will confirm arrangements for the ‘timely’ ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement with the UK and consider plans for the next phase of the negotiations after Brexit.
Direct Download

 

European Council Briefing Note 2019/7

October: Brexit, Enlargement, Turkey, the Strategic Agenda, the MFF and Climate Change

The October European Council was overshadowed but by no means dominated by Brexit. Overshadowed, because the new Withdrawal Agreement was not concluded until midday on the day on which the European Council met, and nobody could therefore be certain about what the heads of state and government would have to discuss, let alone the atmosphere in which the discussion would take place. Not dominated, because there was very little for the heads of state and government themselves to discuss or do about it and, still more importantly, because several other items on the agenda were very important.

Direct Download

Pre-summit Briefing 2019/7

October 17 and 18: the MFF, the Strategic Agenda, Climate Change, Turkey and Syria, Enlargement and Brexit

The October European Council, which is one of the four set-pieces per annum provided for in the Treaty, has often been important. This year, however, it is likely to be unusually important. The agenda is lengthy and heavy and, despite the preparatory work which has been done by ministers and officials as well as the Commission under every heading, the contribution by the heads of state or government will be of decisive significance.

Direct Download

European Council Briefing Note 2019/6

 June Part 2: the top jobs

The present paper resumes our analysis of the process by which the European Council selected the new leaders of the European Union. It begins on 29 May, the day after the special meeting at which the heads of state and government assessed the implications of the European parliamentary elections, and finishes on 2 July, when they agreed on a package deal comprising the president and two executive vice presidents of the Commission, the president of the European Council, the EU’s foreign policy chief, the president of the ECB and the president of the Parliament.

Direct Download

European Council Briefing Note 2019/5

June Part 1: the Strategic Agenda, the MFF, Climate Change, External Relations, the Euro and Brexit

The EU’s heads of state and government spent a lot of time together between 20 June and 2 July. Much of the time was however spent on meetings of the political and regional groups, mini-summits, some of them with Tusk and some of them without, a whole night of ‘confessionals’ with Tusk, starting at 23.45 on 30 June and finishing at after 7.00 on the following morning, and bilaterals involving all and sundry.

Direct Download

Pre-summit Briefing 2019/6

June 30: the top jobs once again

This Pre-Summit Briefing will be short. For obvious reasons. There was a total news blackout at both the previous meetings concerned with the top jobs, the special meeting on 28 May and the working dinner on 20 June, and communications since then from those who are in a position to know where matters stand, as distinct from the very large number of people who claim to know, have been extremely guarded. Even Parliament has been restrained. Which is remarkable.

Direct Download

Pre-summit Briefing 2019/5

June: the top jobs, the strategic agenda, climate change, foreign policy, the euro and Brexit

There will be two meetings of the heads of state or government on 20 and 21 June. The first, on 20 June, will be a meeting of the European Council proper, while the second, on the morning of 21 June, will be a Euro Summit in inclusive formation. Mrs May will attend the European Council, but not the Euro Summit. Which means that Tusk can, and almost certainly will make room for a brief discussion of Brexit at the end of the Euro Summit.

Direct Download

European Council Briefing Note 2019/4

28 May: The top jobs

The informal meeting of heads of state or government on 28 May did not discuss the names of any potential candidates for the EU’s top jobs. The Presidency also went to considerable lengths to ensure that nobody outside the room knew what was happening while the leaders were meeting and was sparing with information about it afterwards. The working dinner was nevertheless a significant moment in the appointments process, which provided important clues to its future direction. Seven points are worth highlighting.

Direct Download

European Council Briefing Note 2019/3

Sibiu: The European Council positions itself in advance of the European parliamentary elections

The Sibiu meeting on 9 May received relatively little attention from the media. There were useful reports in a few quality newspapers, including the FAZ, Le Figaro and the FT. Even they were short and low key, however. Elsewhere it was mentioned only a little if at all.

Direct Download

Pre-summit Briefing 2019/4

28 May: Taking account of the European parliamentary elections

The proposal to convene a special meeting of the European Council on 28 May was announced by Tusk at the informal gathering of EU27 heads of state and government in Sibiu on 9 May. In order to understand how the president will approach tomorrow evening’s meeting it is therefore important to recall what he said in Romania.

Direct Download