European Council: Main results
EU News 57/2016
Discussions at the European Council were dominated by the deal with the UK and the ongoing migration and refugee crisis. They also discussed migration and the situation in Syria and Libya.
The European Council began with a statement condemning the terrorist attacks in Ankara. EU leaders extend their deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and express their solidarity with the people of Turkey.
Britain in the European Union
Following intense negotiations, EU leaders achieved a deal which strengthens Britain's special status in the EU. It is a legally binding and irreversible decision by all 28 leaders. The settlement addresses all of Prime Minister Cameron's concerns without compromising EU fundamental values.
At the December 2015 European Council, the European Council agreed to find mutually satisfactory solutions in four areas of concern at its February meeting:
- economic governance
- social benefits and free movement
On 2 February 2016, President Donald Tusk put forward a proposal for a new settlement addressing all these concerns. The proposal served as the basis for negotiations during the meeting.
EU leaders adopted conclusions on the migration and refugee crisis. The debate focused on the latest developments since leaders last met in December but also on the necessity to build a European consensus on migration.
They also confirmed their intention to organise a special meeting with Turkey in the beginning of March.
Discussions focused on:
- progress made in the implementation of the EU-Turkey Action Plan but also the need to see a substantial and sustainable reduction of the number of illegal entries from Turkey
- humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees, including in the Western Balkans countries
- external border management
- the need to gradually get back to a situation where all Members of the Schengen area fully apply the Schengen Borders Code
- the requirement for hotspots to be fully functional
- the implementation of decisions on relocation, returns and readmission
Source and additional information:
Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council. Shoot location: Brussels – BELGIUM Shoot date: 19/02/2016 Copyright: No commercial use. Credit 'The European Union' URL