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European Council: Main results

EU News 340/2016

European Council

The EU leaders met on 20 and 21 October in Brussels. They exchanged views on the most pressing issues.

On Thursday they discussed migration and Russia, including its role in Syria. On Friday the EU leaders met again to discuss trade issues.



EU leaders said that illegal migration along the Central Mediterranean route needed to be further reduced and return rates improved. In this context, they highlighted the importance of cooperation with African countries of origin and transit for migrants and said the necessary leverage could be applied by means of relevant EU policies and tools, including development and trade.


EU leaders said that the recent launch of the EU Border and Coast Guard and national efforts were important steps for strengthening control of the EU external borders and getting back to Schengen by adjusting the temporary internal border controls to current needs.



The European Council assessed the state of play of on-going free trade agreement negotiations with key partners. Leaders underlined the importance of a swift decision to sign and provisionally apply the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. They called for negotiations of the outstanding issues as soon as possible.

EU leaders invited the Commission to actively pursue negotiations on a freetrade agreement with Japan. Leaders also invited the Commission to present an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive free trade agreement with the US.

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