General Affairs Council, 25/09/2017

Council of the EU

Main results

The Council began preparations for the October European Council by discussing a provisional agenda. At that meeting, EU leaders are expected to focus on migration, Digital Europe, defence and external relations. 

"These topics tie in perfectly with the Estonian presidency priorities, which include continuing efforts to tackle the migration crisis, developing European defence cooperation and pursuing the overarching goal of advancing all matters digital."

Matti Maasikas, Deputy Minister for European Affairs of Estonia and chair of today's Council meeting

Ministers also discussed the Commission's priorities for 2018 Commission's Work Programme. They broadly supported the Commission's intentions, highlighting certain initiatives that they found particularly useful. Ministers' input will help the Commission finalise its work programme, which is due to be adopted in October. 

Under 'Any other business', the Commission updated ministers on the state of play as regards its dialogue with Poland on the rule of law.  The Council also closed the excessive deficit procedure for Greece, confirming that the deficit is now below 3% of GDP, the EU's reference value for government deficits. 

"After many years of severe difficulties, Greece's finances are in much better shape. Today's decision is therefore welcome."

Toomas Tõniste, Minister for Finance of Estonia

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