European Council
Council of the European Union

Remarks by President Donald Tusk before the Bratislava summit

European Council
  • 15/09/2016
  • 18:30
  • Statements and remarks
  • 513/16
  • Institutional affairs
15/09/2016
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We haven't come to Bratislava to comfort each other. Or even worse, to deny the real challenges we face. In this particular moment in the history of our community, after the vote in the UK, the only thing that makes sense is to have a sober and brutally honest assessment of the situation.

What we need today is an optimistic scenario for the future, no doubts. But it requires a realistic diagnosis of the causes of Brexit, and its political consequences for all Europe. One thing must be absolutely clear here in Bratislava: that we can't start our discussions tomorrow with this kind of blissful conviction that nothing is wrong, that everything was and is okay.

I am absolutely sure that we have to assure, here in Bratislava and also after our meeting, our citizens that we have learned the lessons from Brexit, and that we are able to bring back stability and a sense of security and effective protection. I hope that the so-called "Bratislava Roadmap" I will present tomorrow will be a first step in this direction.

It is true that Europe has recently been shaken by all kinds of crises but as the same time it is my feeling that the best motto for the Bratislava meeting is that we must not let these crises go to waste.

After my consultations with the leaders, as you may know I have talked to all of them in the last two weeks, I am absolutely sure that no-one thinks otherwise.