Remarks by President Donald Tusk on the European Council meetings of 22 June 2017

European Council
  • 22/06/2017
  • 18:10
  • Statements and remarks
  • 408/17
  • Brexit
  • Security & defence
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
  • Environment
22/06/2017
Press contacts

Preben Aamann
European Council President Spokesperson
+32 22815150
+32 476850543

Firstly, leaders discussed terrorism, which is still a major threat. We are fully determined to protect our people. To that end, the European Council agreed to deepen our efforts against foreign terrorist fighters. We want to finalise works on the new border information sharing systems this year. The European Council have also agreed on the need to cooperate closely with the online industry. We are calling on social media companies to do whatever is necessary to prevent the spread of terrorist material on the internet. In practice, this means developing new tools to detect and remove such materials automatically. And, if need be, we are also ready to adopt relevant legislation.

Secondly, leaders agreed on the need to set up permanent European cooperation in defence. It is a historic step, because such cooperation will allow the EU to move towards deeper integration in defence. Our aim is for it to be ambitious and inclusive, so every EU country is invited to join. Within three months, Member States will agree a common list of criteria and commitments, together with concrete capability projects, in order to take this cooperation off the ground.

Later this evening we will take stock of the geopolitical situation around Europe. I will share with the leaders my assessment following recent international meetings, including with Presidents Trump and Erdoğan as well as the G7 and EU-China summits. I will also propose to the leaders that we send a clear signal on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Traditionally, the German Chancellor and the French President will report on the situation in Ukraine, and the latest state of play on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. This should allow us to extend the economic sanctions against Russia for another six months.

Finally, this evening Prime Minister May will inform us on her intentions as regards the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. It must be clear that the European Council is not a forum for the Brexit negotiations, we have our negotiators for this, and so leaders will only take note of these intentions. My goal for tonight is that 27 EU leaders endorse the procedure for choosing new locations for the two UK-based agencies, by which I mean the banking and medicines agencies. Thank you.