Post-Summit Briefing

24 October 2016

EU leaders gathered on 20-21 October for a meeting of the European Council to discuss three main issues: migration, trade and external relations. With respect to migration, the EU Summit focused on the protection of the Union’s external borders, tackling migratory flows along the Central Mediterranean route through Italy, and maintaining and tightening control of the Eastern Mediterranean route. Regarding trade, and in the light of the increasing uncertainties and criticism regarding the TTIP and CETA agreements, EU leaders tried to reiterate the Union’s commitment to a trade policy that will benefit from open markets while taking into account citizens’ concerns, assessed the state of play of ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with key partners, and discussed the modernisation of Trade Defence Instruments aiming to tackle unfair trade practices. Last but not least, the European Council held a policy debate on relations with Russia with some EU governments (led by Berlin), asking for a toughening of sanctions against Moscow following the latest tragic developments in Syria.

This Post-Summit Briefing analysed the outcome of the Summit and considered the challenges ahead, as well as potential next steps. EPC Director of Studies Janis A. Emmanouilidis made a short introductory presentation on the results of the Summit and then took part in a question and answer session moderated by Fabian Zuleeg, EPC Chief Executive.