Europe’s reactive and protective muddling through: the results of a summit in fire-fighting mode | Post-Summit Analysis

19 October 2015
Janis A. Emmanouilidis (Director of Studies)

The EU’s October summit was dominated by one issue; the migration and refugee crisis, with EU leaders intent on putting on a public display of unity after weeks of bitter arguments, and concentrating on fire-fighting and immediate measures to tackle the most pressing reasons for, and impacts of, the crisis. Longer-term measures to address some of the root causes of increased migratory flows, support for the integration of newly arrived refugees or the introduction of new channels of legal migration, were not discussed. The Summit also spent little time on two issues that had originally been expected to be a key part of the agenda: the forthcoming British referendum on EU membership, where irritation with the slow pace of talks and British vagueness about its demands were in evidence; and the governance of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), where EU leaders missed another opportunity for a thorough debate about future perspectives on the basis of the ‘Five Presidents’ Report’.

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