EU summit: live blog
European leaders will elect a new president of the European Council and discuss migration and the economy.
Live coverage as European leaders meet in Brussels, the last summit before Britain is expected to formally begin divorce negotiations with the EU.
Migration, the economy and food safety are all on the agenda, as is discussion about setting up a European public prosecutor’s office — an agency that would be able to prosecute corruption and fraud involving EU funds.
Leaders will also elect the new president of the European Council, a position currently held by Donald Tusk.
Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know about the agenda.
LUXEMBOURG PM: ‘WE ARE NOT HOSTAGES’ OF POLAND
Poland can’t keep Europe hostage and there will not be another summit to decide on Donald Tusk’s reelection, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told reporters while joining a meeting of the Liberal European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
“No, why should we? There’s a procedure, there’s a rule,” he replied, when asked whether there will be another European Council for Tusk’s reappointment.
He also dismissed a press report suggesting that Warsaw could not sign the final Conclusions. “It would not be the first time Poles say they have problems,” he said, but “Europe is a family at 28, I hope that we are able to look at 28 but we are not hostage of one person,” he said, referring to Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party.
— Jacopo Barigazzi
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 201711:45 AM
GUESS WHO IS NOT HERE
François Fillon the French presidential hopeful for the conservative party Les Républicains is not in the line-up of opposition leaders attending the European People’s Party summit.
— Quentin Ariès
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 201711:25 AM
WELCOME TO THE ‘SPACE EGG’
EU Council ✔ @EUCouncil
Finalising preparations for the first #EUCO in new Europa building. EU leaders to arrive early afternoon! All info: http://europa.eu/!FB66rG
11:43 AM – 9 Mar 2017
12 12 Retweets 23 23 likes
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 201711:18 AM
MERKEL: WE SHOULDN’T ‘DISTANCE OURSELVES FROM TURKEY’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to cool the ongoing tensions between Ankara and Berlin. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Germany of using “Nazi” tactics this week after Turkish politicians were prevented from holding rallies for Turks in Germany in support of his planned constitutional referendum. His comments sparked outrage across Germany’s political spectrum, yet Merkel stressed the importance of maintaining strong ties to Ankara.
“As unacceptable as some things are, it can’t be in our foreign and geopolitical interest to distance ourselves from Turkey,” Merkel told the Bundestag before tonight’s summit in Brussels.
Merkel and her government have faced criticism in some quarters for not taking a tougher line with Turkey as Erdoğan expands his authoritarian rule. A group of MPs was escorted out of the chamber during the debate for wearing T-shirts calling for the release of Deniz Yücel, a German journalist imprisoned in Turkey last month. The display violated Bundestag rules.
— Matthew Karnitschnig
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 201711:01 AM
NEW PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS HEADS OF STATE
Antonio Tajani, the new president of the European Parliament will give his first speech as president to the European Council on Thursday. As custom requires, he will address the heads of state or government and hold a press conference at 5 p.m. in the press room of the Justus Lipsius building.
— Maïa De La Baume
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 201710:54 AM
On the agenda is the election of the president of the European Council, currently Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister and longtime political nemesis of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) leader Jarosław Kaczyński. The Polish government is engaged in a bitter effort to unseat Tusk, despite many EU member countries eager to allow Tusk to continue for another two-and-a-half-year term.
On Tuesday Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski conveyed the formal demand that leaders meet with Saryusz-Wolski, a long-serving Member of the European Parliament, at today’s summit meeting. Malta, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, declined Poland’s request.
According to an article in the Polish press, Poland is considering not signing the European Council Conclusions in an attempt to make Tusk’s election void, though it is unclear if that will happen. Technically, the Council’s Conclusions have to be agreed by consensus and if that doesn’t happen, they become the Presidency’s Conclusions, Malta’s in this case. The Council doesn’t want to speculate on this scenario as the Maltese presidency is looking into it.
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 20179:56 AM
MERKEL ADDRESSES GERMAN PARLIAMENT
BERLIN – Along the lines of a two-speed Europe, a smaller group of the EU-27 will push for the creation of an EU public prosecutor’s office at today’s summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday morning, addressing the German parliament.
“What’s decisive for me when it comes to these questions of different cooperation is that, if we take such steps, they remain an option for all members states [to join.] We must not exclude anyone afterwards,” Merkel said.
— Janosch Delcker
Saim Saeed MARCH 9, 20179:49 AM
WELCOME TO POLITICO’S LIVE BLOG OF THE EU COUNCIL SUMMIT
EU leaders gather in Brussels today to discuss everything from European Council President Donald Tusk’s reelection to the situation in the Western Balkans to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s hobbies.
But the real excitement is the venue. Leaders will meet for the first time in “Europa,” aka the “Space Egg,” the Council’s fancy new headquarters.
Matthew Karnitschnig ✔ @MKarnitschnig
The interior of the EU Council’s new chamber, to be inaugurated tonight, looks like an Ikea trip gone awry. #EUCO https://goo.gl/images/fKc1X1
9:38 AM – 9 Mar 2017
Photo published for Image: A view of the largest meeting room inside the Europa building …
Image: A view of the largest meeting room inside the Europa building …
Found on Google from gettyimages.com
19 19 Retweets 16 16 likes
NB: The assembled hacks will be quarantined, as ever, in the old Justus Lipsius building (aka “Hellhole” next door) famous for the steak frites served in the basement. Here’s everything else you need to know about the summit from PLAYBOOK’s Quentin Ariès.
EUROSCEPTICISM Nations Conflicts Crisis Army Person Economy Youtube
*Youtube — The Eurozone’s Coming Storm . Stratfor pinpoints the political and economic developments that could lead to the collapse of the currency area.
*YOUTUBE — Imperfect Union: The Eurozone in Crisis – Full Episode. After WWI, Europe’s leaders established greater economic ties to help prevent future continental conflict. Now, more than half a century later, the EU faces the biggest financial crisis in its history with future of the eurozone itself is under question.
How did the 2008 global recession contribute to the development of the euro crisis? The health of the euro affects and is affected by the state of the global economy. How can European Union leaders prevent the collapse of the common currency?
*YOUTUBE — The European Debt Crisis Documentary. The European sovereign debt crisis occurred during a period of time in which several European countries faced the collapse of financial institutions, high government debt and rapidly rising bond yield spreads in government securities. The European sovereign debt crisis started in 2008, with the collapse of Iceland’s banking system, and spread to primarily to Greece, Ireland and Portugal during 2009. The debt crisis led to a crisis of confidence for European businesses and economies.