EU leaders discuss migration, security and defence in Brussels

At the meeting of the European Council on 22–23 June, EU heads of state and government adopted conclusions on security and defence, and the Paris Agreement on climate change. They also agreed to extend the sanctions against Russia but did not succeed in reaching agreement on the reform of the Common European Asylum System. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven represented Sweden.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven interviewed by media
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven after the European Council on 23 June. Photo: Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU

On the first day of the meeting, EU leaders adopted conclusions on security and defence, and the Paris Agreement. They also discussed foreign policy issues.

They reaffirmed the commitment of the EU to swiftly and fully implement the Paris Agreement and to lead the global transition to clean energy.

They emphasised the EU's enhanced cooperation with international partners that demonstrate solidarity with future generations.

Brexit

Brexit was discussed on Thursday evening. UK Prime Minister Theresa May began by reporting on the situation following the recent parliamentary elections and announced that she would be presenting a proposal next week on the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

"The remaining 27 EU Member States do not want the situation to differ from what it is today," said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

Sanctions against Russia

The heads of state and government held a long discussion on Russia on Friday morning. They agreed to send a political signal to the Council of the European Union that the economic sanctions should be extended for another six months.

Mr Löfven underlined the importance of maintaining sanctions until the Minsk Agreements are implemented.

Migration

Migration was the other major issue on Friday. The EU leaders did not succeed in reaching an agreement on the reform of the Common European Asylum System.

"I am naturally disappointed that we did not manage to reach an agreement, as we had undertaken to do under the Maltese Presidency," says Mr Löfven.