Migration, security and defence, and Brexit in focus at European Council

Migration was the main issue discussed when Prime Minister Stefan Löfven met other heads of state and government at the European Council meeting on 28–29 June. EU leaders also discussed trade, including with the United States, Brexit, and security and defence.

Migration

The heads of state and government discussed migration and control of the EU's external borders. The European Council's conclusions encourage the Council to continue working to conclude an agreement on the Common European Asylum System as soon as possible.

"It's no secret that we should have made more progress. We should have decided on a common asylum system at this meeting, but we have a long way to go. That's why the meeting was long. The discussion was tough at times, and there are widely divergent views, but we still reached some decisions. The most important thing is that the process towards a common asylum system continues," said Mr Löfven following the meeting.

The EU will also partner more with African countries, achieve more effective control of the EU's external borders and take measures to counter secondary movements of asylum seekers between Member States.

EU leaders also agreed to explore the concept of regional disembarkation platforms for people saved at sea.

In addition, they agreed to increase funding to Turkey's refugee efforts and to increase funding to Africa. The EU will also allocate more money to ensure swift returns, in part by increasing resources to the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex).

Security and defence

EU leaders and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also discussed enhanced EU security and defence cooperation, and EU-NATO cooperation.

Trade and jobs, growth and competitiveness

Heads of state and government addressed external trade issues and trade relations with countries outside the EU, such as the United States and the Southern Common Market. Growth and competitiveness, and follow-up of the Multiannual Financial Framework were also discussed.

Digital and innovation, and EU's long-term budget

Digital and increased innovation were also on the agenda. The discussion focused on how to promote the links between industry, academia and government agencies to benefit research.

EU leaders also dealt with the timetable for adopting the EU's long-term budget for 2021–2027.

Brexit

On Friday, EU leaders discussed Brexit, the UK's withdrawal from the EU, in an EU 27 format (without the UK). The 27 EU leaders expressed their concern that the UK and the European Commission have not yet reached a border solution for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and requested more clarity on the UK's view regarding the future relationship.

Euro Summit

Mr Löfven also took part in the Euro Summit on Friday, at which participants discussed various solutions for moving forward on the European Monetary Union, including reform of the European Stability Mechanism and the Banking Union.