Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 21-22 March 2019

25-03-2019

Discussions at the March 2019 European Council meeting focussed on agreeing on a both legally and politically workable response to the request of the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, that Brexit be delayed until 30 June 2019. The European Council (Article 50) agreed to extend the Article 50 period until 22 May 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March. If not approved, the extension would end on 12 April, with the UK required to indicate a way forward. The EU-27 also formally approved the texts agreed by the UK and the European Commission on 11 March, which add further clarification to the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration, in particular regarding the ‘Irish backstop’. On Friday 22, the European Council discussed jobs, growth and competitiveness, climate, external relations and fighting disinformation. As part of these discussions, EU leaders endorsed the Annual Growth Survey, decided to strengthen the EU’s economic base and called for a more assertive industrial policy. They reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreement and called on the Council to intensify its work on a long-term climate strategy. Regarding external relations, EU Heads of State or Government prepared the forthcoming EU-China summit, reiterated their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and expressed the EU’s readiness to provide humanitarian relief assistance to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The European Council also marked the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area, together with the Prime Ministers of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Finally, it also appointed Philip Lane as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.

Discussions at the March 2019 European Council meeting focussed on agreeing on a both legally and politically workable response to the request of the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, that Brexit be delayed until 30 June 2019. The European Council (Article 50) agreed to extend the Article 50 period until 22 May 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March. If not approved, the extension would end on 12 April, with the UK required to indicate a way forward. The EU-27 also formally approved the texts agreed by the UK and the European Commission on 11 March, which add further clarification to the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration, in particular regarding the ‘Irish backstop’. On Friday 22, the European Council discussed jobs, growth and competitiveness, climate, external relations and fighting disinformation. As part of these discussions, EU leaders endorsed the Annual Growth Survey, decided to strengthen the EU’s economic base and called for a more assertive industrial policy. They reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreement and called on the Council to intensify its work on a long-term climate strategy. Regarding external relations, EU Heads of State or Government prepared the forthcoming EU-China summit, reiterated their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and expressed the EU’s readiness to provide humanitarian relief assistance to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The European Council also marked the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area, together with the Prime Ministers of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Finally, it also appointed Philip Lane as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.