European Parliament Press Kit
for the European Council of 17 and 18 October 2018
This press kit has a selection of European Parliament press releases that show MEPs’ priorities and what they have been pushing for in relation to topics on the summit agenda.
European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, will represent the European Parliament and hold the following meetings on 17 and 18 October:
Wednesday, 17 October
19:00 Participation in EU27 leaders’ meeting with UK Prime Minister, Theresa May
20:00 Press conference on Brexit (European Council press room)
Thursday, 18 October
09:00 Meeting with Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar
09:30 Speech to assembled heads of state or government
10:15 Press conference on European Council topics (European Council press room).
All documents in the press kit, plus additional information, can be found on the European Parliament’s website.
The latest EU public opinion survey, conducted in September 2018, reveals a clear and growing appreciation for EU membership, reaching a record high of 68%. Nearly all results measuring support for the EU showed a significant upturn following the UK referendum in 2016, suggesting growing concern across the continent about the impact that Brexit will have and a growing awareness, due to the difficult negotiations, of the benefits of being a member of the EU.
The European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group issued a statement on Monday, stressing that the Withdrawal Agreement must include a workable, legally operational and all-weather backstop for the Ireland/Northern Ireland border, otherwise MEPs would not be in a position to give their consent.
On security issues and building a Security Union, Parliament secured agreements with EU Ministers on a series of key pieces of legislation to strengthen the EU's capacity to fight terrorism and organised crime. In June, MEPs and Council agreed to strengthen the Schengen Information System, including a new alert system on terrorist threats. In September, EU rules to thwart money laundering and terrorist financing were agreed, with updated EU-wide sanctions and tools to help authorities to stop suspicious financial flows. In October, MEPs reached an agreement with EU Council on measures to speed up the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets across the EU, stressing that currently only an estimated 1.1% of criminal profits are confiscated in the EU.
MEPs again urge EU leaders to work out a solution to the current impasse on migration and asylum. Parliament is ready to start talks to reform existing rules. It adopted its mandate on the reform of the Dublin Regulation, which is the centrepiece of EU asylum policy, already in November 2017, but negotiations on the final form of the text could not start, since member states have not agreed their position.
On EU relations with Asia, Parliament adopted in September a resolution focusing on relations with China and urging EU states to unite against China’s bids to buy up control of strategic infrastructure and insist that it respect human rights. With regards to the upcoming Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM), the EP hosted the 10th Asia-Europe parliamentary meeting in September and adopted their input for the summit.