Background brief – European Council meetings of 13 and 14 December 2018


Agenda highlights

The European Council on 13-14 December 2018 will focus on the EU’s long-term budget, single market, migration and external relations. EU27 leaders will also discuss Brexit on Thursday and the euro area on Friday.

At the start of the meeting, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, representing the Austrian presidency, will provide an overview of progress on the implementation of earlier European Council conclusions.

EU budget for 2021-2027

The European Council will have a first substantial exchange of views on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework on the basis of a progress report by the presidency of the Council.

Single market

Following its conclusions of March 2018, and based on the Commission assessment of remaining barriers and options for action to tackle these barriers, the European Council will review the state of play regarding a fully functioning single market.


The European Council will return to the implementation of its comprehensive approach to migration, in accordance with its conclusions of June 2018.

Citizens’ Consultations

EU leaders will assess the outcome of Citizens’ Dialogues and Citizens’ Consultations held in the EU member states. The discussion will be based on the report prepared by the current and incoming presidencies, which identifies a number of concerns and expectations on the part of the citizens in terms of concrete results from the EU.

External relations

The European Council will discuss preparations for the upcoming summit with the League of Arab States on 24-25 February 2019.

In the light of events, the European Council may address other specific foreign policy issues.

Fighting disinformation

EU leaders will also revert to the issue of disinformation, on the basis of the action plan to be presented by the High Representative and the Commission, in cooperation with the member states and in line with its earlier conclusions.


The EU27 leaders will meet on Thursday to discuss Brexit.

“We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario.”

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

Euro Summit

EU leaders will discuss the reform of the Economic and Monetary Union on the basis of a report by the Eurogroup. 

The Euro Summit is expected to take concrete decisions and provide guidance on the way forward on EMU deepening.