COLLEGE MEETING: Commission discusses priority files ahead of the European Council
Today the College of Commissioners met in Brussels where a number of important issues were discussed in the context of the upcoming European Council.
President Juncker debriefed the College about his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Meseberg yesterday, where he said: “I am very satisfied with the French-German paper, which builds on the Commission’s proposals. Overall, this is an important contribution to European progress in many areas.” (Watch the doorstep with President Juncker in Meseberg on EbS). As a follow-up to the Meseberg meeting, the European Commission has convened an informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues, which will take place this Sunday, 24 June in Brussels. On the College agenda was also the Stability Support Programme for Greece on which discussions were held ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on 21 June, and the conclusion of the Programme in August this year, as well as on the state of play of the proposals on the Economic and Monetary Union ahead of the European Council next week. In this context, today the Commission published a paper on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which forms the basis of the Commission’s contribution to the European Council discussions on the EMU. Tomorrow at 10:30 CET, Commissioner Avramopoulos will present the Commission’s contribution to the European Council with regards to migration, and on Monday 25 June, Commissioner Oettinger will cover the Commission’s contribution to the debate on the EU’s next long-term budget. The Commission’s Chief Negotiator for Article 50 negotiations with the UK, Michel Barnier, also attended the College meeting today to provide an overview of the latest developments in the negotiations ahead of the European Council and following the publication of a joint statement by the European Commission and the United Kingdom, outlining the progress that has been achieved on the terms of the draft Withdrawal Agreement since the negotiation round that took place on 16-19 March 2018. First Vice-President Timmermans debriefed the College on the latest state of play of the rule of law dialogue with Poland, following his visit to Warsaw this week where he had met with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday. While a number of measures have been taken by the Polish authorities in the past months, they are not sufficient to eliminate the clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law, leaving key concerns of the Commission unaddressed. While the dialogue will continue, the next step is the hearing in the General Affairs Council on 26 June where the European Commission will reiterate its position as laid down in the reasoned proposal of December 2017. Watch the read-out of the College meeting by Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici live on EbS. Today the College is also receiving the Prime Minister of France, Edouard Philippe. Following a bilateral meeting between President Juncker and Prime Minister Philippe, a working lunch will take place. A press point by President Juncker and Prime Minister Philippe will take place at 14:30 CET which can be followed live on EbS+.