European Council: Leaders discuss growth, trade and migration

Meeting at the European Council, leaders noted that for the first time in almost a decade, all 28 economies are expected to grow over the next 2 years. They agreed that this good outlook needs to be sustained by continued structural reform efforts and determined action to complete the single market. Leaders also underlined trade policy as one of the most powerful engines for growth, welcoming the positive European Parliament vote on the EU-Canada trade agreement. Speaking at the press conference, President Juncker signalled that good progress is being made on concluding a trade agreement with Japan, saying “We will seize this opportunity to show the entire planet that we remain a continent of free and organised trade.” Leaders also discussed migration, welcoming the Commission’s Action Plan and Recommendation on returns. President Juncker called for renewed efforts in implementing agreed solidarity measures, whilst leaders agreed they would strive to agree on the Asylum policy reforms by June. President Juncker welcomed the re-election of Donald Tusk to serve a second term as European Council President.