European Council to elect its President

Agenda highlights

The EU leaders will look at a number of the most pressing issues, including economy, security, migration and the situation in Western Balkans.

Election of the President

At the beginning of the meeting, the European Council is expected to elect its President for the period from 1 June 2017 to 30 November 2019. Prime Minister Muscat, representing the Maltese presidency, will be chairing this part of the working session.


The spring European Council will traditionally focus on jobs, growth and competitiveness. Leaders will discuss the economic situation in Europe, trade policy, progress made on files related to the single market strategy, as well as the first phase of the 2017 European Semester.

“The overall outlook in terms of growth, employment and public finances is getting better. And we need to use this momentum to make the economies stronger while spreading the benefits of growth more widely and fairly among citizens. The deepening of the Single Market and a robust trade policy are two avenues to help us achieve those goals.”

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council in the invitation letter


On migration leaders will review what has been done to implement decisions taken at the informal summit in Malta on 3 February concerning the Central Mediterranean route. Prime Minister Muscat is expected to report to his colleagues on progress made in the Council on decisions taken by the European Council and in particular the Malta declaration on the external aspects of migration.

Security and defence

The heads of state or government will assess the implementation of its December 2016 conclusions on external security and defence. Leaders are also expected to welcome the progress made so far as outlined in Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on 6 March.

Looking at ongoing legislative work, the leaders are also expected to discuss internal security and the fight against terrorism.

External relations

The leaders will also discuss the situation in the Western Balkans. “The EU will remain engaged in the Western Balkans and stand by its commitments,” declared President Tusk in the invitation letter.

European Public Prosecutor’s Office

The leaders will also briefly address the possible establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Informal meeting

On Friday 10 March there will be an informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government of the EU to prepare for the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties.