EU Council Convenes to Discuss Fight Against Terrorism, Refugee CrisisEU | December 17, 2015, Thursday // 08:05| views
EU Council President Donald Tusk arrives for the start of an EU-Turkey Summit in Brussels, Belgium, 29 November 2015. Photo: EPA
The Heads of State or Government of the EU member states will convene at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
Among the main topics of discussion will be: the fight against terrorism; migration; Economic and Monetary Union; the single market; UK referendum on EU membership.
Following the attacks in Paris on November 13, which claimed the lives of 130 people and left hundreds injured, the EU has stepped up its efforts against terrorism.
The European Council will discuss further measures such as: exchange of information and terrorism financing; control at the external borders; prevention of radicalisation, violent extremism and conditions leading to terrorism; cooperation with third countries in the fight against terrorism.
As regards migration, the European Council will assess the implementation of the measures taken in response to the refugee crisis and will agree further orientations.
Leaders are expected to focus on: the operation of hotspots and the implementation of the relocation decisions and returns; the protection of the EU's external borders; cooperation with countries of origin and transit.
They will also discuss the setting up of a European Border and Coast Guard, which had been proposed by the European Commission earlier this week.
The participants in the summit will also review the presidents' report on the Economic and Monetary Union and will address the completion of the European single market an all its dimensions.
This will include the completion of the energy union with a forward-looking climate policy, the digital single market and the capital markets union.
As regards the referendum proposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the European Council will address some of the remaining political issues before a concrete proposal can be adopted in February.
The summit will conclude by adopting conclusions on Syria, while the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) will discuss the fate of the sanctions against Russia.
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