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Security takes centre stage at EU summit

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Security takes centre stage at EU summit

May - Tusk - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - EU leaders in Brussels for a two-day summit Thursday agreed to cement European cooperation in defence, and called on social media companies to prevent the spread of terrorist material on the Internet.

The leaders were in a more positive mood than earlier this year, following elections in France and the United Kingdom, where, as EU president Donald Tusk put it, "anti-EU forces are on the decline", and "the political parties that have built their strength on anti-EU sentiments are beginning to diminish."

While the issue of Brexit was discussed at dinner in the evening, this was only to give British prime minister Theresa May the opportunity to inform the Council of her intentions as regards UK withdrawal from the European Union, not to negotiate.

The 27 EU leaders were also due to endorse the procedure for choosing new locations for Britain's two UK-based agencies - the banking and medicines agencies.

Regarding terrorism, the Council agreed in particular to deepen efforts against foreign terrorist fighters. They also expressed their intention to finalise this year work on a new border information sharing system.

On social media companies, they are looking for close cooperation with the online industry, and are calling on the companies to do 'whatever is necessary' to prevent the spread of terrorist material on the internet. They would be expected to develop new tools to detect and remove such materials automatically. If this does happen, the EU was ready "to adopt relevant legislation".

In a historic move, EU leaders agreed on the need to set up permanent European cooperation in defence. This cooperation would allow the EU to move towards deeper integration in defence.

"Our aim is for it to be ambitious and inclusive, so every EU country is invited to join," said Mr Tusk. Member States will look to agree criteria and commitments within three months, as well as some 'concrete capability projects', in order to take this cooperation off the ground.

On climate change, the leaders strongly reaffirmed the commitment of the EU and its Member States to "swiftly and fully implement the Paris Agreement".

And the leaders are expected to extend sanctions against Russia for another six months.

European Council conclusions on security and defence, 22/06/2017

European Council conclusions on the Paris Agreement on climate change, 22/06/2017

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Posted by LYN WICK at 25 June 2017, 17:02 CET
Security is paramount to all of Europe ,.BREXIT GOOD NEWS TODAY ----DAVID DAVIES WILL WALK AWAY FROM EU WITH NO DEAL -----------100% FAR BETTER TO DO THIS THAN ACCEPT THE WRONG DEAL . A big world out there awaiting UK Trade import and export ,getting excited about the future .