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European Council

Latest news from the Council of the European Union.

Brexit guidelines: no trade talks until progress on divorce
EU president Donald Tusk presented the European Council's draft negotiating guidelines on the upcoming Brexit negotiations Friday, foreseeing difficult, complex and even confrontational talks ahead.

'No winners' as UK formally notifies EU of intention to leave
The British government duly delivered a letter from Prime Minister Theresa May to the European Council Wednesday, notifying it of the United Kingdom's intention to leave the European Union.

Tusk calls summit for 29 April to set Brexit guidelines
EU Council president Donald Tusk, called European Council for 29th April Tuesday, where EU leaders will adopt the guidelines for the Brexit talks, set in motion by triggering of Article 50, expected 29th March.

EU leaders strive for unity as they prepare for Brexit
European leaders left Brussels Friday after a two-day summit ended with a show of unity as they prepare for the EU's 60th birthday celebrations later this month and for a future without Britain.

Tusk re-elected EU president despite Polish objection
European leaders at a summit in Brussels Thursday re-elected Donald Tusk as European Council president, despite angry objection from the eurosceptic right-wing government of his home country Poland.

EU bolsters defence against new forms of terrorism
The EU bolstered its defence against terrorist attacks Tuesday by criminalising acts such as undertaking training or travelling for terrorist purposes, as well as organising or facilitating such travel.

EU defence ministers agree joint military HQ
EU foreign affairs and defence ministers agreed Monday to establish joint military headquarters for the planning and conduct of non-executive military missions initially in Somalia, Central Africa and Mali.

EU agrees position on emissions trading reform
EU environment ministers reached an agreement Tuesday on the revision of the Emission Trading System, opting for more ambitious policy changes than agreed by the European Parliament.

EU tightens screw on corporate tax dodgers
The EU continued its fight to close tax avoidance loopholes Tuesday, as finance ministers agreed their position on rules to close down 'hybrid mismatches' with the tax systems of third countries.

EU-Mongolia Framework agreement - factsheet
The European Union is intent on supporting Mongolia in its continued political and economic reform path, as a valuable partner for the EU in Asia.

Afghanistan and EU sign cooperation deal
The European Union vowed support for the Afghan people Saturday as it signed a Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

U.S. supports a united Europe: Pence
On his first foreign trip since taking office in January, United States vice president Mike Pence said Monday that the U.S. administration's commitment to a united Europe was "steadfast and enduring".

EU leaders united as Trump overshadows summit
EU leaders ended a summit in Malta Friday calling for unity, strength and confidence in facing difficult global challenges including the behaviour of the new U.S. administration.

Migration and future of the EU on summit agenda
EU leaders meet for an informal summit in Malta Friday, with two items on their agenda: how to stem the flow of migrants, particularly from Libya, and to get down to mapping a future for Europe after Brexit.

Trump threatens EU's future: Tusk
As EU leaders prepare to meet at a summit on Friday, Council president Donald Tusk listed the Trump administration alongside Islamic extremism as a major threat to the existence of the European Union.

New EU presidency sticks to tough line on Brexit
Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat, speaking at the European Parliament Wednesday, promised a fair deal for the United Kingdom, but a deal that would necessarily be inferior to EU membership.

Malta's unique role in pivotal year for the EU
European Union leaders visited Malta Wednesday to mark the launch of the first Maltese EU presidency, as it takes on a pivotal role in Europe's political development during a historic time for the EU.

Malta takes over EU presidency for the first time
The small island of Malta took over the EU presidency on 1 January, facing the challenges of Brexit and important elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

EU reaffirms strong support for Ukraine
The EU reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity Monday, reiterating its refusal to recognise the "illegal annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol" by the Russian Federation.

EU formally extends sanctions against Russia
The European Union prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy by a further six months on Monday, continuing its response to the crisis in Ukraine.

EU summit condemns Russia, Iran over Aleppo
The EU summit strongly condemned the continued assault on Aleppo by the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies Thursday, after a symbolic address by the mayor of East Aleppo Mr Brita Haj Hassan.

Member states agree EU fishing quotas for next year
EU fisheries ministers reached agreement Wednesday on 2017 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate.

EU, Cuba sign historic cooperation deal
The EU's foreign policy chief and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla Cuban signalled a normalising of EU-Cuba relations Monday with a first ever signing of a legal cooperation framework.

EU agrees end to geo-blocking barriers to e-commerce
EU ministers agreed Monday to ban barriers to e-commerce known as 'geo-blocking' which prevent online customers from buying products or services from a website based in another Member State.

EU pledges support to Ukraine at summit
EU leaders gave Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko full support at a summit Thursday at which they cemented a deal on visa-free travel and praised the country's reform effort.