British Prime Minister Theresa May urged negotiations on the future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union on Friday before the Brussels summit of leaders of the EU and the so-called Eastern Partnership countries.
“It is also necessary to move forward to the second phase of the Brexit negotiations,” May said in advance of the meeting, focusing on the question of whether its government is willing to increase the amount of UK financial liabilities remaining to the EU, which, according to experts, is crucial to progress .
He stressed that the United Kingdom will continue to play a leading role in safeguarding Europe’s security and wants to establish a “deep and special” relationship with the EU.
The British Prime Minister said that at the margins of the meeting he would agree with Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council and the Belgian, Danish and Lithuanian Prime Ministers, but stated that the present session was not the focus of Brexit, but how to tackle the The EU and the six common Eastern European countries (Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia).
“We must protect the actions of hostile countries like Russia, which threaten the economic growth of the Eastern Partnership countries,” said May, who, according to press reports, offers 100 million pounds (35 billion forints) for the next five years to counter Russian propaganda against the former Soviet republics.
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, confirmed that May will visit Brussels on 4 December to examine whether they have made enough progress in the negotiations on the British exclusion criteria. At lunch, Juncker and May, along with Michel Barnier, the committee’s Brexit chief negotiator.
At a short press conference, the former Luxembourg Prime Minister stated: he trusts that in December, he will still be able to make good progress on key issues so that he can move on to the next stage of the negotiations.
Juncker added, although it is extremely important neighboring countries, today’s “no enlargement or accession summit”. He also said that “he was not satisfied with all the developments in Ukraine, but most of the measures are in the right direction”. The chairman of the committee could criticize criticism of Ukrainian education reforms criticized by many.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized that the relationship with the Eastern Partnership countries “is very important for our own security”.
The Summit of Heads of State and Government of the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries will discuss the possibilities for further intensification of cooperation between them.
French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, Italian Mariano Rajoy, Italian Paolo Gentiloni and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Belarusian President Alaksandr Lukasenka are not present at the meeting, but the latter was first invited to the meeting.
According to figures from the EU’s statistical office, EU exports to the eastern partner countries amounted to € 28 billion last year, with imports coming from € 26 billion. This represents roughly 1.6% of the EU’s external trade, with the six countries together being the thirteenth major trade partner of the EU.