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The June EU Summit 2017 - End of the Populist Crisis and a Return of/to EU

In his invitation letter for the summer EU summit on 22-23 June, European Council President Donald Tusk (Poland, EPP) pronounces the end of the threat of anti-EU political forces and the return of the EU as a solution and not as a part of the problem. On this occasion, the agenda of the two-day summit is packed. And although it may seem that the European Council is returning to the old boredome of its summits, in fact there are couple of problems the leaders will try to resolve or at least iron out.

The most significant issue on the agenda is related to the big integration step the EU is currently working on - deepening cooperation in the area of defense. The problem on this issue is the establishment of a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which will lay the foundations of a future European army, and how to avoid this turning into a military Schengen of sorts.

Another painful issue is the relocation of two EU agencies - the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority. There are serious disagreements on where these two agencies will be relocated and following what procedure. The aim of the leaders on Thursday and Friday will be to show that they can be united even on issues which divide them, but it is quite possible the disputes on the issue to continue until the early hours of the next day. The slogan of the issue should be 'United in Brexit'.

Brexit itself is also part of the menu. On the first day, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will inform her colleagues over dinner about the outcome of the snap election in the beginning of June and about the upcoming proposal of the British government with respect to ensuring EU and British citizens' rights post-Brexit. The leaders of the remaining 27 will gather separately to discuss the beginning of the negotiations on 19 June. They will be joined by EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The leaders will come up with a common position in defense of the Paris climate agreement; they will complete this year's European semester; will talk about migration with a focus on the Central Mediterranean route; continuation of the sanctions against Russia; internal security and counter-terrorism.

Foreign policy will also be discussed at the summit. President Tusk is expected to brief the leaders about his meetings with US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and about the G7 and EU-China summits.

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