Saturday

21st May 2022

Cameron to set out EU reforms in November

  • Cameron (l) will detail his reform ideas in a letter to Tusk (r). (Photo: Consillium)

UK prime minister David Cameron said on Thursday (15 October) that he will outline the changes he wants to see in the UK's relations with the EU in early November, setting up the next stage of negotiations on his country's membership of the bloc.

"I'll be setting out again the four vital areas, where we need change, laying down what those changes will be at the beginning of November, so we quicken the negotiations in the run-up to the December council," Cameron said on his way into the summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"British renegotiation is going well and the pace will now quicken," he said.

The four areas where he wants to see changes are sovereignty – more say for national parliaments in European affairs –, economic governance – making sure non-eurozone members' interests are protected –, competitiveness in the EU as a whole, and cutting back welfare benefits for migrants and EU citizens.

EU officials and diplomats have been voicing concern that the UK so far has not outlined its detailed list of measures it would like to see negotiated with EU partners.

The president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz summed up those frustrations on Thursday when he said: "It was the UK government who raised the problem of the referendum, and it is up to the Cameron government to make proposals, it is not up to us to make proposals on what possibly the UK government should suggest to us."

Cameron won re-election in May on the promise that he will hold a referendum on the UK's EU membership by the end of 2017.

"This process is well under way and we are making good progress," Cameron insisted on Thursday.

At the meeting of EU leaders, European Council president Donald Tusk summed up the preliminary talks that took place between the UK, the Council and the EU Commission.

Cameron told his colleagues that by early November he will set out in writing what kind of reforms the UK would want to see.

Letter

According to sources familiar with the discussion, no other EU leader commented, the exchange lasted for about five minutes, and there was little said on the substance of the reforms.

Cameron is to detail his reform ideas in a letter to Tusk, who will circulate them among the member states.

There is no decision yet if Cameron's letter, his concrete proposals, will be made public.

They will nonetheless provide a "basis" for talks for the December meeting of EU leaders, an official said on Thursday, adding that the aim is to have a "fuller discussion" then.

Cameron met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande earlier in the day, but they only discussed Syria, and sources said there was no mention of the UK negotiations.

Britain's pro and anti-EU campaigns gear up

A 'Britain Stronger in Europe' campaign will be launched on Monday and will face two pro-Brexit groups, while PM Cameron's key demands are leaked to the press.

Brexit talks must get political, or face delay

Leaders at Thursday's summit will take stock of Brussels-London talks on the in/out referendum, but real negotiations can't start until Britain submits detailed wish list of EU reforms.

EU commission sets up Brexit unit

The commission has appointed a special team for relations with the UK in the run-up to its in/out referendum.

Cameron defeated on EU referendum bill

Eurosceptic Tories and Labour MPs voted against changing campaign rules to allow ministers and civil servants to express views ahead of EU referendum.

UK demands treaty guarantees on eurozone relations

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said that treaty change will be necessary to accommodate British demands on relations with the eurozone, ahead of the EU membership referendum.

Agenda

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Podcast

Ultraconservatives in Putin's shadow

Vladimir Putin's Ukraine war has threatened to be a public relations disaster for hard-right gatherings like the Conservative Political Action Conference — now meeting in Budapest and featuring Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, who remains highly-cordial with the Kremlin.

News in Brief

  1. UK to send 'hundreds' of migrants to Rwanda each year
  2. Norwegian knife attacks were domestic dispute
  3. Sweden hits back at Turkey's 'disinformation' in Nato bid
  4. Germany's Schröder gives up one of two Russia jobs
  5. G7 countries pledge €18bn in financial aid for Ukraine
  6. Italian unions strike in protest over military aid for Ukraine
  7. Russia cuts gas supply to Finland
  8. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. What Europe still needs to do to save its bees
  2. Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state
  3. Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK
  4. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  5. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  6. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'
  7. More EU teams needed to prosecute Ukraine war crimes
  8. French EU presidency struggling on asylum reforms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us