Monday

24th Jul 2017

EU's big three thrash out post-Brexit vision

  • Merkel will meet Renzi (l) and Hollande to discuss post-Brexit EU. (Photo: Consillium)

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy will meet on Monday (22 August) to discuss how to mend the European project after Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

The meeting comes three weeks before a crunch informal summit of the 27 EU leaders, the first without the UK, in Bratislava on 16 September.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Monday's talks will be the second round between Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, French president Francois Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel, who met shortly after the 23 June British referendum.

They envisaged attempting to bolster security cooperation, economic growth and programmes for young Europeans.

While the three big are trying to pinpoint policies for stronger cooperation, they may face resistance from Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – the so-called Visegrad Four - who aim to propose an alternative plan for less Europe .

On Monday, rising eurosceptcism, the migrant crisis, a stagnant EU economy, and Islamist attacks in Europe, and relations with Turkey and Russia will also be on the table for the three leaders.

They will hold a working dinner and press conference on Italy's Garibaldi aircraft carrier, the flagship of the EU's Sophia mission, which is fighting human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea.

Italy's defence and foreign affairs ministers have proposed creating "a Schengen-like defence agreement to respond to terrorism", with a "multinational force" under a single command for specific missions, according to AFP. But France and Germany are at odds on how such a force should be financed.

In fact, the economy could be an issue where the three disagree: Hollande wants to double the funds available for the Juncker Plan, a programme designed to stimulate €315 billion of investment in the bloc. But Merkel is cautious with any investment that could loosen fiscal policy only a few years after the euro crisis.

Merkel will kick start a whirlwind of diplomatic efforts on Monday, with a series of further talks this week with the leaders of 13 other member states.

Italy’s role

The location of Monday’s summit is symbolic: it takes place on the island of Ventotene off Naples, where detained anti-fascist Altiero Spinelli began co-writing the "Ventotene Manifesto" in 1941, which called for a federation of European states to counter the nationalism that had led Europe to war.

Renzi has called Ventotene the "cradle of Europe". The Italian PM is keen to bolster his country’s role in the EU and also seeks help to cope with its record debt and the migrant crisis.

Renzi is also struggling with political uncertainty - he has staked his premiership on a constitutional reform, which would be voted on in a referendum in October or November.

The reforms include reducing the power of the Senate and giving the central government more control of some policy areas now overseen by the regions. If the referendum fails, Renzi could resign, a move that could prompt political chaos and strengthen the eurosceptic Five Star Movement.

Analysis

EU must protect its citizens

If the EU wants to reach out to disillusioned Europeans, it must offer more protection from the forces currently buffeting the political, social and economic landscape.

Tusk and Merkel discuss post-Brexit EU

EU Council president Tusk will meet chancellor Merkel at a castle retreat in Germany on Thursday as part of preparations for the Brexit summit in Bratislava.

Orban vows to defend Poland from EU's 'inquisition'

The Hungarian leader called EU Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans an "inquisitor", allied with George Soros and the Brussels elite, and argued for the EU executive to stop being a political body.

Poland 'leaving EU community of values'

Leading MEPs and legal watchdogs have raised the alarm on Polish judicial reforms, but the European Commission declined to speak out so far.

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

News in Brief

  1. Wallonia's Magnette leaves national politics
  2. Polish president vetoes justice reforms
  3. Turkey arrests protesters, as journalists go to trial
  4. Poll: Only 24% of Germans want 'strong leader'
  5. US envoy: 'hot war' not frozen conflict in Ukraine
  6. BMW denies Dieselgate cartel allegations
  7. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  8. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School