EU and non-EU EPP leaders met today in Brussels ahead of the European Council. The future of Europe, Brexit, migration and the Western Balkans topped the agenda. After the meeting, Joseph Daul, the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), made the following statement:

“In recent years, the European Union has faced multiple challenges, but our unity and perseverance have brought results. As pro-European political forces have experienced a number of victories lately, we must seize this momentum to prepare the Europe of tomorrow.

With negotiations on Brexit having started this past week, it is important that the 27 Member States continue to speak with one voice. Our priorities remain the protection of EU citizens’ rights, the UK’s financial obligations and the question of the Irish border. We owe clarity and transparency to the citizens of the 27 EU countries as well as to British citizens.

On migration, our efforts to tackle the crisis are bearing fruit. But we cannot rest on our laurels. We must ensure that the EU’s external borders are secured, and we must prevent illegal migration by granting assistance and protection in countries of origin and transit. At the same time, we can never forget that it is our duty to help the people who flee wars or are persecuted,” said EPP President Joseph Daul.

The future of the Western Balkans was also discussed by EPP leaders during the Summit.

“The well-being of the Western Balkans is a priority for the EPP. Peace and prosperity in the Western Balkans is mutually beneficial; that’s why we must create opportunities and a better future for the people in the region, especially for the younger generation. But the countries in the region must also carry on with their efforts to implement the rule of law, fighting against corruption and reforming the judiciary; this is the precondition for economic development.”