On the 16th of September 2016, an informal EU Summit was held in Bratislava with the 27 EU Heads of State, without the presence of the United Kingdom.
The main topics of discussion were the future direction of the EU after the results of the referendum in the United Kingdom, the migration influx as well as combating terrorism."We have to show with our actions that we can get better," stated the German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The EU has to improve "in the domain of security, internal and external security, the fight against terrorism, the cooperation in the field of defense, as well as jobs", she added.
Based on a broad debate in regards to the the key priorities for the coming months, the President of the European Council, the Presidency of the Council and the Commission proposed a work programme (the "Bratislava roadmap").
Among the objectives introduced in the roadmap are:
- Never to allow for the return of uncontrolled refugee flows of the last year and to ensure full control of our external border to get back to Schengen. To continue the co-operation with Turkey and the Western Balkans but also to establish migration compacts with African countries;
- To do everything necessary to support Member States in ensuring internal security and fighting terrorism. Intensification of information-exchange among security services of Member States is an urgent priority;
- To strengthen EU cooperation on external security and defense;
- To create a promising economic future for all, by strengthening the single market and increasing investments
- To safeguard our way of life and to provide better opportunities for the young Europeans.
Concrete reforms that meet the needs of the citizens will be introduced by March 2017, the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty.