The EU leaders decided yesterday (29 June) that the first summit on the future of the European Union following Brexit would take place in Bratislava on 16 September. The gathering will initiate discussions on the future of the EU following Brexit under the Slovak Presidency. The September meeting will be informal because the UK has not yet even triggered Article 50 to officially open the process of leaving the EU. However, UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, has not been invited to the meeting.
The summit is going to deal with reform plans that are needed to transform Europe in the times when nationalism prevails over common European approach. As such, the meeting will not really be about Brexit but rather about the reforms that need to be carried out. During yesterday’s meeting, EU leaders mentioned the topic but did not provide any further details. “This was a first exchange so it is too early to draw conclusions. This is why we started a political reflection with 27 states and we’ll meet on 16 September in Bratislava to continue our talks,” Council President Donald Tusk commented.
The September meeting will take place days after the UK will have chosen a successor to David Cameron who said he would stepped down following the failure of the referendum. President of the European Council, Donald Tusk said that negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU cannot begin until London triggers Article 50. The leaders said that in case the article is not triggered by 16 September, the EU might eventually apply punitive measures toward London for causing crisis in the EU. Mr Tusk, however, added that yesterday’s meeting was a “calm and serious” discussion but also a “serious moment in our common history” as these were the first EU talks without a UK leader in 40 years. He also emphasized that “one issue is clear from our debate. Leaders are absolutely determined to remain united”.