On the second and final day of the summit on Friday (23 June), EU leaders met ECB President Mario Draghi, who presented the current economic situation. They also discussed migration and Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas outlined the digital ambitions of the incoming Estonian Presidency.
The summit wrapped up by lunchtime, with the leaders steering clear of controversy such as the migration dossier and concentrating instead on the “external aspects” of the challenge. Read our coverage below.
Juncker rejects the idea that UK, not EU, courts would decide on issues affecting citizens’ rights:
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven seems bored at the summit today. He posted a midsommar (Sweden’s summer solstice) message on Facebook shortly after 1pm (while other leaders were getting ready to give press conferences):
“No real midsummer vibe at the council meeting in Brussels. I hope you have more amusing plans for the day. Party on and feel good but take care of each other, and remember, never dive into unknown waters.”
Theresa May has not drawn a big crowd to her press conference… just down the hall from where a packed room of journalists is waiting for Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron:
ECB President Mario Draghi is concerned about wage stagnation in the eurozone. According to officials, he told EU leaders that part of the reason is that trade unions have focused so far on turning temporary jobs into permanent ones.
As wages are not picking up, core inflation remains far from the ECB target. Accordingly, Draghi said the ECB’s expansionary monetary policy will remain as it is but declined to reveal other details.
On a positive note, the central banker said the uncertainty seen in Europe is dispelling, a “major” change compared to what it was witnessed over the last months. “There is a new hope in the EU project”, he told the European Council this morning. And he quoted Larry Summers to say that “confidence is the cheapest stimulus”.