December EU summit to last one day only, May not invited for dinner

Theresa May will not attend the dinner, organised by Donald Tusk. [European Council]

The regular end-of-year summit of EU leaders will last only one day and will end with a dinner where Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is not invited, the indicative programme of the meeting showed yesterday (1 December).

Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council who chairs EU summits, invited leaders for a shorter one-day meeting to be held in Brussels on 15 December.

EU summits usually last two days.

As Tusk had promised, the summit will start earlier this time (11.30 instead of 15.00) and will end at 18.30 with a press conference by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Prime Minister of Slovakia, the country holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council.

Leaders of the 27 EU countries will continue their meeting in a working dinner which May will not attend, the programme showed.

Since the Brexit referendum in June, EU leaders have only met once without Britain, on 16 September in Bratislava, in an “informal” format. Although leaders met in the Slovak capital with the intention to discuss the EU’s future after the UK leaves, the impression from the final presser was that they actually discussed Brexit.

Tusk in Bratislava: Maybe the EU will be stronger after Brexit

The Bratislava summit, which ended on Friday (16 September), was supposed to focus on security and border control as well as other consensual issues following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Meetings without the UK prime minister are called “informal” because only the 28 EU member states can formally take decisions on behalf of the EU.

The UK prime minister will still be a full member of the European Council after Article 50 is triggered, setting off formal Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK. But the 27 heads of state and government will then be able to formally meet as 27, to discuss Brexit-related issues only.

For their next summit in spring, leaders are likely to meet for the first time in the New Europa building.

Maltese Presidency unveils photos of Europa building is happy to unveil the Europa building, expected to be opened during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting 1 January 2017. Photographs of the Brussels location for future EU summits were kindly provided by the presidency.


Measure co-financed by the European Union

The content of this page and articles represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Parliament does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Subscribe to our newsletters