​3rd Southern European Union Countries Summit

President's News - 2017.4.8

The Madrid Summit is the continuation of the Athens Summit held on 9 September and the more recent Lisbon Summit on 28 January.

This summit will offer the participating Heads of State or Government a new opportunity to send out a message of unity and commitment to the European integration project at a decisive time in its history. In this regard, the Madrid Summit will take place just a few days after the Rome Summit (25 March) and of the notification by the United Kingdom of its intention to pull out of the European Union (29 March), and prior to the extraordinary European Council (29 April) which is due to establish the guidelines for the agreement on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU.

The Rome Declaration, approved by all of the countries of the European Union on 25 March, at the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, establishes a series of priorities and lines of action. Now is the time to implement the commitments made in Rome and continue making progress on the European project. The European Union is the most successful exercise in integration ever, having consolidated a region of peace, security and economic well-being. In regard to the future, the Government of Spain considers that Europe must continue working to tackle the issues that most concern European citizens and consolidate the integration process. At an economic level, the main goal is to ensure that the common market and the Euro operate well and that the benefits therefrom reach down to all EU citizens.

In light of these milestones, the Madrid Summit will address two main themes: the future of the European Union and Brexit. At the Madrid Summit, the leaders of the southern countries will tackle the challenge facing the European Union in relation to the process of the United Kingdom's withdrawal, with the aim of reaching a fair and balanced exit agreement that lays the foundations for a mutually beneficial future relationship.

A Joint Declaration is due to be made as a result of the summit, which will foreseeably refer, in addition to the aforesaid general debate on the future of the EU and Brexit, to other important issues on the political agenda of the European Union that will be addressed at the summit, such as immigration, the fight against terrorism, economic and social policies, the Common Security and Defence Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean.

The specific geographic position of the participating States, by virtue of which they share common geo-political interests and challenges, places them in a good position to contribute added value to the debates currently under way on these issues.