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Acting President of the Government attends European Council meeting

Pedro Sánchez welcomes agreement reached United Kingdom to guarantee rights of all European citizens

Brussels (Belgium), Thursday 17 October 2019

At the extraordinary European Council meeting, the 27 Member States approved the technical agreement reached on Thursday morning between negotiators from the United Kingdom and the European Union based on the Withdrawal Agreement (Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol) and the Political Declaration approved in November 2018.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, said that the agreement respects the essential priorities of the European Union: to preserve the Good Friday agreements that brought an end to the armed conflict in Ulster and to guarantee the integrity of the internal market. Pedro Sánchez also wished to stress that the agreement guarantees the rights of European citizens, whether British or from anywhere else in the EU, "who have made life choices based on the decades-old acquis communautaire" [EU body of law] and that it also guarantees compliance with British obligations under the current EU financial framework.

Regarding the matter of Gibraltar, it has been confirmed that the future relationship between Gibraltar and the European Union will be decided on the basis of bilateral negotiations between Spain and the United Kingdom.

Finally, Pedro Sánchez congratulated the European Commission and its President, Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as its Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, for the work carried out over the last two years and expressed his satisfaction at the unity maintained by the EU-27 during the course of the negotiations.

Bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Greece and Finland

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoFollowing the Article 50 meeting, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, attended two bilateral meetings. He first met with the new Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with whom he spoke about fostering cooperation between Mediterranean countries on issues such as migration and exchanged points of view regarding FRONTEX. They also spoke about the investment opportunities opening up in Greece for Spanish companies in this new period.

He then met with the Prime Minister of Finland and Rotating President of the European Union, Antti Rinne, to talk about the multi-annual financial framework that will be discussed at the work session of the European Council on Friday. Pedro Sánchez explained the priorities for the Government of Spain in the EU budget: maintaining traditional policies such as the CAP and cohesion policies, together with sufficient funding to cover new needs in the European Union, such as migration and the ecological transition.

Non official translation