“The European Council deliberated on the attached document. It was supported by 27 Members of the European Council, but it did not gather consensus, for reasons unrelated to its substance,” was the line that opens the conclusions adopted by all EU heads of state and government. All, except Poland that instead of its vote, handed the grenade to the reelected European Council president Donald Tusk after pulling the pin.
Poland was the only member state to oppose Tusk’s Thursday election.
“References to the European Council in the attached document should not be read as implying a formal endorsement by the European Council acting as an institution,” was the disclaimer line of the conclusions.
Merkel on the conclusions: “We have made progress”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained to reporters prior to her departure from old European Council Justus Lipsius building, that all but Poland “have decided that this is a presidential statement, supported by 27 member states.” Unlike Merkel, several other leaders managed to escape the press within the Council’s tolerance.
Merkel assessed the progress on security and defence policy positively. “We have and we agreed that it’s important that the EU’s defence policy should be complementary to NATO, to strengthen it.”
“We have had a longer discussion on the situation in the Western Balkans. We pointed out that steps have been made,” added Merkel, recognising the difficult situation between the countries.