Joint statement and Remarks
We have negotiated with our Turkish partner 72 conditions, benchmarks. This was a negotiation by two parties, not only benchmarks having been imposed by the European Union. Five out of these 72 were missing, two have been achieved in the last days. As far as the benchmark concerning the anti-terror legislation, we do expect that Turkey will stick to its commitments. And threats are not the best diplomatic instrument you can use - so one should stop to use them, because they will produce no effect whatsoever.
Joint statement on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement/Free Trade Agreement
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, made the following joint statement in the margins of the G7 Summit in Ise-Shima:
“We, the Leaders of Japan, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, in the margins of the G7 Summit in Ise-Shima welcome the view shared by the leaders of Japan and the European Union on the occasion of their meeting on 3 May 2016 to instruct their respective negotiators to accelerate the negotiations on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)/Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and reaffirm our strong commitment to reach agreement in principle as early as possible in 2016.
We commend the work of our negotiators over the last 3 years, and for the substantial progress already made. With our full backing, the negotiators are entrusted to make the efforts necessary in the coming months to move forward with the negotiations, paving the way for reaching agreement encompassing all key issues including all types of tariffs and non-tariff measures, in line with the timeline committed above in a constructive manner, based on mutual trust, toward a comprehensive, high-level and balanced agreement which further consolidates our solid trade and economic partnership.
Recognizing the strategic importance of the Japan-EU EPA/FTA, we remain committed to creating a free, fair and open international trade and economic system, which will promote stronger, sustainable and balanced growth and contribute to the creation of more jobs and economic opportunity in Japan and the European Union and to the increase of our international competitiveness.”
Remarks by President Donald Tusk before the G7 summit in Ise-Shima, Japan
Allow me to start with a short historical remark. Being here in Japan at the summit of the G7 nations who share common values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law, one should never forget that this cooperation is the result of lessons learnt from a dark history. 71 years ago we were still at war with one another, at war that cost tens of millions of lives around the world. And today we commit ourselves to building a safer world for all.
The G7 is the strongest defender of a rule-based international order not because we want to protect the wealthy. But because the rules are there in the first place to protect the weak, while in a world without rules it is the strongest and the most brutal who are winning. This simple truth needs to be remembered, especially today, when the respect for a global rule-based order is put into question. The example of the G7 countries, our ability to compete but also to cooperate and to take into account not only our own interests, should inspire others.
Let me now turn to the migration and refugee crisis. We are aware that it is because of geography that the most responsibility is and will continue to be placed on Europe. However, we would also like the global community to show solidarity and recognise the fact that this is a global crisis. Therefore, we will seek the support of our G7 partners in three dimensions.
First, to commit to increasing global assistance so that immediate and long term needs of refugees and host communities are met. The international community should acknowledge that when Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan assist refugees, they are in fact providing a global public good. And this public good must be financed by the global community.
Second, that the G7 encourages international financial institutions and other donors to raise their assistance. In this regard the EU funds for Syria, Africa and Turkey, along with the work of the European Investment Bank serve as a role model for all of us.
Third, that the G7 encourages the establishment of resettlement schemes and other legal forms of migration all around the world. As you know Europe is doing a lot and we are happy to share our experiences. But the world has been confronted with the highest number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons since the Second World War. This is why more action is needed to make legal channels of migration possible. Those who criticise us should rather think how to increase their assistance because what Europe provides is already massive.
In all the above mentioned three dimensions we need the leadership of G7. And honestly speaking if we do not take the lead in managing this crisis nobody else will. I will appeal to G7 leaders to take up this challenge.
Two years ago, the G7 demonstrated unity with Europe when the conflict in Ukraine erupted. And we remain united during this conflict. The European Union, as the entire G7, continues to believe that this crisis can only be resolved in full compliance with the international law, especially the legal obligation to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. I want to state clearly that our stance vis-à-vis Russia, including economic sanctions, will remain unchanged as long as the Minsk agreements are not fully implemented. Unfortunately, there is much less progress on the implementation of Minsk than we had hoped for one year ago in Elmau.
Speaking of the international rule-based order, I would like to underline that it needs to be respected not only in Ukraine but in all parts of the world, and not only on land but also at sea. The policy of the G7 is clear: any maritime or territorial claim should be based on the international law and any possible dispute should be resolved by peaceful means. Unilateral actions and the use of force or coercion will not be accepted.
Finally, let me turn to the situation in Europe. I am happy to say that the Eurogroup agreement sends a strong message of stability for Greece, for the Eurozone but also for the global economy. Here I would like to thank the Greek people, and especially Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for their determination to end this crisis by reforming the country. The Greek tragedy will not be restaged.
At the G7 summit we will be discussing the British in/out referendum and its consequences. You know that I am hoping for a positive outcome and I can assure you that all of the G7 leaders meeting here have the same view.
Before I finish let me make the last point. The test of our credibility as the G7 is our ability to defend the common values that we share. This test will only be passed if we take a clear and tough stance on every topic of our discussions here in Ise-Shima. I refer in particular to the issue of maritime security at the South and East China Seas, Russia/Ukraine issue and free and fair trade. If we are to defend our common values, it is not enough these days to only believe in them. We also have to be ready to protect them. The real challenge is even greater because these values are not only questioned by states who undermine the international rule-based order, but also by opponents from within our own countries. Our internal opponents will also judge our ability to defend these values. That is why we need to be really tough.
President Jean-Claude Juncker’s remarks at the joint press briefing with European Council President Tusk ahead of the G7 Summit
Brussels, 26 May 2016 – I would like to comment briefly on the general economic situation. The EU’s recovery continues despite a more difficult global environment. In 2015, the European growth reached 2%, in the euro area 1.7%. These figures are confirming that the recovery is on solid ground and well on track. The GDP level of the euro area has now surpassed the pre-crisis high records in 2008. Unemployment continues to fall. There are 5 million more jobs in 2016 by comparison to 2013, even if the weight of unemployment is still too high. Investment is picking up in the euro area and in the European Union as a whole.
We are sticking to the strategy we developed in the recent year. That means that we are building a virtuous triangle of investment, structural reforms and fiscal responsibilities. And we are deepening our greatest asset – that is the Single Market – by launching new initiatives in the field of energy, digital services and capital markets.
The European Investment Plan is on track: in less than one year, the European Fund for Strategic Investments has triggered more than EUR 100 billion in new investments. That means we have reached a third of our target of EUR 315 billion. The Plan is producing effects in terms of employment, in terms of added elements to growth-sustaining measures; and we have the intention, as the Commission, to propose the extension of the strategic Investment Plan beyond 2018.
On Greece, we are happy that the Eurogroup was able to find an agreement both amongst the 19 and with the IMF. You can remember that last year, when we were meeting in Elmau, this was the most dramatic issue on the agenda. It has been solved because even the debt-related measures have started to be taken seriously under meditation.
On trade, which will be one of the main issues of today’s agenda: we will repeat to our colleagues at the G7 that we believe that solutions should be found at a multilateral level. So we will continue to push for trade agreements which will help boost growth and jobs. We want to shape global trade, through plurilateral, regional and bilateral deals.
Our negotiations with Canada have been completed and we do hope that we will be able to sign the agreement with Prime Minister Trudeau at our bilateral summit in October later this year.
On TTIP – we are currently negotiating with the US. The EU is ready, willing and able to conclude an ambitious, balanced and high-standard TTIP agreement with President Obama’s administration. But for all these negotiations, substance is by far more important than deadlines and the European Union will not lower the standards we are used to.
The EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement is on a good track, but now we have to finish the job. And we will meet with the Japanese Prime Minister here in Japan in order to speed up the negotiations, which are under way.
Our economic ties with China will play a major role during these two days in Japan. The EU is China’s largest trading partner and we have a strong interest in further developing our relationship. In order to be mutually beneficial, this relationship must be based on open competitive markets and the principle of non-discrimination and fair competition.
The global overcapacity in the steel sector is of great concern to Europeans. It has cost Europe thousands of jobs since 2008; and the overcapacity in China alone has been estimated at almost the double of the European annual production. So we will make it clear that we will step up our trade defence measures. This effort has started – and as far as the market economy status for China is concerned, we will discuss this in detail. The European Union has launched an in-depth impact assessment, and when this impact assessment will be finished, we can deliver in the best way possible. But everyone has to know that if somebody distorts the market, Europe cannot be defenceless.
And as Donald said, Britain will remain as a member of the European Union.
Questions and Answers
Q1 On migration, in terms of concrete commitments. What are you hoping for in terms of funding, maybe a doubling of what the EU has put on the table. Is there any way you can put a figure on what you hope for? And also how hopeful are you that wording on resettlement will be in the final Communiqué?
President Juncker: The Commission has made proposals three or four weeks ago. We do think that the Dublin system as we have known it for the past has come to an end when it comes to deploying virtuous effects. We have made proposals as a Commission, it is now up to the Council and to the Parliament to follow the Commission in its wisdom.
Q2 Mister Juncker, you were the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, a major steel producer for nearly twenty years. What advice would you give to Mister Cameron as he battles to save the UK’s steel industry?
President Juncker: I do think that we have a general problem in Europe when it comes to the Chinese over-capacity. This is effecting all our countries – we have 22 steel producing countries in the European Union. And all the countries having steel industries on their territories have the right to defend their industry.
Q3 Regarding the EU-Turkey deal, there has been very strong rhetoric by President Erdoğan in the last days, criticising Europe for making up new benchmarks. How realistic is this deal nowadays, how hopeful are you that this will really happen? And do you hope for concrete figures on resettlement by the G7 countries? Are you hoping for concrete financial help for the migration crisis?
President Juncker: As far as the deal with Turkey is concerned, I am very confident that this deal will produce effects. It is already producing effects. We have negotiated with our Turkish partner 72 conditions, benchmarks. This was a negotiation by two parties, not only benchmarks having been imposed by the European Union. Five out of these 72 were missing, two have been achieved in the last days. As far as the benchmark concerning the anti-terror legislation, we do expect that Turkey will stick to its commitments. And threats are not the best diplomatic instrument you can use - so one should stop to use them, because they will produce no effect whatsoever.
Q4 Mister President, what would you advise to Boris Johnson – should we stay in the EU?
President Juncker: The general atmosphere of our talks would be better if Britain is staying in the European Union. I am reading in British papers that Boris Johnson spent part of his life in Brussels. It is time for him to come back to Brussels, in order to check in Brussels if everything he is telling the British people is in line with reality – I do not think so. So, he would be welcome in Brussels at any time.