Sunday, February 18   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Is the sexual exploitation of women an issue in your city?




A deal on Britain’s demands postponed to February

In the last EU Council meeting of the year the Member States have been unwilling to address the refugee crisis and the four points Cameron asks in order for the UK to stay in the Union. 

AUTHOR Joëlle Philippe BRUSSELS 22 DECEMBER 2015 21:26 h GMT+1
brussels, european comission, uk, negotiation The European Comission building in Brussels.

The heads of state or government met in Brussels on 17 and 18 December, the last time this year, to discuss the most urgent topics such as migration, energy and the response to terrorism.

There was much expectation about the results of the gathering, especially because the EU Council was also supposed to talk about the letter David Cameron had sent in November to the President of the EU Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, that contained the reform demands for Britain to consider remaining in the European Union.

However, there was no deal on  the UK’s demands. They are going to “work closely together to find mutually satisfactory solutions in the four areas”, informs the press release. The discussions are now postponed to the next EU Council meeting in February 2016 and there is no real roadmap towards this future deal.

“Member states gain time in the UK talks” or “The summit that wasn’t”, the EU observer’s and Politico’s headlines were very explicit. 

Cameron’s 4 points are tough on the European Union and would require some big reforms. Many people in the media think that probably the 27 member states will be open on the fourth point (the immigration of EU to UK) if Cameron makes concessions on the other three points (economic governance, competitiveness and sovereignty).



The other relevant topic, the refugee crisis, was presented as “unprecedented migratory flows”. The word “refugee” does not appear on the press release until the mention of the EU-Turkey Action Plan that was agreed at the end of November. It seems now the problem is only about border security: “Above all, we are failing to protect our external borders”, stated Mr. Tusk.

Measures are being taken to keep the Schengen area safe. The European Commission has been working on proposals for a European Border and Coast Guard and a Schengen Borders Code. The EU Council will examine the propositions in the following six months. The new border agency would have around 1500 guards that would be under the European Commission’s authority, and would not need the consent of the Member States to act.

On refugees, the only progress is the petition to the European Commission to “rapidly review the Dublin system”.

More than 1 Million refugees have arrived to European countries in 2015.



Turkey is still seen as a good ally to counter the “migrant flow”. Mr. Erdogan is to receive a €3 billion deal to improve the refugee camps in Turkey’s territory. In exchange for the country’s efforts, Erdogan’s government demands that the EU start resettling the UN designed refugees and, above all, wants the EU to resume the membership talks.

Ironically, this “ally” is the one who is allowing Daesh to keep going and hence, increasing the number of people fleeing Syria and Iraq. Some experts explain that Daesh is able to sustain itself thanks to the gas they smuggle through the Turkish border and that is sold in the country’s black market. “If Turkey closed its border, DAESH would collapse”, said Pierre Terzian, director of Petrostrategies in an interview for the Belgian newspaper La Libre, but “Erdogan is blackmailing the EU and the US because he reproaches them for arming the Kurds”.



Other topics were discussed but without much decision. Most of the points are to be debated in February or in the following six months, during the Netherlands’ presidency of the EU Council. The urgent points were not so urgent at the end of the day. And although the UK discussion went over Thursday’s dinner, there was no agreement either.

On Friday, at 3pm, the EU Council closed by issuing its press release. It looks like the EU leaders wanted to rush back home. 




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - A deal on Britain’s demands postponed to February
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

A marriage story A marriage story

The  great love story for everyone.

Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.