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10 January 2018 “Bringing the EU forward in 2018,” the 4th Summit of the Southern European Union Countries takes place in Rome

The 4th Summit of Southern European Union Countries attended by the leaders of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain took place in Rome on 10 January.

The Summit Declaration, titled ‘’Bringing the EU forward in 2018’’ builds upon the EU agenda settled last March 2017 in Rome on the anniversary of the Rome Treaty. Security and the management of migration flows are highlighted as main challenges, being of special concern to Southern EU countries.

The Declaration calls for the consolidation of a common European approach in front of these challenges based on shared responsibility and solidarity among the members of the Union, stressing the importance of a Common Migration Policy and urging a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The “Southern Seven” expressed their commitment to prevent irregular flows as well as to address the root causes of mass migration in dialogue and cooperation with the countries of origin and transit, highlighting the importance of reinforcing existing financial instruments, including the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the EU-Turkey facility.

The Declaration did not feature prominently the EU regional dimension as such, no reference is made to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and to the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).