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The Brief: Medieval city plays host to post-Brexit summit...before Brexit

The Brief: Medieval city plays host to post-Brexit summit...before Brexit
By Euronews
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It's a small medieval town in Romania, it's also where EU leaders are converging to chart the bloc's future course, without the UK.


A tiny medieval town in Romania provides the backdrop for EU leaders deciding the future direction for Europe. The location of Sibiu is no accident - it's home to the Romania's largest German community.

"This city symbolises our unity, our diversity including linguistic diversity, and shows that Europe is not only constructed in capitals, nor in Brussels, especially not in Brussels in fact - but also in cities and regions," Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters ahead of the summit.

Noble words, but this was supposed to be the summit to re-launch the EU, post-Brexit. The UK was meant to leave on March 29th but it's now delayed until October the 31st.

"Brexit means Brexit (it) did not happen yet but we need to talk about our future, and our positive agenda is more urgent than ever," Juncker quipped.

The Citadel of Sibiu was, in the Middle Ages, one of the most heavily fortified in Europe.

Arguments on the EU's stance on migration and accusations of fortress Europe remain a vote swinging issue in upcoming EU elections.

While Romania might be hosting the leaders, it's also on the brink of following Poland and Hungary down the road of a major Rule of Law standoff with Brussels.

The EU is worried changes to Romania's judicial system could see corruption go unpunished.

"It's sort of a little interesting that the EU is trying to decide its future while be hosted by a very shadowy government that I would argue represents the past in Europe and especially the past in Romania," explains Pieter Cleppe - Head of Brussels Office for Open Europe.

Eight EU countries are also set to push in Sibiu for a commitment to spending 25 per cent of the EU's budget on fighting against climate change going forward.

There's also scope for EU leaders to discuss changes to how the EU institutions are run.

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