HomeInsightsEuropean Commission publishes statement concerning Article 50 negotiations with UK

The Commission explains that negotiations on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union will begin as soon as the UK notifies the European Council of its intention to withdraw. Once Article 50 has been triggered, the European Council will adopt a set of guidelines, which will be followed by the adoption of a recommendation by the Commission to open negotiations. The Council will then authorise the opening of negotiations and provide a mandate to the EU negotiator.

Information concerning the process in terms of timeline and governance structure will be made available in due course. The Chief Negotiator for the EU, Michel Barnier, will ensure that this information is regularly updated and that the negotiations are conducted in a transparent manner.

All meetings of the Chief Negotiator are published online, in line with the Commission decision on the publication of information on meetings between Directors-General and organisations or self-employed individuals, and its policy of only meeting representatives that are registered on the Transparency Register.

In addition, the Chief Negotiator and his team (Task Force Article 50 or TF50) have started to engage in bilateral meetings with a variety of stakeholders. At this stage, TF50 is interested in mainly meeting European associations, in order to listen to and gather evidence on the social and economic impact of the UK’s withdrawal on the remaining 27 Member States.

Stakeholder outreach will follow a set of general principles throughout the process of negotiations:

  • the Chief Negotiator and TF50 aim to have an open, transparent and regular dialogue with stakeholders, covering a balanced set of interests in terms of the Member States, economic sectors and civil society;
  • TF50, in accepting face-to-face meetings, will give priority to stakeholders that can add value to our assessment with evidence-backed positions. Currently, TF50 is mainly interested in meeting representative associations and civil society groups that can present the EU-wide impact of the UK withdrawal;
  • TF50 will only meet organisations that are registered in the Transparency Register; and
  • as negotiations unfold, TF50 may indicate specific topics of interest on which it would like to receive facts, figures, analysis and position papers. Given that negotiations have not started there are no such specific topics just yet.

To read the Commission’s statement, click here.