Brussels – At the today’s meeting of the European Council, the heads of governments of the European Union examined The Annual Growth Survey published by the European Commission and with this, launched another period of economic reforms (known as the European Semester process).
The analysis of the Commission presented the priorities in the economic and social fields for the next year. The meeting of the Council that closed today, introduced a new period for coordinating the economic policy, which seeks to ensure that Member States will align their budget and economic reform programs with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The heads of state and government confirmed that the economic policy of the European Union must focus on achieving economic growth and fostering the creation of jobs also in 2013.
In March next year, the Council will approve the guidelines for implementing economic reforms at the level of Member States drawn up based on the Commission’s growth survey.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that the priorities presented in the growth survey are relevant. He also acknowledged the first report of the Commission on the situation on the single market, which forms a part of the economic growth survey.
”We welcome the fact that the functioning of the single market is also addressed within the European Semester,” said Ansip. “The development of the single market will greatly contribute to the economic growth and employment. The relevant legal acts have to be adopted as soon as possible.”
In addition, the heads of state and government called on the Council to agree on the measures that will increase the employment of young people.
Another issue discussed at the last summit in this year was the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy. Heads of state and government called on the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to work on new proposals for strengthening its security policy.
The leaders of the European Union decided to organize a broader discussion on the Common Foreign and Security Policy at the Council meeting, which will be held in a year. The last discussion of this depth took place in 2005. The discussion on the strengthening of the defense policy will be held in the Council in the second half of 2013.
The Council meeting also authorized the Foreign Affairs Council to investigate the possibilities for supporting and assisting the opposition in Syria and for providing better protection to civilians. The leaders of the European Union stressed that they envisage the future of Syria without President Assad and his regime.
The materials of the Council of Europe are available at: http://www.european-council.europa.eu/council-meetings.aspx?lang=et