Friday, December 14, Brussels - The heads of state and government of the EU member states, attending the meeting in Brussels, discussed the economic growth forecast for 2013 setting out measures to reduce economic stagnation and dramatic post-crisis rise in unemployment. The European leaders also debated the Common Security and Defence Policy guidelines.
The European Council urged all member states next year to focus on five elements enabling economic growth: responsible financial policy, providing business with more favourable borrowing conditions, promoting competitiveness, effective resolution of unemployment problems, and upgrading of public administration.
"Lithuania's economy is recovering, yet the effects of financial crisis and economic stagnation within the Community as well as financial difficulties in the euro zone will impede a more rapid economic growth. Therefore Lithuania, like the whole Europe, next year needs to continue dealing responsibly with its finances, facilitate the development of competitive business, and guarantee employment for people. This is the only way to ensure long-term stability," the President said.
Over recent years, the number of unemployed in the EU rose by two million. Youth unemployment is a major problem. In some member states, more than 50 percent of young people are jobless. In Lithuania - every fourth young person is out of work. Therefore, the EU member states are urged to develop promptly effective occupation programmes, with particular focus on job creation.
The European Council meeting also debated the Common Security and Defence Policy guidelines. Lithuania proposes to pay special attention to new emerging cyber and energy threats. More effective cooperation across the EU, pooling of defence capabilities, innovations in military industry can serve to contribute to advancing Europe's economic growth and security. Decision-making on the EU defence and security issues will also be on the agenda of Lithuania's Presidency of the EU Council.
The discussion of regional cooperation strategies also touched on a key priority of Lithuania's presidency - the Baltic Sea strategy. Its implementation will improve the well-being of people in the Baltic Sea region - will help to carry out the necessary power and transport interconnection projects as well as ensure due monitoring and cleaner environment of the Baltic Sea.
The European Council meeting also addressed the issues of the Community enlargement towards the Balkans and Turkey. According to the President, the countries have to fulfill their obligations and meet the eligibility criteria, while the EU's decisions regarding enlargement must be well-founded. During Lithuania's presidency, the Community is expected to be complemented by a new member state, Croatia.
Last updated 2012.12.14 13:54Back