Current developments

Stimulating growth is essential

The European Council on 23 October agreed on a number of measures aimed at securing growth and job creation to help overcome the current economic crisis. EU leaders agreed that enhancing economic growth is as important in current circumstances as addressing the immediate challenges of the crisis.

"The Union must regain safe ground. Stimulating growth is essential for that. A perspective of sustained economic growth can bring back confidence, create jobs and help absorb debts. That is why the European Council focussed first on how to boost our common growth agenda," said President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.


Growth enhancing measures

The EU leaders decided to agree - by the end of 2012 - on 12 priority proposals that are set out in the Single Market Act. The Act is a series of measures designed to boost the European economy and create jobs.

For example, one of the Act's measures is aimed at improving access to finance for small businesses. One of the ways to achieve it would be by creating a European passport for venture-capital which would allow small businesses to raise the funds they need and to invest easily across the EU.

"Fiscal margins are currently limited for most member states. We therefore combine measures that bring deficits under control with policies that cushion growth," said President Van Rompuy.

Other measures which, according to the European Council conclusions, the member states and Commission should implement more actively include the services directive, aimed at maximizing the movement and offer of services within the EU, the "Digital Single Market" designed to unleash the full potential of digital technology and open possibilities for new business models, reduction of the administrative burden and overall regulatory burden, especially for small businesses, and other initiatives.

 

Economic governance

The member states emphasised their determination to implement the instruments that the EU now has to enhance its economic governance: the Europe 2020 strategy (structural reforms), the European Semester and the "Euro Plus Pact" - the mechanism of economic policy coordination between the member states - and the recently-agreed six legislative acts on economic governance in the EU, which will allow a much higher degree of surveillance and coordination to ensure sustainability of public finances and avoid the accumulation of excessive imbalances.

 

Financial regulation

The European Council welcomed the agreement reached on short-selling, the proposals on markets in financial instruments and market abuse and looks forward to proposals by the Commission on credit rating agencies and bank crisis management and resolution.

The European Council welcomed the progress that the 27 EU ministers of finance achieved on the most immediate solutions for the banking sector. This work will be finalised by the Council and the Euro Summit at their meetings on 26 October.

 

More information:

Press conference webcast

European Council conclusions

 

Source CONS, © European Union

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