The EU Heads of State or Government gathered in Brussels on 27 and 28 June 2013 for a European Council meeting.
They agreed on a comprehensive approach to combat youth unemployment, building on the following concrete measures: speeding up and frontloading of the Youth Employment Initiative; speeding up implementation of the Youth Guarantee; increased youth mobility and involvement of the social partners. The European Council also discussed ways to boost investment and improve access to credit. It called for the mobilisation of European resources including that of the EIB; and launched a new "Investment Plan" to support SMEs and boost the financing of the economy.
Financial stability is improving, but further actions by the EU and its Member States are needed to put Europe firmly back on the track of sustained growth and jobs. Sound public finances and policies supporting sustainable growth and jobs are mutually reinforcing. At the same time, more determined efforts are required at all levels to carry forward structural reforms and boost competitiveness and employment. In this context, the European Council endorsed country-specific recommendations to guide Member States' policies and budgets, thus concluding the 2013 European semester.
The European Council also assessed progress towards the banking union, which is crucial for financial stability and the smooth functioning of the EMU. Finally, the European Council set out the next steps in the reinforcement of the EMU architecture and called for work to continue on all these issues in the run up to the December European Council.
The European Council warmly welcomed Croatia as a Member of the European Union as of 1 July 2013. It also congratulated Latvia on fulfilling the convergence criteria of the Treaty, thus allowing it to adopt the euro on 1 January 2014.
The European Council endorsed the Council's conclusions and recommendations on enlargement and the stabilisation and association process. SHOTLIST