Extraordinary European Council on EU Southern Neighbourhood and Libya and meeting of the Heads of State or Government of the euro area, Brussels, 11/03/2011
The European Heads of State or Government gathered in Brussels on 11 March 2011 for an extraordinary meeting on Europe's response to the latest developments in EU Southern Neighbourhood.
Issues for discussion included mobilisation of further resources to meet the humanitarian situation created by the influx of returnees from Libya; challenges to the EU posed by irregular migration; the evacuation of EU citizens; support to the political transitions underway in Tunisia, Egypt and the broader region.
At their arrival to the Council, several Member States commented the French proposal to launch targeted air strikes on Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi's forces if they use chemical weapons or warplanes against civilians. Some of them also reacted to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier today.
Later that day, the Heads of State or Government of the euro area reached an agreement on the broad outlines of the "Pact for the Euro" to develop stronger economic policy coordination, to improve competitiveness and to keep public deficits in check.
Euro area leaders also issued a statement on Ireland, Portugal and Greece, including welcoming Portugal's latest steps to reduce its budget deficit. SHOTLIST