The economic crisis has prompted intense and sustained action by the EU's national governments, the European Central Bank and the Commission. All have been working closely together to support growth and employment, ensure financial stability, and put in place a better governance system for the future.
"In the current situation, establishing a longer-term perspective for the euro area is a pressing priority. Indeed, as has been pointed out: if we want investors to buy ten-year bonds, understandably they would like to know where the Eurozone stands in ten years time."
"I know that many people were sceptical about the prospects for this summit. And I hope that they were pleasantly surprised when they heard the news this morning. Because this European Council and Euro area summit have delivered what our citizens, our international partners and investors have been asking for. It has delivered a robust set of answers which should significantly strengthen confidence in Europe's financial stability."
The conclusions reaffirm the European Union's commitment to preserve EMU and put it on a more solid basis for the future, saying that "Strong, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, based on sound public finances, structural reforms and investment to boost competitiveness, remains our key priority."
"I think it is important to highlight this vision and to define in clear terms the commitment to our common currency, to the irreversibility of the euro, in following discussions tonight and tomorrow," concluded President Barroso.
Mr Barroso said that "I think these are quite ambitious decisions and that shows once again the commitment of the Member States, namely those in the euro area, to the irreversibility of the euro and I think this will be recognized by all."
The European Union (EU) today placed a €2.3 billion benchmark bond with April 2028 maturity, seeing strong investor demand. The proceeds will be on-lent to Ireland as part the financial assistance package decided in December 2010 and following a successful completion of the sixth programme review (see MEMO/12/283 and MEX/12/0626). The operation was carried out by the European Commission on behalf of the EU under the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM).
''As already stated after last week’s Eurogroup meeting, we expect to give a mandate to the Commission, in liaison with the ECB and the EBA, to negotiate the necessary policy conditionality for the financial sector, including restructuring plans in accordance with EU state aid rules, which shall accompany the financial assistance. The IMF will provide technical assistance and regular monitoring.
The memo covers Commission thinking on the European Semester, the "six-pack", the "two-pack", the Fiscal Treaty, Stability Bonds, and the possible way forward.
''Firstly, G20 leaders, after very good, frank and open discussion, will recognise the extremely important efforts that Europe has been making to deal with the financial crisis. It was very good to understand the questions and to work cooperatively for the solution of this global financial crisis including the European part of it.''
"I warmly welcome today's announcement of the formation of a new government in Greece. I am particularly reassured that the new administration will count on ample and broad-based parliamentary support. I believe that this sends a clear signal of Greece's determination to honour its commitments and stay in the euro.''
"At its meeting of 30 January 2012, the European Council requested the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to consider possible options to enhance EIB action to support growth and to make appropriate recommendations, including possibilities for the EU budget to leverage EIB financing capacity.''
The Council today adopted decisions closing excessive deficit procedures for Germany and Bulgaria, thus confirming that they have reduced their deficits below 3% of GDP, the EU's reference value for government deficits.
The Council approved today, under this year's European Semester, draft recommendations to all 27 member states on the economic policies set out in their national reform programmes, as well as draft opinions on each member state's fiscal policies, as presented in their stability and convergence programmes.