Climate change and the next phase of the growth and jobs strategy – two big issues on the agenda for the spring meeting of EU leaders (Brussels 13-14 March).
The EU has already made ambitious commitments on climate change, including a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. It now has to decide how, in practical terms, it will meet all the targets it set last year. On 23 January, the Commission issued a raft of climate and energy proposals to transform words into action – although it could do much more with a new international agreement following on from the Kyoto protocol.
After a slow start, the EU growth and jobs strategy is starting to deliver: budget deficits have been cut in half since 2005, economic growth hit 3% in 2007 and 6.5m jobs have been created in the last two years. But eager to build on these achievements, on 13 March, EU leaders launched the next phase of the strategy.
The stability of the financial markets was also discussed, along with international relations and the union for the Mediterranean, an initiative designed to strengthen EU-Mediterranean cooperation.