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EU summit focuses on economy, immigration and Croatia - 27/06/2011

European leaders sit around a table for their meeting on 23 June 2011 © EU

Major decisions on economic policy, immigration, relations with North African countries and Croatian membership at meeting on 23 and 24 June.

EU leaders agreed to expand measures to coordinate economic reforms and spending policies.

They endorsed the Commission guidelines on measures which each EU country should take to stimulate economic growth, create jobs and keep public finances under control.

The decision closes the first “European semester”, a six-month process during which EU governments consult each other as they formulate spending plans and economic policies.

Governments must now take the guidelines into account when drafting their budgets and making reforms for 2012.

EU leaders also agreed to changes increasing the effectiveness of a temporary fund providing financial help to eurozone countries in difficulty. It will be replaced by a permanent €500bn fund in 2013.

Support for Greece

They encouraged Greece’s parliament to pass laws on a fiscal strategy and privatisation. The reforms will allow eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund to provide more support under a new rescue package.

Eurozone leaders agreed that the private sector should provide some of the additional funding. They reaffirmed their commitment to do “whatever is necessary” to ensure the financial stability of the single currency.

Immigration

Member governments asked the Commission for ideas on strengthening cooperation among the countries in the EU’s border-free area.

The measures should allow countries to coordinate their responses to exceptional circumstances, such as sudden inflows of asylum seekers. Leaders called for proposals on common asylum procedures to be agreed by 2012.

They asked the Commission to start discussions with the EU's southern and eastern neighbours on developing worker recruitment programmes through "mobility partnerships".

Croatia

The summit also called for Croatia's membership negotiations to be concluded by the end of June 2011. They hope to sign a treaty with the country, allowing Croatia to join the EU on 1 July 2013.

Decisions taken at the summit

Commission president’s statement on Croatia

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