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EU leaders to discuss the digital economy, economic and social policy, the Eastern Partnership Summit and the Lampedusa tragedy.
EU leaders will meet in Brussels for the European Council on 24-25 October 2013. Discussion will focus on the digital economy, economic and social policy including youth unemployment and economic and monetary union, the Eastern Partnership Summit, and the recent Lampedusa tragedy.
On Thursday 24 October, the opening working session will concentrate on the digital economy. President Barroso will deliver a presentation, after which leaders will discuss and agree Council Conclusions on investing in the digital economy, promoting a consumer-friendly Digital Single Market, and improving skills, innovation and services. A key element of the debate will be the importance of agreeing the "Connected Continent" telecoms package, which is an important step in the completion of the Digital Single Market and will benefit European consumers as well as cross-sector industry.
Over dinner, discussion will focus on economic and social policy and economic and monetary union. EU leaders will discuss youth unemployment, and the Commission will stress the need for Member States to ensure that the Youth Employment Initiative is fully operational by January 2014. Leaders will also discuss financing the economy, and in particular ensuring better access to finance for SMEs, and will also touch on the Commission's REFIT exercise to reduce regulatory red tape. On economic and monetary union, banking union continues to be the Commission's top priority, and there will be discussion of asset quality review, balance sheet assessments and stress tests.
On Friday 25 October EU leaders will meet to discuss the Eastern Partnership Summit, which will take place in Vilnius on 28-29 November 2013, and the recent Lampedusa tragedy.
The President will make a presentation on the European Council to the European Parliament on Wednesday 23 October.
President Barroso's letter to Members of the European Council - dated 27.9.2013