Three different Summits to stimulate growth

Three different summits are expected to take place this fall, as European Union leaders try to react to the “downfall” of the European economy.

The leaders agreed to schedule a summit for Oct. 7, on issues related to development and employment. In late October another summit will take place, after a relevant demand by France, dedicated on issues related to the Eurozone.

European Union leaders are set to hold an emergency summit on promoting growth and jobs in October at the suggestion of Italy, highlighting their concerns over the fragile economic recovery in the 28-country bloc.

“In recent weeks economic data have confirmed that the recovery, particularly in the euro area, is weak, inflation exceptionally low and unemployment unacceptably high,” read the statement issued after all 28 EU leaders met in Brussels late on Saturday.

The emergency summit will focus on “employment, especially youth employment”, which remains a big thorn in Europe’s side as it seeks to revive a stagnating economy.

Italy has been at the forefront of calls for greater flexibility from strict EU rules on budget deficits, alongside countries such as France, arguing that an excessive focus on German-style austerity has hampered Europe’s recovery.

“Europe must be more than the (bond) spread, rules and economic budgets,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told reporters after the meeting in Brussels.

The latest inflation data for the euro zone showed that the single currency area was inching ever closer to zero inflation, a worrying situation considering its double-digit unemployment rate, stuttering growth and increasing signs of reform fatigue among euro zone governments.

A separate summit for the 18 euro zone members would also be held in the autumn.

The third summit is expected to take place in November, after the European Commission, under the presidency of Jean-Claude Junker takes over. In this summit, the Commission plans to present its new priorities regarding investment.

The leading economic power, has given signs this week of softening its opposition to calls from Italy and France for Germany more leeway to stimulate growth by government spending.

Hollande said EU states had to invest to promote growth and to use “all possible flexibilities” in the treaties that set up the currency union so that efforts to meet obligations to curb public deficits were adapted to foster economic growth.

A summit in Brussels shared the two coveted EU posts between a Kremlin critic from ex-communist Eastern Europe and the foreign minister of one of Moscow’s biggest customers for gas. EU officials gave Ukraine’s embattled President Petro Poroshenko a warm welcome and assurances of further support.

The appointment of Tusk as president of the European Council marked a major advance in influence for the eastern states who joined the bloc this century and who share non-member Ukraine’s concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions.

But many of the powerful western countries have hesitated to toughen trade sanctions for fear of damaging their own economies. Some of them, like Italy, are heavily reliant on Russian gas.

In her first comments, Mogherini stressed the need to work for a lasting diplomatic deal with Russia.

“As we think and we work on the level of sanctions, we also have to keep the diplomatic way open … hoping that the combination, a wise combination, can be effective,” she said.

The Greek government expressed its satisfaction on this matter.

Reuters, AMNA