Problems Mounts as EU Leaders Gather in Brussels – Again

The heads of EU states and governments will start this weekends Summit by discussing economic issues, naturally. Libya is also on the agenda as news reports claims that the protesters are in fact power-hungry terrorists, and the roundtable is expected to announce their official candidate as new chief of the European Central Bank.

Economic matters, migration, the EU’s Southern Neighborhood and Croatia’s accession to the EU are the main themes of the European Council meeting in Brussels on 23-24 June.

They will take stock of the progress achieved on the six legislative proposals on economic governance, the amendment to the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) and on the future ESM (European Stability Mechanism), which are part of the EU’s comprehensive response to the sovereign debt crisis.

The leaders are expected to conclude the first European Semester (the annual monitoring of budgetary policies and structural reforms undertaken by the member states), nominate Mr Mario Draghi as the future President of the European Central Bank and discuss recent developments in the euro zone.

On Friday the European Council will assess implementation of migration policies and will discuss developments in the southern Mediterranean, focusing on Libya, Syria and the Middle East peace process.

The European Council is also expected to call for accession negotiations with Croatia to be concluded by the end of June.

We can expect the EU leaders to spend most time discussing the recent bailout facility.

It’s probably not a coincidence that both EU President Barrose and EU Council President Van Rompuy meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban before the roundtable meeting.

The Hungarians have been one of the critics of Brussels amongst the peripheral EU states who fear the dominance of the political elite in Germany, France and Belgium.

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Opening Statement by Herman Van Rompuy

“I welcome everybody to this meeting of the European Council. And in particular our two new colleagues, Jyrki Katainen from Finland and Pedro Passos Coelho from Portugal. Welcome!”

“We have important work ahead. First we will talk about the European semester, fiscal consolidation, economic growth and jobs. Later on, we will talk about the current problems in the Euro zone, to put it mildly.”

“Tomorrow we will discuss first asylum and migration and at lunch time the Southern Neighbourhood and the Middle East. So let’s get started.”

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Russia Today reports Friday that increasing casualties amongst civilian  have raised serious misgivings about NATO intervention in Libya, even among supporters of the ongoing aerial campaign.

And while the international community is taking sides in the conflict, it is the Libyan people who suffer most.

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