European Union Leaders Meeting in Brussels

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European Union

European Union Meetings in Brussels

BRUSSELS – International News – EU leaders are meeting in Brussels through December 20th 2013. The leaders are looking to host a thematic debate on defence policy. Other subjects for discussion will be economic issues, migration, and external relations.

Under the common security and defence policy, the EU heads of state and governments will discuss how to develop the capabilities and increase the visibility and effectiveness of the Union’s security and defence policy, and how to strengthen Europe’s defence industry.

President Herman Van Rompuy stated, “This afternoon was the first time since 2008 that the European Council discussed European defence. As a matter of security, but also related to industry and to jobs. We started with a good exchange with the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He fully backed the focus and the approach of our discussion and conclusions, underlining the complementarity of the EU and NATO. For us, this is about working together as countries, about ensuring our security and shouldering our responsibilities in the world. To be credible as Europeans on security”.

“There are new threats, the strategic landscape is changing fast. Our countries are expected to assume more responsibility in our wider region; we have seen that several times in the past years, with Libya and in the Sahel. All this at a time when budget constraints affect all European governments and when our defence industry is struggling to remain competitive and cutting-edge,” Van Rompoy added.

Concerning economic and social policy, they will take stock of the economic situation, in particular the completion of the banking union and partnerships for jobs, growth and competitiveness. They will also address the compact for growth and jobs with focus on youth employment and financing of small and medium sized enterprises.

Leaders will also discuss migration, enlargement and external relations issues, including the Eastern Partnership.