On December 16 – 17, in Brussels, a meeting of the European Council was held. The agenda of the meeting included the EU economic governance policy, establishment of a stabilization mechanism for the eurozone countries and relations with the strategic partners.
The European Council continued the discussions on the support mechanism for the countries hit by the crisis that were started in October. In view of the fact that the Lisbon Treaty does not provide sufficient legal framework for the countries hit by the crisis, a specification to the Treaty is required that would allow for the development of a permanent fund in support to such Member States of the eurozone. The Member States agreed on the conditions of the crisis management mechanism, way of financing and involvement of the EU Member States which are not the eurozone countries. For a decision on these changes to take effect, it must be ratified by all Member States.
Within the framework of the European Council, special attention was given to the report prepared by the EU Ministers for Economics and Finance on strengthening of economic governance. The agenda of the European Council also included the report by the Council of the EU Ministers for Economics and Finance on the assessment of the impact of the pension reform on implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact.
Latvia appreciated the support from the Council, with respect to the fact, that in cases of economic downturn, when the country is taking corrective measures to improve the country’s financial situation and stabilize the economy, a temporary reduction of contributions to the second pension level is permissible.
The European Council called on the European Commission to formulate proposals about the multiannual financial framework by June 2011. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of maintaining the division of competencies among the institutions set forth in the Treaties and noted that the negotiations on the total amount of the future EU budget should be started only after publishing of the proposal of the European Commission on the multiannual financial framework of the EU in June 2011.
According to the decision of the European Council as of September 16, High Representative C.Ashton presented the first progress report on the assessment of relations with the strategic partners and the EU priorities. Special attention in the report was given to relations with the USA, Russia and China. The EU Member States have urged the High Representative to prepare such documents also about relations with India and Brazil. Latvia believes that the priority of the EU’s foreign policy should also be the neighbouring region – countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy. It will be difficult for the EU to engage in solving the international matters, if it ignores the processes in its neighbouring countries. Similarly, the EU needs to strengthen its relations with international organizations and develop closer the EU-NATO cooperation.
The European Council decided to grant a candidate state status to Montenegro.
Within the framework of the visit, V.Dombrovskis met the Commissioner Responsible for the EU Budgetary and Financial Planning, J.Levandovski.
During the meeting, V.Dombrovskis emphasized that Latvia’s priorities in context of further planning of the EU budget are retaining of the cohesion policy principles and the amount of funding, as well as equalization of direct payments within the framework of the common agricultural policy. The Prime Minister informed the Commissioner about drafting of the 2011 budget of Latvia and congratulated the Commissioner on the occasion of adoption of the 2011 budget of the European Union.
The Prime Minister also met the representatives of the journalist club ”Brux-Elles” involving 30 most influential European media accredited in Brussels and gave an interview to the television of the news agency Reuters.
Information prepared by:
Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the EU
Phone: +32 (0) 22383220
Information prepared by:
Phone.: 67082905 / 29457329