Leaders of the European Union Member-States are set to gather once again in Brussels within a month to discuss a "specific and time-bound road map" for the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
In a letter inviting the 27 national leaders to the two-day European Council summit beginning on Thursday, President Herman Van Rompuy said: "It is indeed crucial that, in order to boost confidence in the long term viability of the EMU, we set out the milestones that will ensure we close the gaps in the EMU architecture which were revealed by the crisis."
A background report, incorporating the important input provided by the European Commission in its "Blueprint" and by the European Parliament, and draft conclusions have been put forward for discussions.
Rompuy, who prepared the report together with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker, has called upon the leaders to agree on the elements set out in the draft conclusions, "both in terms of the urgent decisions required now and in terms of perspectives for the future."
After the traditional meeting with the President of the European Parliament, the first working session will hear the leaders presenting their views on the future of the EMU. Draghi will join the leaders for discussion later in the day during a working dinner.
On Friday, the summit will proceed with the adoption of the rest of the draft conclusions. Rompuy said "these will help give momentum to the preparatory work for our future meetings -both for the discussion foreseen in March 2013 on the Annual Growth Survey and for the discussion in December 2013 on defence."
The Economic and Monetary Union is an umbrella term for the group of policies aimed at converging the economies of all members of the European Union at three stages. Both the 17 Eurozone states and the ten non-euro states are EMU members. A Member-State however needs to comply and be a part of the "third EMU stage," before being able to adopt the euro currency; and as such the "third EMU stage" has also become largely synonymous with the Eurozone.
by RTT Staff Writer
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