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EU Summit to discuss economy and Ukrainian crisis

20 March, 2014

The European semester, industrial competitiveness, new climate goals and the crisis in Ukraine are topping the agenda of the EU Summit, to be held on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

Cyprus will be represented by President Nicos Anastasiades, who will also participate at the EPP leaders’ summit, on Thursday morning.

Prior to the EU Summit, Council President Herman van Rompuy and Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will attend the tripartite social summit, to discuss with social partners financial, growth and employment issues.

On the Summit’s agenda, leaders are not expected to discuss Commission recommendations on macroeconomic imbalances and public finances - in the framework of the European semester - for programme countries (Greece, Cyprus and Portugal), since these issues are addressed within the existing MoU’s.

The discussion on enhancing European industry competitiveness will be based on a Commission communication, aiming at reinstating credit flow towards the real economy, especially SMEs, as well as at providing access to cheap energy, reducing red tape and exploiting the full potential of the single market.

The Commission asks the Council to approve proposals on energy, transportations, digital communication networks and implement legislation on the completion of the single market.

Concerning climate change, the Council is expected to discuss a Commission communication from last January, aiming to facilitate EU transition to a low carbon economy. The aim is to reconcile the target for a competitive EU industry and a viable energy supply with long term goals for climate change.

The main elements of the proposed framework include a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels and a renewable energy target of at least 27% of energy consumption, with flexibility for member states to set national objectives.

On Ukraine, European leaders are called to define their stance towards Russia, by deciding whether to proceed with more sanctions or not, following the annexation of Crimea.

An EU official said Wednesday that Moscow’s act is unacceptable and will lead with certainty to destabilization. The official added however that it is not certain the EU will impose more sanctions, expecting Russia’s counter sanctions on the one hand, as well as a breach of communication with Moscow, on the other, at a time when Europe’s basic goal is to find a diplomatic solution to the problem.