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Van Rompuy issues day-1 EU summit statement

After concluding the first evening of talks among Euro zone leaders, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy issued a first statement proving details over how best to guide European economic policies.

Van Rompuy said: "We reconfirmed our overall economic strategy. It has four strands: First. Restoring financial stability, and maintaining it: this is vital for confidence of consumers and investors, a key condition for internal demand and growth; Second. Ensuring sound public finances, structurally sound; Third. Urgently fighting unemployment – especially for youth, for whom the situation is dramatic in some countries. Four. And reforming for long-term growth and competitiveness."

The statement adds: "We all agree we need to keep turning our commitments into actions and results. Implementation continues to be key. The good progress towards structurally balanced budgets must continue. For each individual country, it's about making choices that make sense in the long run: Pursuing well-designed structural reforms; Being ruthless on tax evasion. Shifting taxation away from labour; Expenditure cuts where it makes us fitter, not sacrificing vital areas like innovation or education; And launching fast-acting and targeted measures to boost growth and employment, in particular for the youth."

Starting in June, Van Rompuy made the pledge to start looking not only at national reform and jobs plans, "but also at the results of the Growth Compact concluded last year" he said, adding that "as a matter of fact, the President of the European Commission made a first report on the results of the Growth Compact already this evening."

Other topics of discussion at today's EU summit were major capital injection into the European Investment Bank, avenues to support economic growth and looking at where regulations can be simplified and cost reduced.

In the months ahead, Van Rompuy said talks will be centered in long-term economic growth: "We will discuss energy in May, innovation, digital agenda and other services in October, defence in December, industrial competitiveness and industrial policy this June as a first discussion and then again in the Spring next year, preparing for the review of the EU 2020 strategy."

All 27 Member States fully support the ongoing work "on deepening our Economic and Monetary Union, with the work on the banking union as the most pressing priority" Van Rompuy said on the statement.

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