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14 December 2007

European Council

The European Council welcomes the agreement reached at the IGC on 18 October 2007 and the subsequent signing of the Treaty of Lisbon on 13 December, as well as the proclamation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights on 12 December 2007. It calls for a swift completion of national ratification processes with a view to allowing entry into force of the Treaty on 1 January 2009.


(Excerpts of the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council)



The European Council establishes an independent Reflection Group to help the Union anticipate and meet challenges more effectively in the longer term (horizon 2020 - 2030). The Group is invited to identify the key issues and developments which the Union is likely to face and to analyse how these might be addressed. This includes, inter alia: strengthening and modernising the European model of economic success and social responsibility, enhancing the competitiveness of the EU, the rule of law, and climate protection.



The Single Market has been an undisputed success and remains a pre-requisite for growth and prosperity within the Union. More needs to be done to untap the full potential of an enlarged Union, inter alia, by addressing the remaining barriers and by allowing consumers and SMEs to take full advantage of the opportunities of the Single Market. The European Council welcomes the recent presentation by the Commission of the Single Market Review and invites the Council to examine the initiatives set out in the Review so as to enable it to reach conclusions for priorities for further action at its Spring 2008 meeting.



The framework conditions for business, in particular SMEs, must continue to be improved. As regards the Better Regulation agenda, the European Council welcomes progress made towards the joint reduction target of 25% of administrative burdens by 2012 arising from EU legislation and urges those Members States who have not yet done so, to set national targets of comparable ambition by 2008, taking into account the different starting points and traditions and particular importance of this exercise for SMEs.



The European Council, in view of the recent developments in the financial markets, emphasises that macroeconomic fundamentals in the EU are strong and that sustained economic growth is expected. Continued monitoring of financial markets and the economy is crucial, as uncertainties remain. The European Council underlines the importance of the themes identified in the work programme adopted by the Council on 9 October 2007 aimed at, alongside the EU's international partners, improving transparency for investors, markets and regulators, improving valuation standards, improving the prudential framework, risk management and supervision in the financial sector as well as reviewing the functioning of markets, including the role of credit agencies. The European Council welcomes the significant steps adopted regarding the enhancement of EU arrangements for financial stability and strongly encourages their appropriate follow-up. It will come back to these issues at its Spring 2008 meeting on the basis of a progress report.



The European Council supports the progress achieved at the first meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council on 9 November 2007 and looks forward to further tangible steps in the run-up to the next EU-US Summit.





Consistent macro-economic policies and stable financial markets are vital for sustained economic growth. The Euro already plays a major role for stability and growth in the global economy. The EU is a major global financial marketplace, benefiting from a single market for financial services and a sound supervisory framework. Work will have to be taken forward both within the EU and in the relevant international fora to improve prudential frameworks and transparency of financial markets.


Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council


© Graham Bishop

Documents associated with this article

Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council.pdf

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