Among the topics tackled in the summit were energy union, foreign affairs, the euro area economy and Greece.
In the presence of the ECB President Mario Draghi, we discussed the European economy. The outlook for our economy is improving, at least according to the latest forecasts. Oil prices have declined faster than expected. The ECB is implementing quantitative easing. The euro has depreciated. However, no monetary initiative, no matter how big, will work without structural reforms at national level. The time to reform is now when the wind is blowing in our favour. We still have around 5 million unemployed young people in the European Union, so nobody can sit down and relax. And neither should this house relax in its efforts to agree the European Investment Fund that will help us provide the investment that Europe needs so badly.
We had a good debate on TTIP. The aim remains clear: to reach an ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement by the end of 2015. Leaders shared the view that we now all need to communicate the potential benefits to the public.
Let me close with a word on Greece, which is so important to the future of the euro zone and the European Union. I held an informal meeting on Greece at the request of Prime Minister Tsipras. The aim of this meeting was very simple: to rebuild mutual trust and avoid misunderstandings. I think we were successful in this. We agreed to speed up the implementation of the February 20th Eurogroup agreement. Prime Minister Tsipras promised to present additional reform plans soon. Let us hope that this clears the way for a solution.
Given that the format of this meeting raised particular attention, let me mention that I asked the European Council if members preferred to discuss the Greek question at a Euro Summit, to be held immediately if needed. Leaders did not think this was necessary or indeed useful at this stage. In the coming weeks and months, I will continue to do all I can to help in this difficult situation.
Conclusions of the Council meeting
© Council of the European Union
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