- Title: BELGIUM: EU leaders summit comes to end with some success, challenges still ahead
- Date: 14th December 2012
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (DECEMBER 14, 2012) (REUTERS) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE WALKING OUT OF COUNCIL BUILDING
- Embargoed: 29th December 2012 12:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations,European Union,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVABGD1B9PBESRVAA8AUY1R030IK
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: EU leaders emerged optimistic from their last summit of the year on Friday (December 14) after the two-day meeting in Brussels secured the first part of a banking union and an agreement to press on with further steps to tackle their debt crisis.
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the single currency zone still has tough times ahead and British Prime Minister David Cameron sought new EU deal from euro zone crisis, as he fights a rising anti-EU mood at home that could threaten his chances of re-election.
Merkel, concerned about complacency creeping into decision-making now that financial markets have calmed and the crisis seems less acute, said the bloc would not see the fruits of labour market and other structural reforms for several years, with 2013 shaping up as another challenge. She threw out a proposal to boost risk-sharing with a fund to help euro zone states in trouble.
Speaking to reporters at the end of the talks, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite looked ahead to 2013 as the country prepares for presidency of the European Union in the second half of next year.
"Everything is ok, we are happy. At least there is a roadmap for 2013, we know what we will do and for Lithuania for example, we will hold presidency in the second half of 2013. The main will be the banking supervisory institution to be created during our presidency and of course everything else is for this moment quite satisfactory, next year will be mainly fiscal consolidation, banking union, deep integration in EMU and of course foreign policy," she said.
EU leaders also discussed the situation in Syria, and asked foreign ministers to look at all options to help the opposition there.
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