As Europe recovers, more momentum is needed

20 December 2013, Last updated at, 13:45 EET
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author: The Council of the European Union

President Dalia Grybauskaitė, currently on a working visit to Brussels, together with the heads of state or government of the 27 EU member states reviewed the economic situation in the European Union, discussed ways to promote Europe's economic growth and further steps to ensure financial stability in the Community.

European leaders endorsed the political agreement reached after long negotiations by EU finance ministers on the single resolution mechanism - which is one of the main pillars of the future banking union. It will provide not only for effective restructuring of insolvent banks and instruments of financial assistance, but also help restore the trust of global markets in the European Union.

The President pointed out that decisions on the banking union are were very important for Lithuania which plans to introduce the euro.

The Commission's Annual Growth Survey for 2014 was presented at the European Council summit. The survey gives an overview of the actual situation in individual member states, including Lithuania, and also specific recommendations to ensure economic growth.

According to the President, Lithuania's progress has been assessed in positive terms: its economy is one of the fastest growing in the EU, its budget deficit is decreasing and the situation on the labor market is gradually improving. However, the President noted, the Government of Lithuania had deal with a number of issues more swiftly and more effectively.

"Lithuania looks good in the context of EU member states. Still, youth unemployment and long-term unemployment are a matter of concern. Reforms in the energy sector are too slow. Measures to reduce social exclusion are insufficient. We are lagging behind in introducing innovations in the economic and business sectors. We need a wide-ranging pension reform. All of this constitutes a serious commitment for the Government to act responsibly when addressing problems of major importance to public welfare," the President said.

The Annual Growth Survey states that the overall situation in the European Union is improving. But even though there are signs of economic recovery, the situation in many countries remains difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to implement more rapidly the measures provided for by the Commission to boost growth, improve business conditions and create new jobs. The survey underlines that individual member states must assume more responsibility and put country-specific recommendations into effect.

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