EU may hold growth summit this month
(STOCKHOLM) - An informal European Union summit on growth and employment is being considered for late May or early June, EU president Herman van Rompuy said here on Friday.
"I envisage a meeting with the EU leaders, an informal meeting, at the end of this month, beginning of next month devoted again to growth and jobs," van Rompuy told a joint press conference held with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
The idea of an informal dinner had been floated by van Rompuy last week, but he did not say then when it might take place.
It was now seen as a "preparatory meeting" ahead of an EU summit scheduled for June 28-29 in Brussels, van Rompuy said.
Europe is searching for ways to bolster growth as the population in many countries has begun to resist austerity measures designed to cut heavy public debt.
Elections scheduled for Sunday in France and Greece are forecast to oust sitting governments in favour of candidates who have pushed for a less stringent response to the eurozone's debt crisis.
Van Rompuy insisted the idea of a growth summit has been under discussion for some time, implying that it was not the result of a recent emphasis on growth measures by front-running French presidential candidate Francois Hollande.
"We are not discovering it in the midst of a French election campaign," the EU president said, adding that the issue has figured on the agenda of summit meetings since at least February 2010.
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