EU leaders to hold extra economy summit February 11
(BRUSSELS) - European Union leaders will hold an extraordinary summit on February 11 focused on bolstering the economy, the EU's new president, Herman Van Rompuy, said on Monday.
"I'm preparing already the next European council on the 11th of February. I took the initiative to convene this council with the main theme -- the economy," he said in Brussels, where the informal meeting will be held.
"We need more economic growth in order to finance on a sound basis our social model, to preserve our European way of life," said Van Rompuy, who has just started his new job.
EU leaders are scheduled to hold another summit, which is traditionally focused on the economy, on March 25-26.
Spain, which took over the EU's rotating presidency for six months on January and is working in parallel with Van Rompuy, has also made the economy the focus of its term at the helm of the 27-nation bloc.
Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the EU's executive arm, the European Commission, will meet on Friday in Madrid with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero seeking to ensure a coordinated approach.