The European Commission today (18 September) announced that an October meeting of EU leaders to discuss growth and jobs would no longer take place, only to be contradicted hours later by the Italian EU Presidency, which will host the summit in Milan.
The meeting was initially announced by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Renzi, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, said on 29 August that he would invite EU leaders to Italy on 6 October to discuss measures to spur growth and create jobs. European leaders said they welcomed the announcement.
However, Stéphane Le Foll, the spokesman of the French government, said on Tuesday (16 September) the event had been postponed. And today (18 September) EU Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said it had been “cancelled”.
“Obviously it’s for the Italian presidency to inform you on what led to that decision,” she told reporters.
A spokesman for the Italian presidency later confirmed that the summit will take place on 8 October in Milan, and that the office of the Italian prime minister, would issue a communiqué shortly.
Later that afternoon the Commission Hansen said the summit would go ahead as planned.
— Pia Ahrenkilde (@ECspokesPia) September 18, 2014
According to the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, 24.8 million adults, equal to 10.2% of the European Union’s labour force, were unemployed in the countries of the 28-member union during the month of July.
The number means the rate of unemployment has remained unchanged compared to the preceding month.
A total of 18.4 million people were out of work in the eurozone, with Greece and Spain posting the highest unemployment rates at 27.2% and 24.5% respectively.