EU leaders are gathering on Thursday in Brussels for their regular Spring Council Summit. Unlike the previous meeting, when Brussels struck a controversial deal on the next long-term EU budget, no major decisions are expected this time.
‘Thursday will be dedicated to the whole economic issues. It’s going to be a bit of a Mid-term review in this semester process (…). This is extremely topical because of the whole eurozone crisis, which is now gone a bit on the back burner, but which could reignite at any stage’, said EURACTIV’s publisher and editor Frederic Simon.
Though is expected to be a quiet summit, differences on how to get Europe out of the crisis could see the old austerity vs. growth debate reignited.
‘No one wants to revive old debates about growth versus austerity or nobody wants to revive tensions or give the impression to the financial markets that Europe is divided. So what’s going to be interesting to watch is how far the leaders will be willing to display their positions and their opposite views as to where to take the European economy. (change order) The june summit will be more the test, where the process concludes. So this is just sort of a mid-term assessment but which could prove to be quite controversial and could provide a clash between those two opposite views of Europe’, said EURACTIV’s publisher and editor Frederic Simon.
The EU’s spring summit will also bring 4 new faces to Brussels. Recent elections and resignations across the continent have seen Europe change its political map. ‘In Slovenia, the Prime Minister resigned over a graft case. He will be replaced by a new PM, but if she doesn’t succeed in forming a new government, there will be new elections and probably the country will seek a bailout (…)’, said EURACTIV’s senior editor Georgi Gotev.
Meanwhile, MEPs on Wednesday adopted a resolution that rejects the new EU budget proposal agreed at the last EU council summit unless some changes are made.