EU summit approves economic recovery plan

15:41, 12 December 2008
World
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The economic recovery plan...

Leaders of the European Union (EU) will approve a 200-billion-euro (some 260-billion-U.S. dollar) economic recovery plan in a bid to steer the EU economy from a deep recession, according to a draft text of conclusions of the two-day EU summit, according to Xinhua.

    The EU leaders are convinced that the ambitious plan "will make a decisive contribution to the European economy`s rapid return to the path of growth and job-creation," said the draft.

    "The EU will act in a united, strong, rapid and decisive manner to avoid a recessionary spiral and sustain economic activity and employment. It will mobilize all the instruments available to it and act in a concerted manner to maximize the effect of the measures taken by the Union and by each member state," it added.

    The economic recovery plan, proposed by the European Commission, the EU`s executive body, on Nov. 26, will provide a coherent framework for actions to be taken at the level of the Union as well as for measures adopted by each member state. It involves a spending equivalent to 1.5 percent of the EU`s gross domestic product (GDP), with 1.2 percent coming from EU governments and the rest from EU funding.

    The EU leaders will evaluate, at their meeting next spring, how well the recovery plan has been implemented.

    According to the draft, the EU leaders also support a series of measures to be taken by the EU, including an increase in intervention by the European Investment Bank of 30 billion euros (39 billion dollars) in 2009-2010, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises, for renewable energy and for clean transport; rapid additional action by the European Social Fund to support employment, and mobilization to promote employment in key sectors of the EU economy.

    Meanwhile, the EU leaders urge the EU Council and the European Commission to initiate a dialogue with the oil producing countries to seek ways of achieving a lasting stabilization of energy prices.

    They also promise to work for an agreement on the "modalities" leading to the conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda with an ambitious, global and balanced result.

    Stressing that "EU must continue to invest in its future," the leaders call for the launching of a European plan for innovation, combined with the development of the European Research Area and with reflection on the future of the Lisbon Strategy beyond 2010, encompassing all the conditions for sustainable development and the main technologies of the future.

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