EU leaders put on a show of solidarity as they began discussions on how to deal with the crisis in the eurozone and ultimately on the European project as a whole.
It is the 20th such attempt to try to find a solution to the debt crisis.
Those sat round Europe’s top table not only have to find a way out of the financial turbulence, they also have to convince voters to back them to do it.
Alexander Stubb, Finland’s European Affairs Minister, told euronews: “In these European Councils there is always some kind of a compromise between the long term and the short term. I am fairly optimistic, I think it is an important European Council, I would not put it down as an historic one, but in the top five. So I am optimistic.”
Germany’s position is clear. They want Greece to stop asking for help and move quickly to enact the reform measures already agreed. However Berlin does back the plan from Paris to provide 130 billion euros to promote growth.
Jean Pisany-Ferry, a director of the Brussels-based Bruegel international think-tank, commented: “On banking union, there seems to be a certain degree of convergence that is positive; on the shorter term measures there is more of a division. So let’s see what compromise can be found.”
The President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, believes the current summit will lay a solid foundation to bring to the table the next time EU leaders get together in October.
However the question is, do the EU and the euro zone have the luxury of time?