EU leaders meeting in Brussels for their Spring summit are in a frosty mood due to criticism back home against government-led austerity measures.
Following on from to the European Parliament’s rejection of their 2014-2020 budget, the members were happy to support an initiative to avoid the so-called lost generation effect.
European Council President, Herman van Rompuy said: “We carved out six billion euros and that money is targeted towards fighting youth unemployment; and by the way this initiative is one of the reasons I hope an agreement will soon be reached between the council and the parliament on the multi-annual financial framework.”
Economic policy has naturally topped the agenda with France claiming to have won some wiggle-room on budgets. Despite a north/south divide a draft statement appears now to back a mix of expenditure and revenue measures.
Reporting for euronews from Brussels, Isabel Marques da Silva concluded: “Fiscal discipline with a growth-friendly approach is the new concept forged by European leaders to soften austerity. In practice, governments have to cut expenditure and try not to raise taxes and maybe this will give them time to rebalance their deficits. But will it be a recipe to create more growth and jobs?”