EU leaders are in Brussels for the first summit not to be dominated by the eurozone crisis.
Even though it is not on the agenda, allegations of spying by the US are threatening to overshadow the two-day meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have been a victim along with millions of French citizens.
“We can’t accept, from whoever it might be, this systematic spying! We need collaboration between several European countries to put an end to this attitude!”
said Prime Minister of Belgium Elio di Rupo as he arrived at the European Council.
This summit comes just weeks after 379 hundred migrants died in the Mediterranean off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. EU leaders will discuss the possibility of Europe-wide action in dealing with an increasing number of migrants.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said: “We want that this Council meeting to concentrate on answering the immigration question. What happened in Lampedusa should never happen again! We have a very clear position. We want Europe to change its approach on this issue.”
Youth unemployment and coordinating economic policies across the bloc are also on the agenda.
In addition, the idea of creating a ‘digital single market’ to make it faster and easier for businesses to pass information across borders. Digital is a fast-growing economic sector and talks are expected to touch on copyright, data protection, online payments and digital signatures.