President of the European Council confirms that fighting against unemployment is part of the EU economic strategy

Following the first evening of the Spring European Council, Herman Van Rompuy highlighted that EU leaders agreed that the only way out of the crisis is to keep tackling its root causes. They also reconfirmed the EU economic strategy which has four strands: Restoring financial stability, and maintaining it; Ensuring sound public finances, structurally sound; Urgently fighting unemployment; And reforming for long-term growth and competitiveness.

President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, made a statement following the first evening of the Spring Council held on 14 March in which stressed the agreement of EU leaders reached on tackling root causes of the crisis as the only way out of it. Mr Van Rompuy also highlighted the broad consensus on the economic strategy reached by EU leaders. In August 2012, Van Rompuy stressed that progress on the banking union is particularly urgent.

They also agreed, according to Mr Van Rompuy, that the good progress towards structurally balanced budgets must continue. He stressed that is for each individual country to make choices that make sense in the long run such as pursuing well-designed structural reforms; Being  ruthless on tax evasion; Shifting taxation away from labour; Expenditure cuts where it makes us fitter, not sacrificing vital areas like innovation or education; And launching fast-acting and targeted measures to boost growth and employment, in particular for the youth.

President of the Council pointed out that unemployment, especially youth unemployment, was at the heart of discussions at the meeting. He stressed that member states must take short-term action also, to counter the social consequences of the crisis. In June, at the end of the Semester, the Council will look at national reform and jobs plans, but also at the results of the Growth Compact concluded last year.