Since the emergence of the financial crisis, the European Council has held a number of European Summits in order to in its own words “address the tensions in the financial markets and restore confidence”.
Its summit of the 23rd October 2011 identified a number of priorities which ought to be fast-tracked because of their potential significant impact on jobs and growth in the short to medium term. This was in essence a restatement of previous policy as set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy which recognised economic growth as a key component of broader economic policy within Europe. Among the key priorities for internal economic policy to be pursued in order to achieve growth
• were more rigorous effort to achieve agreement on the Single Market Act.
➢ The completion of the digital single market by 2015 with particular reference to rapid progress in achieving broadband coverage.
➢ Achieving a 25% reduction on the cost of regulation, and administrative burden on business.
➢ Energy efficiency should be targeted as a key area for research and innovation and European wide savings.
➢ The progressions and implementation of the package of six legislative acts on economic governance previously agreed, i.e. the so called Six Pack.
In the face of public disorder and political disharmony in Greece, a further summit was held on the 26th October 2011 at which the following measures were agreed.
➢ The value of Greek debt in private hands was to be cut from €210bn to €100bn. In other words, Greek debt would be cut by 50% in return for a commitment that it would reduce its debt GDP ratio from 160% to 120% by 2020.
➢ The summit also agreed that the resources of the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) would be enlarged to a value of around €1trillion to create a firewall against the spread of the debt crisis. This was to be achieved by using the available €250bn to attract further funds on the basis of the...