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European Council



Meeting in the European Council on 20/21 March, European heads of state or government discussed the Ukraine crisis, the European Semester, industry competitiveness and the 2030 energy and climate package.

European Council Conclusions



The European Council held an in depth discussion on the situation in Ukraine. It adopted a strong message of support to Ukraine and agreed on a number of concrete measures in that respect.

European Semester

The spring European Council concluded that this year member states' national reform programmes and the stability and convergence programmes should address the issues identified in 2013 country-specific recommendations as well as in the Commission's recent analysis of macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances, including its in-depth reviews in a number of member states.


The European Council also concluded that the Council will adopt the amended directive on taxation of savings income at its next meeting in March 2014, which will enable the member states to better clamp down on tax fraud and tax evasion. The Council is also expected to adopt a directive on administrative cooperation (which will allow for automatic exchange of information on other income types) by the end of 2014.

Banking union: single resolution mechanism

The European Council congratulated the negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council on the agreement reached on the single resolution mechanism regulation.

Industrial competitiveness

During the working session on industrial competitiveness, EU leaders highlighted the need for Europe to develop its industrial base, in terms of both production and investment. To achieve this, they stressed the importance of a stable, simple and predictable regulatory environment and agreed that industrial competitiveness concerns should be mainstreamed across all policy areas.

Climate and energy

EU leaders held a first policy debate on a framework for climate and energy policies in the period from 2020 to 2030 and agreed on the way forward. They also discussed ways to reduce Europe's energy dependency.


The Council adopted legal acts giving effect to the agreement at the European Council to add 12 additional persons to the list of individuals subject to travel restrictions and an asset freeze

- Final press conference

EU-Ukraine signing ceremony of the political chapters of the Association Agreement


EU leaders and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine, signed the political provisions of the Association Agreement. This is a clear sign that the European Union stands by the Ukrainian government in its efforts to stabilise Ukraine and undertake reforms

- Video: EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

European Council Newsfeed


Conclusions on Ukraine

The European Council conclusions on Ukraine, among other things, contain a decision to add more names to the list of sanctions, cancel the EU-Russia summit and regular bilateral summits by the member states; a request for an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) mission in Ukraine, and a request for an EU mission, if an agreement on OSCE mission were not reached rapidly.

In addition, the European Council asks the Commission and the member states to prepare possible targeted measures, if the crisis were not settled peacefully and if Russian Federation took any further steps to destabilize situation.

The EU and Ukraine will sign the political provisions of the Association Agreement on 21 March.


Remarks by President Van Rompuy following the first session of the European Council

President Van Rompuy has summarized the discussions and decisions taken by the European Council in its first session on 20 March. He described in detail decisions taken on the situation in Ukraine, briefly reviewed discussion on the economic situation in the EU, welcomed the agreement to adopt the revised directive on taxation of savings and the Council's agreement with the European Parliament on the single resolution mechanism. The president also reviewed the leaders' discussion on how to boost Europe's industrial competitiveness. 

- Press conference by Herman Van Rompuy - Friday, March 21, 2014 at 0.25


Statement by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy on savings taxation

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has welcomed the agreement reached by the European Council on strengthening EU rules on taxation of savings income. The directive will enable the member states to better clamp down on tax fraud and tax evasion. "This is a clear message that Europe is fully committed to the new single global standard for automatic exchange of information", said the President. 


Introductory remarks by Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council.

In his opening remarks, Herman Van Rompuy condemned the illegal breach of Ukraine sovereignty. EU leaders are going to discuss a united response to the situation. 

Economy and measures to boost the EU industry competitiveness will be high on the agenda of this spring Council. Climate change and energy topics, especilaly the EU dependency on third countries for its energy supply will also be addressed by EU leaders. 

Videos and photos

- Best of arrivals (first day)

Related documents

- Summit photo directory 

European Council meetings are chaired by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

They take place in Brussels, in the Justus Lipsius building with the assistance of the General Secretariat of the Council.


Blue Arrows

European Council
Justus Lipsius building
Rue de la Loi 175
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Blue Arrows

The press centre, which is also located in the Justus Lipsius building, is equipped with all the necessary facilities for the press and audiovisual media


+32 (0)2 281 90 00


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E-mail: presse.centre@consilium.europa.eu

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