On Wednesday 23 May, the members of the European Council will meet for an informal dinner at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels. While neither formal conclusions nor final decisions are to be expected, the meeting will be an opportunity to identify the main elements of a growth agenda in the perspective of the June European Council.
Leaders last met at the beginning of March, and, as President Van Rompuy states in his invitation letter, "a lot has happened" since then. The aim of the meeting is "an open and informal exchange of views" on how growth and jobs can be boosted across the EU.
With a view to discussing "in the most constructive manner innovative, or even controversial, ideas", the President suggests focusing on four building blocks for a growth strategy:
• sound national economic policies aiming at "maintaining a growth-friendly fiscal consolidation strategy"
• EU policies bringing added value, with an emphasis on the measures under the Single Market Act programme
• measures improving the financing of the economy, where "various interesting ideas have been floated"
• measures to strengthen job-creation; "this relates both to national and EU policies"
With a credible package in June being the overarching goal, President Van Rompuy encourages leaders "to engage in as open and frank an exchange as possible".
Leaders will meet at 7 pm for an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament. The actual dinner is to start at 7.45 pm. The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission will hold a press conference after the dinner.
Invitation letter to the European Council (pdf)