Press Advisories

27. 2. 2009 16:15

Invitation letter from Mirek Topolánek to the informal European Council meeting

Invitation letter from Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and President of the European Council Mirek Topolánek to the informal European Council meeting on 1 march.

Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

It is an honour for me to invite you to the informal meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the European Union that will be held on Sunday 1 March 2009 in Brussels. The meeting will take the form of a lunch which will begin at 13:00 in the Justus Lipsius building of the Council of the European Union.

We are facing an unprecedented crisis. What started as financial turbulence triggered by malpractices by certain banks has become a major financial crisis, whose negative effects are spreading to the real economy. The present situation requires that we reiterate, at the highest level, our commitment to face the impacts of the crisis in a cooperative and coordinated manner.

This is why I propose that we meet ahead of our regular spring summit in order to discuss the next steps to take in response to the crisis and to focus above all on the following issues:

First, as regards the financial sector, the top priority is to ensure the restoration of credit flows in the economy. This requires action on many fronts, including on the issue of impaired banking assets. The crisis has also revealed the urgent need to improve the regulation and supervision of financial institutions. We also need to discuss ways to strengthen macrofinancial stability in Europe

As for the real economy, it is essential that we continue to coordinate the implementation of our national recovery plans on the basis of the guidelines we set last December. We will assess the implementation of the European Recovery Plan more thoroughly on 19 and 20 March, but already this Sunday we should discuss the means required to support our industries, including the car manufacturing sector, whilst ensuring a level playing field for all companies. We need to stress the vital role played by the single market in making the European economy more resilient.

The measures to support the banking sector and industry at national level must be mutually reinforcing and avoid negative spill-over effects. We should reflect on concrete steps that can be taken to provide the best possible consultation and cooperation for this purpose. We also need to reiterate our commitment to return to the medium-term budgetary targets as soon as possible.

Finally, it is important to emphasise that we should also exchange experiences on how best to stimulate employment, prevent job losses or, as the case may be, limit such losses. Of course, we will revert to this important issue at the Spring European Council on 19 and 20 March as well as at the extraordinary summit I will be convening in May.

I will ask José Manuel Barroso to inform us on Sunday of the intentions of the Commission in these areas. Given the importance of the financial sector, I have also invited the President of the European Central Bank to share his views on these issues with us.

I will also ask Gordon Brown, in his capacity as the G20 Chair, and Angela Merkel, in the light of the meeting she organised on 22 February, to brief us on the preparations underway regarding the forthcoming G20 Summit. This information will be useful in preparing for our formal meeting on 19 and 20 March, which will establish the position of the European Union for the London Summit.

Given the informal nature of our meeting, no conclusions will be adopted. However, due to the importance of communicating a strong message to our citizens about the measures being undertaken by the European Union and the Member States, I intend to prepare a short text of "joint press lines".

I look forward to seeing you soon in Brussels.

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