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The Euro summit (also referred to as the eurozone summit or euro area summit) is the meeting of the heads of state or government of the member states of the eurozone (those EU states which have adopted the euro). It is distinct from the EU summit held regularly by the European Council, the meeting of all EU leaders.
The Euro summit began as an off shoot of the Euro Group, which is the meeting of the eurozone member's finance ministers. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for the Euro summit to replace the Euro Group as a "clearly identified economic government" for the eurozone, stating it was not possible for the eurozone to continue without it. The eurozone economic government would discuss issues with the European Central Bank, which would remain independent. Sarkozy stated that "only heads of state and government have the necessary democratic legitimacy" for the role. This idea was based on the meeting of eurozone leaders in 2008 who met to agree a co-ordinated eurozone response to the banking crisis.
They first met in the summit format in October 2008, in response to the debt crisis. Subsequent meetings took place in March 2010, May 2010, March 2011, July 2011 and October 2011. In the October 2011 meeting, it was agreed to formalise the Euro summit, as at least twice yearly meeting, via a possible new treaty change. A Euro summit President, separate from the Euro Group President, would be elected at the same time as the President of the European Council and under the same rules. Until such an election takes place, the European Council President fulfils that role.
In October 2011, the Eurozone head of states agreed to increase meeting activity to at least two times per year, as part of measures to improve governance of the Eurozone. Meetings have been chaired by president Herman Van Rompuy from March 2010 until November 2014, and will then subsequently be chaired by the new elect president Donald Tusk until 31 May 2017. The table below has listed the date and summary report of all previous Euro summits.
|#||Euro summit dates||Conclusions||Press conference|
|1||12 October 2008||Launch of a bank crisis solution|
|2||25 March 2010||Statement|
|3||7 May 2010||Statement||Video|
|4||11 March 2011||Conclusions||Video|
|5||21 July 2011||Statement||Video|
|6||23–26 October 2011||Remarks by President,
|Video: 1 and 2|
|7||9 December 2011||Statement|
|8||30 January 2012||Agreed lines of communication|
|9||2 March 2012||Statement|
|10||29 June 2012||Statement||Video|
|11||14 March 2013||New procedure rules for Euro summits,
Remarks by President
|12||24 October 2014||Statement||Video|
New procedure rules for Euro summits were adopted on 14 March 2013, regulating the Euro Summit shall meet at least twice a year, convened by its President on preferably one of the same dates as the EU summits. However, for unknown reasons, only one Euro Summit meeting per year took place in 2013 and 2014.
In its informal capacity, the de facto summit President has been the European Council President, meaning that Herman Van Rompuy chaired all meetings since March 2010. The proposals for formalisation of the summit include electing a President along the same lines (and term) as the European Council President, and until then Van Rompuy continues to chair the summit. On 1 March 2012, he was formally elected as President of the Euro Summit for the term 1 June 2012 to 30 November 2014. New elect president for the term 1 December 2014 until 31 May 2017, is the former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
|Representative||Picture||Member State||In office since|
|Faymann, WernerWerner Faymann||Austria||2 December 2008|
|Michel, CharlesCharles Michel||Belgium||11 October 2014|
|Anastasiades, NicosNicos Anastasiades||Cyprus||28 February 2013|
|Rõivas, TaaviTaavi Rõivas||Estonia||26 March 2014|
|Katainen, JyrkiJyrki Katainen||Finland||22 June 2011|
|Hollande, FrançoisFrançois Hollande||France||15 May 2012|
|Merkel, AngelaAngela Merkel||Germany||22 November 2005|
|Samaras, AntonisAntonis Samaras||Greece||20 June 2012|
|Kenny, EndaEnda Kenny||Ireland||9 March 2011|
|Renzi, MatteoMatteo Renzi||Italy||22 February 2014|
|Straujuma, LaimdotaLaimdota Straujuma||Latvia||22 February 2014|
|Bettel, XavierXavier Bettel||Luxembourg||4 December 2013|
|Muscat, JosephJoseph Muscat||Malta||11 March 2013|
|Rutte, MarkMark Rutte||Netherlands||14 October 2010|
|Passos Coelho, PedroPedro Passos Coelho||Portugal||21 June 2011|
|Fico, RobertRobert Fico||Slovakia||4 April 2012|
|Cerar, MiroMiro Cerar||Slovenia||18 September 2014|
|Rajoy, MarianoMariano Rajoy||Spain||21 December 2011|
|Tusk, DonaldDonald Tusk
|European Union||1 December 2014|
Presidents of other EU institutions, such as the President of the European Commission and the European Central Bank President also attend. Presidents of the Euro Group and of the European Parliament may be invited and the President of the Euro Summit shall present a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of the Euro Summit. Heads of state or government of non-eurozone signatories to the European Fiscal Compact treaty participate, at least once a year, for those policies of the treaty that apply to them. In some summits, other leaders might attend discussions, for example the British Prime Minister attending the 2008 summit.
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