The heads of state and government of the European Union began the second day of their summit here Friday, a session focused on efforts to coordinate economic policy and the decision to launch talks on bringing Serbia into the regional bloc.
The leaders were to analyze the advances made in the development of Economic and Monetary Union, particularly establishment of a banking union.
The member states concluded the first session early Friday satisfied by a political deal reached on a long-term budget to spur economic growth and create jobs.
As an initial step, they decided to move up to 2014 and 2015 the timetable for a 6-billion-euro ($7.8 billion) outlay to spur youth employment, of which Spain could receive roughly 1.9 billion euros over those two years.
Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said that the second day of the summit would not drag on too long, adding that the bulk of the agenda had been decided on the first day and at the most recent meeting of EU economy and finance ministers.
He said on Friday the heads of state and government would address European Monetary Union in a very general way and other matters such as Europe's enlargement policy.
Friday's debate comes on the heels of major EU agreements on the direct recapitalization of banks, rules governing future bank bailouts and the speeding up of plans to create a single bank supervisor.
The leaders also were to give the green light for opening accession talks with Serbia, in recognition of the historic accord reached by Belgrade this year to normalize relations with Kosovo, although Serbia refuses to recognize the statehood of its former province. EFE