The Euro Summit brings together the heads of state or government of the euro area countries, the Euro Summit President and the President of the European Commission. Euro Summit meetings provide strategic guidelines on euro area economic policy.
What is the euro area?
The euro area, also known as the 'eurozone', consists of the EU countries that have adopted the euro as their currency. It currently has 19 member states.
Role of the Euro Summit
The Euro Summit provides policy guidance to ensure the smooth functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union. This helps to coordinate all the relevant policy areas between the euro area member states.
Regular high-level discussions on the specific responsibilities related to euro area membership also allow euro area countries to take greater account of the euro area dimension in their national policy-making.
As euro area issues have political and economic importance for all EU countries, they also are regularly discussed in European Council meetings.
Euro Summit meetings
According to the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) in the Economic and Monetary Union, Euro Summit meetings should take place at least twice a year. If possible, they should be held after European Council meetings in Brussels.
Euro Summit meetings are organised according to specific rules of procedure, adopted on 14 March 2013.
The members of the Euro Summit are the heads of state or government from the euro area countries, the Euro Summit President and the President of the European Commission. In addition:
- the President of the European Central Bank is invited to take part
- the President of the Eurogroup may be invited to take part, as the Eurogroup is responsible for the preparation and follow-up of Euro Summit meetings
- the President of the European Parliament may also be invited to speak
Where appropriate, and at least once a year, leaders of non-euro area member states that have ratified the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) also take part in the Euro Summit meetings.
Euro Summit President
Euro area leaders elect the Euro Summit President by simple majority, at the same time as the European Council elects its President. The Euro Summit President's term of office is 2.5 years.
The President is responsible for convening, chairing and steering Euro Summit meetings. He also discusses euro area matters with the President of the Commission and the President of the Eurogroup.
The Euro Summit President reports to the European Parliament after each Euro Summit meeting. He also informs all the non-euro area member states about the preparation and outcome of Euro Summit meetings.
History of the Euro Summit
Euro area leaders met in the Euro Summit format for the first time on 12 October 2008 in Paris, where they agreed on concerted action in response to the economic crisis. Further summits in this format were held in May 2010, March 2011, July 2011, and October 2011 in Brussels. In 2012, euro area issues were mainly dealt with at European Council.
In the margins of the European Council meeting on 1-2 March 2012, 25 European leaders signed the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG). Among other things, the treaty, which entered into force on 1 January 2013, formalised the Euro Summit.
The organisation of the Euro Summit and the role of its President are set out in its article 12.
The first Euro Summit since the entry into force of the TSCG was held on 14 March 2013.
Documents adopted by the euro area heads of state or government 2010-2013
Documents adopted by the euro area leaders in the period of 2010-2013 are available via the following link:
Related documents and publications
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The Euro Summit discussed the future of the economic and monetary union and banking union.
"The summit participants agreed with my proposal that in the next 6 months, the work of our finance ministers should concentrate on areas where the convergence of views is the greatest."President Tusk in his remarks following the European Council meetings on 14 and 15 December 2017
EU leaders exchanged views on how to ensure that the EU has the appropriate means to face potential economic shocks.
The debate built up on a note circulated by President Tusk ahead of the summit as part of the Leaders' Agenda. This note outlined a number of ideas on which there is a broad convergence, such as:
- putting into operation a common backstop for the Single Resolution Fund, possibly in the form of a credit line from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM);
- further developing the ESM, possibly to become a so-called European Monetary Fund
- further developing the Ecofin Council Roadmap of June 2016 on completing the banking union, including the gradual introduction of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme
The Euro Summit was held in an inclusive format of 27 member states. The fiscal compact foresees that all countries that ratified it (currently 25) should participate in Euro Summits when appropriate, and in particular, when discussing the euro area architecture.
Given the importance of the discussions, President Tusk also decided to invite Croatia and the Czech Republic to the summit, two countries which have not yet ratified the fiscal compact.
President Tusk announced that he will call the next Euro Summit in March 2018 to continue the discussion.