Cameron meets EU leaders as strain mounts in Europe

18th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with EU leaders in Brussels Friday as Europe's unrelenting debt crisis drives a wedge between countries sharing the euro and those that do not.

Cameron, who this week lashed out at "out-of-touch" EU institutions, met for one hour with European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and later held talks with EU president Herman Van Rompuy for less than 45 minutes.

The British premier was on a whirlwind trip to Brussels and later Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel amid growing friction over how to resolve the euro crisis.

A statement from Barroso's office said the breakfast talks touched on "the most recent economic and political developments" in the European Union, where efforts to fast-track economic union are gathering momentum by the day to contain the crisis.

It added that the two "exchanged views" ahead of an EU summit set for December 9 that may propose fundamental changes in the way the bloc is managed, specifically by stepping up the role of Brussels in enforcing economic discipline among the 17 nations that share the euro.

The proposals could trigger the need for a limited change in the EU's rule-book, the Lisbon treaty, and a commission official confirmed that treaty change was on the menu at the breakfast talks.

Barroso and Cameron agreed on the need for decisive action "to ensure the stability of the euro area as well as fast-tracking measures to stimulate growth and jobs," the statement said.

"They both underlined the central importance of further developing the single market," it added.

Britain, which does not use the euro, is concerned that plans to deepen integration of the 17-nation eurozone will leave the EU's 10 other nations out of the 27-nation bloc's decision-making process.

London is particularly concerned about being shut out of decisions affecting the single market.

Cameron made no statements during his Brussels visit.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article