Eurozone leaders have reached a consensus, in principle, on strengthening the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), according to a draft report on the results of the Summit obtained by ANA-MPA.

The draft communiqué said Eurozone leaders and the EU’s institutions underlined their strategy over sustaining financial stability in the Eurozone, including a legislative package on economic governance, banks’ stress tests and the restructuring of the financial sector along with implementing a so-called six-month program.

The 17 leaders stressed that the package of decisions should be completed by March and set four steps: a) implementing existing programmes with Greece and Ireland, b) implementing measures aimed at strengthening fiscal conditions and creating growth prospects in Eurozone member-states, and with the European Commission, in cooperation with European Central Bank, assessing progress, c) the Eurogroup will present specific proposals on strengthening EFSF and its flexibility to offer the necessary support and d) completing all operational characteristics of a European Stability Mechanism.

The European Council’s conclusions also called for a “general approach” to be presented in March, based on European Commission’s recommendations on “economic governance” and urged for actions to reassure full implementation of recommendations made by a Task Force for a final agreement with the European Parliament to be reached by the end of June. The Council also called for “ambitious stress tests” on European banks and urged member-states to come up with specific plans -based on community rules on state subsidies- for dealing with any “weak” links in the banking system.

The communiqué also said that a European Council in March will decide on a limited reform of the Lisbon Treaty, necessary for decisions over a European Stability Mechanism.