European Council 18 December

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC) i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 19 december 2014.

The European Council endorses the Commission's Investment Offensive and commits to continue supporting Ukraine.

The European Council gave its full endorsement last night of the Investment Offensive to mobilise at least 315 billion of funding from 2015-2017 and committed to stay on course to help Ukraine.

"I was very pleased to see that the members of the European Council favourably welcomed the general approach laid out by the Commission," European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker i said at a press conference late last night after leaders' discussions on a host of pressing matters.

The Council called for the setting up a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in the EIB Group with the aim to mobilise €315 billion euro in new investments over three years. The Commission will present a proposal in January 2015, which Union legislators are invited to agree on by June, so that the new investments can be activated as early as mid-2015.

The EIB Group is invited to start activities by using its own funds as of January 2015 and the EFSI will be open to contributions from Member States, directly or through national promotional banks.

Leaders also welcomed upcoming work towards a Digital Single Market, Energy Union and Capital markets Union. It was also agreed that the EU and the US should make all efforts to conclude negotiations on an ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial TTIP by the end of 2015.

On Ukraine following the Commission´s second disbursement in December of €500 million in macro-financial assistance, the EU and its Member States expressed that they stand ready to further facilitate and support the reform process, together with other donors and in line with IMF conditionality.

The European Council welcomed the Commission's readiness to increase humanitarian aid to the suffering people in Ukraine and lastly further tightened the Union's policy of not recognising the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.