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Cyprus

President in Brussels for Council meeting

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades left for Brussels yesterday to join his European Union counterparts for a European Council meeting today and tomorrow.

During his visit, Anastasiades will reportedly hold personal meetings with his French and German counterparts Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel respectively as well as with the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.

The European Council comprises of the heads of state of the EU member states, the head of the European Commission and the president of the European Council. It is a non-legislative body which helps shape the political directions and priorities of the European Union.

This week, the council will be discussing the contribution a single digital market could play towards growth and job creation within the bloc. It will also look at economic and social policy issues, including looking at a stronger banking union and strengthened coordination of economic policies, the head of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said in his invitation letter to the heads of EU member states.

The discussion will also discuss measures to help youth employment and smaller businesses. The head of the European Central Bank is due to join the meeting tonight over dinner to discuss the banking issues and credit institutions’ balance sheet assessment. The European Council is also due to discuss migration policy in light of the hundreds of deaths off the coast of Italy when a boat packed with Africans caught fire and sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa earlier this month.

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