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Invitation letter by President Herman Van Rompuy to the European Council
It is my pleasure to invite you to the meeting of the European Council
on 7 and 8 February 2013 in Brussels.
The main purpose of this meeting will be for us to agree on the next
Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
It is indeed becoming urgent for the MFF to be adopted if we want
future EU policies and programmes to run smoothly and deliver their potential
for growth and jobs as of next year.
We should use the momentum that was brought into this difficult file by
our constructive discussions in November last year.
In the meantime my team and I have been in very close contact with all
of you or your collaborators, and I am confident that with some adaptations the
proposal I made on 22 November can constitute the basis for a deal in the
After our traditional meeting with the President of the European
Parliament Thursday at 15h, I will therefore immediately begin our first working
session by explaining what adjustments I believe are necessary for a good
compromise to be made.
I want to focus our discussion first on the overall amounts of
expenditures and on the revenue side, so as to reach a common understanding on
the overall framework.
Your collaborators will simultaneously be briefed on the more technical
details at a meeting convened by my Head of Cabinet starting at 15h.
The European Council will continue its discussions over dinner, which
will be starting early (at 18h30).
Coming to Friday, the next point on our agenda is trade: I see this
very much as part of our comprehensive growth strategy.
As was recognised in our Compact for Growth and Jobs, trade must be
better used as an engine for growth and job creation.
While we remain committed to further developing the multilateral
trading system, our immediate focus has to be on our bilateral trade agenda,
which offers the Union interesting prospects over the coming months.
I will ask José Manuel Barroso to introduce the topic and to brief us
on latest developments.
Furthermore, two years after the start of the Arab Spring, it is a good
moment for the European Council to take stock of events in our Southern
In this context, I will say a word about the conclusions I drew from my
recent trip to the region.
Finally, we will look at the situation in Mali.
In the light of the work carried out by the General Affairs Council, as
well as the discussions last week in the Foreign Affairs Council, we should be
able to rapidly adopt our conclusions on Friday.