Commenting on the conclusions of the European Council, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP made the following statement: "This Council was naturally dominated by the twin crises of sovereign debt and bank capitalisation, and the need both to fight fires immediately and to build confidence in longer term economic management.
While the leaders of the euro zone countries can be fairly satisfied with their agreements for the immediate and the short term there is still much medium and longer term work to do. Indeed, there appreared afterwards to be some disagreement on what had been agreed. We need to move quickly to give the ECB powers of bank supervision and to allow the EFSF/ESM to support banks in trouble.
Crucial to economic growth will be efforts to increase trade, both within and outwith the EU's single market. The Council's recognition that 'additional economic gains of up to €330 billion could be reaped' within the scope of the Services Directive is an important step forward. Consideration should also be given to extending the very limited scope of the Directive to reflect Frits Bolkestein's vision. The European People's Party and the Party of Socialists and Democrats must recognise the job creating potential of further liberalisation of the market in services.
Similarly, progress on free trade agreements with third countries and on the Digital Single Market can help the 23 million unemployed Europeans whose plight proves daily that an EPP-run EU is not working."
Commenting on other issues discussed at the summit, Sir Graham continued:
"Europe's Liberal Democrats have long been calling for more effective action on Syria. We welcome the Council's conclusions which suggest that, at last, others appear to be coming round to our view."