During the last two and a half years, the European Union has taken important and far-reaching steps to overcome the crisis and improve the governance of the EMU. However, Europe is onceagain going through a period of heightened tensions. The crisis surrounding sovereign debt and theweakness of the financial sector, together with persistent low growth and macroeconomicimbalances, are slowing down economic recovery and creating risks for the stability of EMU. Thisis having a negative impact in terms of unemployment and may weigh down Europe's potential tobenefit from a gradual improvement of the global economic outlook.We are therefore committed to taking resolute action to address financial market tensions, restoreconfidence and revive growth. We reaffirm our commitment to preserve the EMU and put it on amore solid basis for the future. Strong, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, based on sound public finances, structural reforms and investment to boost competitiveness, remains our key priority.This is why today we adopted a "Compact for Growth and Jobs", encompassing action to be takenby the Member States and the European Union with the aim of relaunching growth, investment and employment as well as making Europe more competitive. We also endorsed the country-specificrecommendations to guide Member States' policies and budgets. Finally we emphasised the rolethat the forthcoming Multiannual Financial Framework should play in strengthening growth and employment. The President of the European Council presented the report "Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union" and was invited to develop a specific and time-bound road map.We are determined to take the measures required to ensure a financially stable, competitive and prosperous Europe and thus enhance the welfare of citizens.
I. GROWTH, INVESTMENT AND JOBS
The European Union will continue to do everything necessary to put Europe back on the pathof smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Recalling the importance of fiscal consolidation,structural reform and targeted investment for sustainable growth, the European Counciladopted a "Compact for Growth and Jobs", providing a coherent framework for action atnational, EU and euro area levels, using all possible levers, instruments and policies (seeannex).2.
The European Council endorsed the country-specific recommendations which Member Stateswill translate into their forthcoming national decisions on budgets, structural reforms andemployment policies, thus bringing the 2012 European Semester to a close.