ATHENS, Greece, Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leaders of seven European countries including Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta reaffirmed their unity and common purpose for a strong and prosperous European Union, during the Second Summit of the Southern EU Countries, held in Lisbon, Portugal.
"We agreed on the need to strengthen our efforts so that the European Union once again become an idea, a vision, that will inspire the peoples of Europe,'' said Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece. "We are here to say good words on behalf of Europe but also to strive for a better Europe in the future.
"Europe requires unity and determination to move forward for the benefit of all of our people," Mr. Tsipras said.
Among matters discussed by country leaders were ways to enhance cooperation among members of the southern EU countries and present a united front against destabilizing forces in Europe.
With regard to Greece, the leaders expressed their support and they agreed upon encouraging the timely and successful conclusion of the second review of the Greek programme in the framework of the European acquis, with full respect of democratic and constitutional values, in the interest of the whole Euro Area.
On the issue of growth, the leaders repeatedly emphasized the need for a common EU fiscal policy that encourages inclusion, innovation and increased business investment. "We need to consider the proposals put forward by the final report of the High-Level Group on Own Resources, advance in fiscal integration by developing a truly European oriented fiscal policy and prepare the discussion on the setting up of a fiscal capacity for the Euro area,'' the leaders said in a common declaration following the summit.
"We support the extension and strengthening of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, but we reiterate the need to go further in addressing the investment gap existing in many Member States and regions."
"We envision a new virtuous circle of convergence in Europe, driven by increased public and private investment that strengthens the economic recovery, creates new and better jobs, reinforce the impact of structural reforms and support the transition to a new growth model," the leaders said in the Declaration.
The next two summits of Southern EU countries will take place in Madrid in April and then in Cyprus at a yet-to-be-determined date.
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SOURCE Government of Greece