15 AND 16 DECEMBER 1995




The European Council, meeting in Madrid on 15 and 16 December 1995, took decisions on employment, the single currency, the Intergovernmental Conference and enlargement to bring in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The European Council considers that job creation is the principal social, economic and political objective of the European Union and its Member States, and declares its firm resolve to continue to make every effort to reduce unemployment.

The European Council adopted the scenario for the changeover to the single currency, confirming unequivocally that this stage will commence on 1 January 1999.

The European Council decided to name the currency, to be used from 1 January 1999, the "Euro".

The European Council continued its deliberation on the future of Europe, which was launched in Essen and continued in Cannes and Formentor.

In this connection, having welcomed the Reflection Group's report, the European Council decided to launch the Intergovernmental Conference on 29 March 1996 in order to establish the political and institutional conditions for adapting the European Union to present and future needs, particularly with a view to the next enlargement.

It is essential that the Conference achieve results sufficient to enable the Union to bring added value to all its citizens and to shoulder its responsibilities adequately, both internally and externally.

The European Council notes with satisfaction some significant achievements in the area of external relations which have occurred since its last meeting and in which the European Union has played a decisive role:

The European Council began its proceedings by exchanging ideas with Mr Klaus HÄNSCH, President of the European Parliament, on the main subjects for discussion at this meeting.

Finally, a meeting took place today between the Heads of State and Government and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States (CCEE), as well as Cyprus and Malta. There was a broad exchange of views on these conclusions, matters concerning the preaccession strategy and various issues relating to international policies.

[Madrid European Council]