History of the Euro Summit
The Euro Summit was first held in October 2008, providing a forum where euro area leaders could discuss matters of interest to the common currency area.
The Euro Summit was created as a means for euro area leaders to discuss matters of importance to the euro area. This includes discussions on strategic directions for economic policies that could increase convergence between euro area member states.
A forum for concerted action on euro area issues
On 12 October 2008, euro area leaders met in Paris for the first time in the summit format, where they agreed on concerted action in response to the debt crisis.
Subsequent summits were held in Brussels in May 2010, March 2011, July 2011, and October 2011.
During 2012, euro area issues were mainly dealt with at European Council level, in meetings with all EU leaders.
The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG), which entered into force in January 2013, requires a minimum of two Euro Summit meetings a year.
The first Euro Summit since the entry into force of the TSCG was held on 14 March 2013.
Euro Summit meetings
At the meeting on 26 October 2011, euro area leaders agreed on ten measures to improve the governance of the common currency area.
These measures included holding regular Euro Summit meetings, bringing together euro area heads of state or government, the President of the Euro Summit and the President of the Commission.
It was decided that these meetings should take place at least twice a year at key moments of the annual economic governance cycle known as the European Semester. If possible, they would be held after European Council meetings, which take place in Brussels.
The President of the European Central Bank is also invited to take part in Euro Summit meetings.
The Eurogroup is charged with the preparation and follow-up of Euro Summit meetings, and its President may therefore be invited to take part in meetings.
Euro Summit President
Participants at the October 2011 summit agreed on the need for a President of the Euro Summit.
They decided that the Euro Summit President would be elected by euro area heads of state or government at the same time as the European Council elected its President and would serve a two and a half year term.
Pending election of the first Euro Summit President, it was decided that Herman Van Rompuy should continue chairing the Euro Summit meetings, which he had done informally since March 2010.
On 1 March 2012, Herman Van Rompuy was subsequently elected as the first President of the Euro Summit. His term of office will run until 30 November 2014.
Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance
The Euro Summit and the role of its President are furthermore enshrined in Article 12 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.
This treaty was signed by 25 European leaders in the margins of the European Council meeting held on 1 and 2 March 2012. It entered into force on 1 January 2013.
Euro Summit rules of procedure
"Rules for the organisation of the proceedings of the Euro Summits" set out how the proceedings are prepared, conducted and followed up.
EU leaders adopted these rules on 14 March 2013, drawing on treaty provisions and existing practices.
Last updated: 18/12/2012