Brussels (dpa) – The European Union economy needs to be “more resilient and competitive” for the bloc to remain influential, European Council President Charles Michel said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Michel chaired the Brussels meeting of countries using the euro single currency convened to tackle sluggish economic growth in the eurozone.

As well as working closer on public spending rules, EU leaders agreed to advance work towards improving the resources and efficiency of bloc’s financial markets.

Eurogroup President Pascal Donohoe said after the meeting he had “never seen such an interest” in the bloc’s financial markets from EU leaders before.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde updated leaders on the bloc’s inflation situation.

A full meeting of the EU’s 27 member states also discussed migration after assessing the bloc’s economic worries as well as methods to appease the bloc’s protesting farmers, angry over environmental regulations and falling incomes.

On Thursday, the assembled prime ministers and presidents agreed to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, to use the revenues of seized Russian assets to help Ukraine, to bolster Europe’s defence industry, and to open accession negotiations with Bosnia-Herzegovina. (March 22)

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