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EU heads of state or government will review the economic situation in Europe and conclude the first phase of the European Semester, the new six month cycle of economic policy coordination. They will in particular assess implementation of country-specific recommendations and of commitments under the Euro Plus Pact and give guidance on national programmes.
The European Council will also track progress on the implementation of its February 2011 conclusions on innovation. In addition, it will be informed by its president of the follow-up given to the 8 December 2011 meeting of euro area heads of state or government, in particular regarding the further deepening of fiscal integration within the euro area as well as relations between the EU and the euro area.
The European Council will look at the situation in Syria and the latest development in Europe's southern neighbourhood. It will also discuss the preparations for several international meetings: the forthcoming G8 and G20 summits (19-20 May and 18-19 June respectively) and the UN "Rio +20" conference (20-22 June).
Finally, the European Council is expected to discuss the issue of the candidate status for Serbia.
In the margins of the European Council, the "fiscal compact", or Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, will be signed.
The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of all the EU Member States, i.e. Prime Ministers or Presidents, as well as the President of the European Council and the President of the Commission.
The European Council is convened twice every six months, typically in March, June, October and December. However, the President of the European Council can also convene extraordinary meetings. The last informal European Council was held on 30th January 2012.
Webcasts from meetings in the Council and the European Council