Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Brussels, 18 January 2011

The Council kicked off the 2011 “European Semester”, examining the Commission’s annual growth
survey and drawing lessons from an assessment of the member states’ draft national reform
The “European Semester” is implemented for the first time this year as part of a reform of EU
economic governance; it is aimed at ensuring better-coordinated and more effective policies for
putting Europe’s economy on a path to sustainable growth.
The Council also discussed the follow-up to the December European Council as regards the
strengthening of EU economic governance and the establishment of a new mechanism to ensure the
stability of the euro area.
Economic governance was cited as a key priority by the Hungarian presidency, which presented its
work programme to the Council. The presidency stated its goal of reaching agreement on six
legislative proposals on economic governance by the end of March.
The Council also approved visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Georgia, both
entering into force on 1 March 2011. The visa facilitation agreement will make it easier and
cheaper for Georgian citizens to acquire short stay visas (up to 90 days per period of 180 days) for
travels to and throughout the EU.

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