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Finland to hold informal EU leaders' summit

Written by: Staff

Helsinki, May 12: Finland will host an informal summit of European Union leaders in October likely to focus on economic reform, the second time the Union will skip a formal meeting of the bloc's 25 leaders.

The meeting, coinciding with a tripartite ''social summit'' of EU institutions, employers and trade unions, will take place in Lahti, about 100 km north of Helsinki, on October 20, the Finnish government said in a statement today.

Finland takes over the rotating presidency of the EU in July, and the informal summit, with fewer aides and no formal decisions, is also intended to pave the way for the subsequent presidencies of Germany and Portugal.

Britain was the first EU country to hold such an informal brainstorming session, rather than a formal summit of leaders, at Hampton Court, outside London, last October.

That gave birth to the idea of a common European energy policy, which diplomats say could be one of the key theme's of the October meeting, with the executive European Commission expected to make firmer proposals after a consultation exercise.


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