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BRUSSELS, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The 2013 concluding meeting of the Heads of State and Government of 28 countries of the European Union (EU) bids fair to become one of the most diversified in the past five years. The range of themes includes a discussion of common European defense and security policies, an economic recovery of Europe, and plans for the establishment of a European Bank Union, and an exchange of views on problems of the Eastern Partnership, with the situation in Ukraine dominating.
The European leaders will begin with defense-related subjects. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been invited to a working dinner on the first day of the summit. He will set out his vision of efforts to raise the level of interaction between the EU and NATO, and ensure the growth of the military capabilities of European countries. Other themes will deal with EU countries' military appropriations which continue to decrease, and their most effective use in the light of the economic crisis.
The problem of establishing a European Banking Union (EBU) is expected to become the main theme of the economic segment of subjects at the summit. The EBU must be brought into being by 2016 so as to ensure the stability of European banks, without resorting to the use of taxpayers' money. The Banking Union will comprise three main elements: a bank supervision system the functions of which will be performed by the European Central Bank, a problem banks liquidation and restructuring system, of which the European Commission will be in charge, and an interbank reserve fund, made up of contributions by the banks themselves, the resources of which will be used in case of the need for the provision of liquidity to problem financial organizations.
How slow the talks are conducted between EU countries on this major organization of an EU-2 — which is being established, that is a project for an integrated Europe with common supranational economic and financial management — is evidenced by the fact that, originally, a Banking Unio was to be activated by the beginning of 2013.
As far as a Declaration on Ukraine is concerned, it will contain, according to Itar-Tass information, six main provisions. First, the EU still remains ready, despite everything, to sign an Agreement on Association and a Free Trade Area with Ukraine. Second, Kiev must meet all EU demands concerning the democratization of life in that country. Third, the EU is confident of the beneficial nature of the Agreement to Ukraine and that it does not demand compensations, and that this in itself will bring lasting prosperity to the Ukrainian people. Fourth, the EU leaders will express support to the Ukrainian people's "European aspirations", without making any promises about the possibility of Ukraine's accession to the EU even in a distant future. Fifth, they will demand the release of "all supporters of the opposition", and sixth, they will urge the authorities and the opposition to start a political dialogue with the mediation of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Stefan Fule, EU Enlargement Commissioner, and Linas Linkevicius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, which presides over the EU until the end of the year. It is also expected that EU President Herman Van Rompuy will solemnly read the Declaration out to the camera and subsequently the recording will be shown to the supporters of Ukraine's accession to the EU , who have gathered in Kiev.