With recession looming in debt-struck Europe, governments face growing pleas to move away from all-out austerity and inject growth policies as leaders struggle to revive their economies.
European Union leaders used two summits this year to begin discussions on how to jumpstart growth and create jobs after being forced to focus on measures to counter the debt crisis for two years.
Bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal have been accompanied by unpopular budget cuts and structural reforms to convince markets that Europe is getting rid of excessive deficits and debts.
In addition, 25 of the 27 EU states signed a German-driven fiscal pact that will force nations to enshrine balanced budgets in law. Portugal became on Friday the second nation after Greece to ratify the deal, which requires 12 such ratifications to come into force.