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EU reaches common positions for G20 summit
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European Union (EU) leaders hammered out common positions on Thursday for the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, calling for continuous efforts of fiscal stimulus and global curbs on bankers' bonuses.

Leaders from the European Union's 27 member states urged here on Thursday the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 (G20) rich and developing nations to continue implementing coordinated policy measures to develop the basis for sustainable growth and avoid repetition of the financial crisis.

European Union (EU) rotating presidency Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (R) and President of European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso attend a news conference after the EU informal Summit at EU's headquarter in Brussels, capital of Belgium, Sept. 17, 2009. EU leaders met here on Thursday to prepare their common positions for the upcoming summit of Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Pittsburgh next week.[Wu Wei/Xinhua] 

Stimulus to stay 

"Efforts must be maintained until recovery is secured," EU leaders said in a conclusion document after an informal summit in Brussels on Thursday, which is designed to coordinate EU position for next week's G20 summit in Pittsburgh, the United States.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency, told a press conference after the summit that the current global economic situation "remains uncertain and risks remain" despite positive signs of recovery.

But he warned the huge stimulus would push up public deficits for governments, so an exit strategy to phase out those measures must be designed now.

"Exit strategies need to be designed now and implemented in a coordinated manner as soon as recovery takes hold, taking into account the specific situations of individual countries," said the conclusion document.

EU leaders also urged strengthened global macroeconomic coordination to address global imbalances, saying that "such coordination should be based on a central role for the IMF (International Monetary Fund)."

They called on the G20 summit to reiterate its stance against protectionism and continue to press for progress in trade liberalization, including with regard to a global, ambitious and balanced conclusion of the Doha Round of global trade talks in 2010.

On employment, EU leaders said that laying the basis for a sustainable recovery and sound public finances is the best way to ensure a rapid return to employment, prodding to speed up structural reform.

They stressed that to avoid permanent exclusion from the labor market, particular attention must be paid to maintaining employment, creating new jobs and promoting mobility; upgrading skills and matching labor market needs; and increasing access to employment.

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