David Cameron attended the European Council meeting held in Brussels on 14 and 15 March. The discussions focused on economic issues and growth and the situation in Syria.
David Cameron set out the three key economic issues of tax, transparency and trade; and the issues around terrorism that the UK will be pursuing at the G8 summit at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June.
David Cameron again made the case for practical steps 'to strip away the red tape and EU directives that hamstring our businesses', especially small and medium-sized businesses which have provided 85% of new jobs in the EU over the last decade.
He said that a fundamental principle for a reformed European Union has to be competitiveness, which for him means tacking 'the self-inflicted weakness of excessive regulation and complex rules that stifle business'.
The European Council agreed that by June 2013, the Commission will set out proposals for how to reduce burdens on small and medium-sized enterprises; and that by the autumn of 2013, the Commission will produce a list of unnecessary EU rules to be reversed and removed from the statute book.