The leaders are due to agree on a comprehensive package of measures to safeguard financial stability and to promote sustainable growth and employment. This includes final approval of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a new fund which in 2013 will replace the present temporary one to support eurozone countries in the event of major economic difficulties.

The European Council is also expected to adopt the Pact for the euro, which will strengthen economic policy coordination with the aim of improving competitiveness.

As regards international issues, the summit will discuss the latest developments in Libya and, more generally, in the EU's southern neighbourhood. It will also consider the situation in Japan and the lessons to be learned in the field of nuclear safety.

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