On January 20, Mario Monti’s government adopted a deregulation plan for the Italian economy designed to remove obstacles for growth. Italy is the eight-largest economy in the world and country that many are keeping an eye on in 2012, as the debt crisis in Europe deepens. In the referendum on January 22, the Croatians voted to join the European Union. Croatia is expected to become a member of the EU on July 1, 2013. European Union finance ministers are meeting in Brussels this week to discuss restructuring of Greece’s debt and find compromise on the Eurozone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), ahead of the EU Summit on January 30. The Center for European Studies at the University of Michigan will host a mini summit on January 26, as it welcomes European Union Ambassador to the United States João Vale de Almeida and Danish Ambassador to the United States Peter Taksøe-Jensen. Denmark assumed the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1, and its goals include a more responsible, dynamic, greener, and safer Europe. Ambassadors Vale de Almeida and Taksøe-Jensen will discuss the current crisis, institutional questions, presidency priorities, and the green sustainability agenda.
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