EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The next few months will be decisive for the European Union's future economic health, with the bloc set to agree a new 10-year economic plan in a bid to leave the recent recession behind, and chart a fresh course towards steady growth and job creation.
Decade-high unemployment, an ageing EU population and soaring budget deficits form the backdrop for those involved in drafting the important roadmap.
Memory of the EU's current economic plan - the Lisbon Strategy, due to expire in 2010 - is also likely to influence EU leaders as they prepare to discuss its successor at a number of European summits over the next six months under the Spanish EU presidency.
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EU enters decisive period for economic plan