New finance minister Pierre Moscovici says there has been a lack of credibility for France over the public deficit and adds: "We're being watched".
The European Commission has sent a message to new French President Francois Hollande that his growth agenda faces severe constraints.
Germany rules out reworking the European Union's 'fiskalpakt' despite calls to do so by Francois Hollande, France's president-elect.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative right Popular Party was elected to government in a landslide victory in November, earlier this month named Luis de Guindos, formerly with Lehman Brothers and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as his new economy minister. The appointment, announced last week, was the latest manifestation of a viral pattern now spreading across Europe, whereby technocrats are filling the posts of national governments and private sector "experts" are shaping EU decision making. Ludovic Lamant reports.
The EU summit in Brussels sees agreement among eurozone members to a tax and budget pact after the UK vetoed modification of the EU Treaty.
Following the arrival this month of thousands of Tunisians on the island of Lampedusa, Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini has warned that the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi will open a migratory exodus of 'biblical proportions'. Carine Fouteau reports on how pro-democracy revolts sweeping away the dictatorial regimes of the Arab world have opened up an embarrassing issue for the European Union, which for years has relied on the despots of North Africa to help control clandestine migration from the continent.