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EU leaders agree to 'work closely' with UK on reforms

Prime minister says a 'pathway to a deal' has been found ahead of a 2017 UK vote on maintaining European Union membership

BRUSSELS (AVRUPA TIMES) European Union heads of government have agreed to work together with the U.K. in four key areas where British Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking reforms.

 

Following a summit in Brussels on Thursday the European Council said that it "agreed to work closely together to find mutually satisfactory solutions in all the four areas" at another meeting on the issue set to take place between Feb. 18-19.

 

The four areas are: excluding Britain from having to bailout eurozone countries that get into trouble; cutting down on excessive regulation; giving national parliaments more power in forming EU law; and cutting welfare benefits such as in-work payments for citizens of other European states.

 

Giving a late-night press conference following the meeting Thursday, Cameron said "good progress" had been made and that a "pathway to a deal" had been found with his EU counterparts.

 

Cameron has promised a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether the U.K. should remain within the EU.

 

"There's still a lot of hard work to be done but there is a path through this," Cameron told the news conference. 

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