Summary: 25 March 2011, Brussels - The political objectives, set by the extraordinary European Council on 11 March remain unchanged: Gaddafi must go, and the EU wants a political transition, led by Libyans themselves, and based on a broad political dialogue, said Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, at the end of the first day of the spring European summit (24 - 25 March).
He stressed that the actions undertaken by a coalition of European, Arab and North American countries, implementing the UN resolution, had contributed to protecting the civilian population of Libya. "Even if the outcome is as yet uncertain, a bloodbath has been avoided, thousands of lives were saved," said the President of the European Council, adding that military operations should cease as soon as the civilian population is safe.
The European Union stands ready to initiate and adopt further sanctions, including measures to ensure that oil and gas revenues do not reach the Gaddafi regime. Member states will make similar proposals to the UN Security Council.
The Union is seriously concerned about the humanitarian situation in Libya. It will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, actively planning to do more if needed.
The EU stands ready to help a new Libya economically, and in building its new institutions, and it will continue to work with the Arab League, the African Union and the United Nations.
The EU leaders expressed their profound concern about the situation in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. They condemned the escalation of violence. On the positive side, they noted the smooth conduct of the recent constitutional referendum in Egypt.
The European Union wants to develop a new partnership with its Southern Neighbourhood based on three priorities: trade opportunities, investment in countries which implement reforms, and border assistance.