The ECB's oversight is due to be operational late next year, but progress on other fronts has been slow since some countries have started back-pedaling on last year's pledges. Investors no longer feared an imminent breakup of the currency zone following an ECB pledge to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.

Thursday's agreement on rules for bank failures was a step toward establishing a joint bank resolution authority, but Germany and others seek to delay further progress on that issue and on a joint deposit insurance scheme. The EU summit showed complacency on the matter, making no progress, while pledging to discuss further steps in the fall.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker acknowledged that it appears leaders "have bid farewell to the somewhat further reaching ideas." Leaving the EU summit, he added "I would have wished for a little more forward-looking dynamic, not a dynamic of stagnation."

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