Van Rompuy sees 2012 as turning point in eurozone crisis

EU president Herman Van Rompuy described 2012 as the "turning point" for the crisis-hit eurozone on Wednesday, but also urged bloc members to continue progress towards a banking union.

"2012 marked the turning point in the eurozone crisis," Van Rompuy told journalists during an official visit to Budapest.

"Hopefully, we are over the worst," he said.

After achieving results in 2012, member states must not however sit back but continue working towards a banking union which would support sustainable economic growth and increasing employment, the EU president said, following a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

"Job creation is the best strategy to ensure the wellbeing of Europe's citizens," said Van Rompuy.

The recent EU budget deal for 2014-2020 was "good and important" for Hungary as well as the EU, he noted, adding that the 27 member states had shown responsibility in aligning their national interests with the common EU interest.

"Now it's up to the European Parliament to confirm this success," he said.

The European parliament has yet to greenlight the budget, which was agreed by EU leaders on February 7-8 in Brussels.

Orban meanwhile vowed that Van Rompuy could "count on the support of Hungary for banking union and economic and financial coordination," and that the country, although not a eurozone member, supported measures to strengthen and restore confidence in the common currency.