European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels, will be looking to see if sufficient banking and structural reforms have been achieved during the year to whittle down the debt load across the bloc and nail down economic recovery.
Several EU hopefuls, meanwhile, will want EU admission dates from the summit - if they haven't received one during the year. Despite the uneven progress toward economic stability in the bloc, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo want admission. Former-applicant Iceland has dissolved its accession team.
The European Central Bank is due to take on supervision of banks throughout the euro zone in 2014, and the International Monetary Fund has urged the bloc to set up a banking union and to conduct rigorous stress tests in the banking sector. Negotiations haven't been smooth; EU lawyers and several individual countries are questioning the legalities of some proposed measures.
Date written/update: 2014-11-29