The EU leadership held an emergency meeting in Brussels on Sunday to disucss the ongoing financial and economic crisis. In a statement issued after the meeting, the EU leadership rejected requests for a sweeping €180 billion aid plan for struggling Eastern European economies, noting "clear differences between the Member States in central and eastern Europe," while also emphasizing the "benefits which flow from EU integration and the sound medium term prospects it brings." The statement did reiterate intentions to continue implementing the measures agreed in October, to comply with the European Commission's recently issued guidance on the treatment of toxic asset relief measures, to improve the regulation and supervision of financial institutions (with detailed recommendations to come from the ECOFIN Council), and "stress that protectionism is no answer to the current crisis and express confidence in the Commission's role as guardian of the Treaty." The leadership With respect to the banking sector, the leaders emphasized that Member State "support for parent banks should not imply any restrictions on the activities of subsidiaries in EU host countries," implicitly endorsing the notion that banks in western Europe that receive state aid should assist their eastern European subsidiaries. They also welcomed the recent announcement by the World Bank, EIB and EBRD of "a joint initiative to support the banking sectors in the region and to fund lending to businesses hit by the global economic crisis," but declined to endorse any EU-wide bank rescue measures.