Speech at Princeton University
In the speech entitled "European Union: An indispensable partner" President Barroso emphasised the mutual interdependence of USA and Europe in trade and their shared responsibility for addressing various global challenges.
"Total US investments in the European Union is three times higher than in all of Asia while European investment in the United States is eight times higher than our investment in India and China together," pointed out the President in his speech. "Did you know that US firms are investing more in Belgium than in China or India? That US investments into Brazil, China and India taken together are less than half of US flows to the Netherlands alone?"
"Still, there is more to be done to deepen and broaden the bilateral ties," said the President referring to the on-going hard work "on a bold initiative with purpose to even more expand trade and investment that could make a significant contribution to our strategy to strengthen growth and create jobs."
After explaining the trade ties, President Barroso elaborated on common responsibility among the two. "Let's be clear: Americans are not from Mars and we, Europeans, are not from Venus. We are all from the same planet. We share the same planet and a common responsibility to address together challenges that are global by nature, from the fight against climate change and our work for energy security to the fight against poverty and hunger, from Africa and Afghanistan to the Middle East and South America."
Sadly, not all the countries make the same analysis or react in the same way, with the example of the "appalling situation in Syria." President Barroso emphasised the need for the 'New Syria' to emerge, "democratic, which truly represents all the country's communities," and the responsibility of both USA and EU "to make this happen and to press those whose cooperation is essential to achieve to this goal."
High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law in New York
"Rule of law is a topic which means a lot for me and for the European Union, which I represent here today. The European Union is a Union of values and a community of law."
Primary values of the European Union are democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. "These are the values which have spurred the European Union forward in good times and held us together in more difficult times," said President Barroso in the speech at the meeting. "These are the values which carry the transformative power that has taken our new member states from totalitarianism to thriving democracies," he added and stressed that we need to cater for and to strengthen these values every day.
"This is why we whole-heartedly support the work of this high level meeting and the declaration we will adopt," said the President. He explained: "There is no true democracy without the rule of law and without democracy the rule of law is just an instrument in the hand of the rulers."
It is a priority for European Union to work to strengthen the rule of law both at the international level and to uphold international law in our national systems. "We will work both inside the European Union and with our third country partners to improve the delivery of justice, including through supporting a worldwide campaign on the right to a fair trial. We can and will do more to support transitional justice by working with the UN in conflict and post conflict situations," said President Barroso in his speech.
"Syria is currently the most dramatic example of how the non-respect of rule of law, human rights and democracy can lead to violence and human suffering," continued the President.
Globalisation is not just about positive economic links; in fact transnational threats like terrorism and organised crime are developing even more quickly. "The European Union pledges to strengthen its own capacities to face these dangers, but more importantly help our partners and the UN as a whole to strengthen theirs… Ultimately, the rule of law is not meant to protect the rulers, but rather to serve us all equally from the mightiest to the most marginalised." concluded the President.
President Barroso travels to the USA
Yesterday President Barroso addressed the High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law in New York. He will also deliver a public lecture at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University on Thursday 27 September.
On Wednesday 26 September, President Barroso will also together with President Van Rompuy and High Representative/Vice-President Ashton inaugurate the new offices of the EU Delegation in New York.
The 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations opened in New York on 18 September, with Ministerial week, including the High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law, beginning on Monday, 24 September. Commission President José Manuel Barroso, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Catherine Ashton and Commissioners Kristalina Georgieva (International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response), Connie Hedegaard (Climate Action) and Andris Piebalgs (Development), together with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, will travel to New York to represent the EU in discussions on peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and strengthening the role of the United Nations.
President Barroso pushes for further simplification of the EU budget
President Barroso wrote the following letter to Mr Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and to Mr Andreas Mavroyiannis, Cypriot Deputy Minister for European Affairs, to draw their attention to the first Simplification Scoreboard of the Commission
In the letter, he also expressed serious concerns about some elements in the on-going legislative process that, if confirmed by the legislator, could undermine the overall objective of simplification.
15th EU – China Summit in Brussels
In a joint statement released after the EU - China Summit, Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy welcomed that the relationship between the EU and China is strong and expanding.
The two Presidents said that a successful cooperation means moving forward regularly and engaging on all the issues that matter. In the statement, they referred to wide range of fields of cooperation, where progress has been made, for example: "the new urbanisation partnership has been launched, the "People to People Dialogue" has become the third pillar of our institutional architecture, the annual Strategic Dialogue has opened new areas of cooperation on defence and security, the Human Rights Dialogue was held, agreements in the field of energy have been signed, and important dialogues on cyber issues and on outer space have been launched. We also advanced in our discussions to negotiate a bilateral investment agreement". Both Presidents added that this summit has been yet another important step forward.
Economic and financial issues in Europe, in China and in the rest of the world, were a crucial part of the talks. "We thanked Premier Wen for the support we have received from himself and from the Chinese leadership throughout the euro crisis," said the Presidents in the statement.
Human Rights Dialogue is an essential part of the bilateral relationship. The leaders welcomed that after more than one year the Human Rights Dialogue has been resumed. But "In our view it should deliver more progress on the ground. There is still room for improvement and we need to focus on that. The EU attaches great importance to the respect for fundamental freedoms in China as in other parts of the world. We recognise the tremendous progress achieved in China by lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But there are also concerns, in particular regarding restrictions of freedom of expression and the situation in Tibet," continued the statement.
The Presidents concluded by expressing personal appreciation for Prime Minister Wen for whom this summit was the last, after leading the Chinese delegation for an entire decade: "The bilateral relations have benefited enormously from his wisdom and firm commitment to develop a strategic partnership" said the Presidents.
Joint statement by the leaders of four EU institutions on the next Multiannual Financial Framework
The Presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council, and the President of Cyprus for the Presidency of the Council reconfirmed their commitment to reach an overall agreement by the end of 2012.
After a meeting at the European Commission, the four leaders underlined the need for the future EU budget to "translate the EU's overall objectives into concrete investment for growth and jobs".
The joint statement continues: "The next Multi-Annual Financial Framework (2014-2020) should make a significant contribution to the resolution of the economic crisis. Ahead of the forthcoming European Council on 22-23 November, the four Presidents reconfirmed their joint commitment to mobilise all efforts needed to reach an overall agreement supported by all institutions by the end of this year."
Meeting with Mr Ayrault, the Prime Minister of France
During the first visit to the European Commission by the Prime Minister, the two leaders exchanged views on the main issues on the European agenda, in particular a deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and progress towards banking union.
The Prime Minister also informed the President of the French economic outlook and action currently being taken to increase competitiveness. He reiterated France’s commitment to achieving the aims of budgetary consolidation and structural reforms.
Meeting with Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for the Reconstruction and Development
The two Presidents agreed to reinforce the already close working relationship between the EBRD and the European Commission. President Barroso also warmly welcomed the idea of the EBRD's involvement in technical assistance in Greece.
The Presidents also exchanged views on the bank's activities, in particular on the EBRD's engagement across the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region. President Barroso, considering this a very relevant political priority, emphasised the need to ensure that investments are made rapidly in this region, while taking account of the different conditions in each country.
At the same time, President Barroso underlined the importance of continued EBRD support to the EU Member States in Central and Eastern Europe to support growth in this region.
Hangout with the President on Europe
On 19 September President Barroso answered citizens' questions in a debate that touched on a broad range of issues. On the direct election of the Commission President he said: "It would be good", while outlining that it is not possible with the current treaties.
Among the most discussed topics were the economic crisis and possible solutions for high levels of youth unemployment. Also the 'federation of nation states' – as suggested by the President in his annual State of the Union address on 12 September – was raised. The President strongly made the case for a more united and more democratic union.
Giuseppe, representing young people and being concerned about youth unemployment, heard from President Barroso that indeed, fighting youth unemployment is a priority. The President pointed to several actions taken at EU level to tackle it such as redeploying structural funds, or a 'youth guarantee'.
"What next for Greece?" was crucial question for Christos. The President reiterated that Greece should remain in the euro area, while respecting its commitments. He also said that it is important that the new measures and reforms for competitiveness are adopted as soon as possible, so that Greece restores its confidence.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the so called ACTA, also came up in the interview. "This is very interesting debate and a very difficult issue," said President Barroso. "All the governments of Europe asked us to conclude ACTA because it is important to protect intellectual property rights … but our intention was never, and will never be to restrict in any way the freedom of expression. For me, the freedom of expression, the media freedom is a sacred right". Finally, the President pointed out that the Commission takes seriously the concerns of citizens and that this is the reason why ACTA was sent to the European Court of Justice to analyse the situation and have a debate on a possible compromise.
The concept of a 'federation of nation states' and the recent surge of nationalism were the most interesting topics for discussion for David from Edinburgh. The President replied that indeed being realistic, "a federation is not for tomorrow … but we should have a horizon". Concrete steps towards that horizon can be taken already, starting with a banking union.
At the end of the interview, President Barroso expressed his conviction that it is very important to reinforce an emotional connection to Europe, not artificially but in a democratic way. "We should be proud of our democracy, of our social market economy – and also avoid any kind of arrogance".
Background: The interview was broadcast live one week after the State of the Union address, as a special edition of the Euronews 'I talk' programme and web streamed on EUtube, the Commission's Google+ site and Europe by Satellite. Euronews chose the most popular questions introduced and voted on by citizens on the internet. Three people also joined the debate live through a "Google+ hangout": Christos (Greece), David (UK) and Giuseppe (Italy).
President Barroso receives representatives from the cultural world
The artists welcomed the President’s proposal to organise an Agora on Culture to continue the debate with a higher visibility and a stronger emphasis on civil society in 2013. "Let's create platforms where culture debates Europe and where we engage with citizens about the future of Europe."
“My vision of culture is not culture as an instrument. As science, culture is a way for people’s fulfilment,” said José Manuel Barroso, during an exchange of views with a selected panel of highly renowned artists and intellectuals from the cultural world as well as with Commissioner for Education and Culture Androulla Vassiliou on 17 September 2012. Insisting upon the need to create emotional connections with Europe and its citizens, the President suggested that the mutual benefits generated by the relation between culture, the arts and Europe should be better communicated to citizens.
This dialogue between the world of culture and politics sought to explore how culture contributes to the European project and how Europe can better support culture. With participants representing all artistic disciplines, from visual arts to cinema, literature, performing arts, classical and popular music and also science, the meeting provided an inspiring moment to address – through cultural lenses - global challenges such as the European crisis and the growing Euroscepticism of citizens, including among young people.
The roundtable provided a clear and concrete reaction to the recent call sent by President Barroso in his State of the Union 2012 address to cultural people in Europe to "take part to the debate on the future of Europe". Three main concerns were discussed: the impact of the financial crisis on European citizenship and the notion of European identity, what artists can do for Europe, and what Europe can do for artists.
List of participants [58 KB]
Watch YOUR interview with President Barroso!
This Wednesday 19 September at 19:00 CET President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso will answer LIVE questions on the State of the Union.
You can follow the interview in several language versions on the President's website, on Euronews, the Commission’s Google+ page or on Europe by Satellite. The livestream of the interview on EUtube will be freely embeddable in any website.
Accredited journalists can follow the event on the screen of the press room in the Commission headquarters.
Until 12:00 CET on 18 September people were invited to submit video or text questions to the President via EUtube, the Commission's Youtube Channel. Euronews chooses the final set of the questions for the interview from the most popular ones. Some citizens will be invited by Euronews to ask the President in person, live, through Google+ hangout technology.
5th EU – South Africa Summit
South Africa is a key EU partner on the African continent and on the global stage. "Our cooperation from trade through climate change to development is a win-win situation. I believe we can both benefit from it and make the world benefit from it as well," said President Barroso.
"We just ended very substantive and open discussions on key issues for our partnership. In fact, 2012 sets the ground for continued ambition in our bilateral relations and let me briefly tell you why," opened President Barroso the press conference concluding the summit.
The President recalled that 2012 not only marks the 5th anniversary of the EU – South Africa Strategic Partnership, but also the 15th anniversary of the bilateral Science & Technology Agreement - a field which has become a flagship area of the partnership.
2012 is also the first year of full implementation of the bilateral Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which provided increased opportunities for two-way trade and, as a result, more job opportunities, while also facilitating investment. The EU is already South Africa's main trading partner (almost 30% of total exports). It is the primary foreign investor (77.5% of Foreign Direct Investment) and most important development partner (70% of all external assistance). "But we want to do more," said President Barroso, adding a specific example: "We have just launched a €250 million programme to support South Africa’s National Development Policy. This is another sign of our concrete partnership."
President Barroso also briefly mentioned two recent important international events – the G20 and Durban talks. He stressed the importance that all G20 members do their share to bring the world economy back to a strong, sustainable, and balanced growth path. He also praised South Africa's engagement on green growth, climate issues. "Today, in the Durban spirit, we reiterate our joint commitment for enhancing the alliance between the EU and South Africa to tackle Climate Change."
"It is true that the current international economic and financial climate is not the easiest for either part, but it is precisely because of that that we should seek the advantages and opportunities from working together to create jobs and stimulate growth," concluded President Barroso.
Meeting with Mr Nishani, President of Albania
President Barroso commended Albania's progress on a European reform agenda enabled by joint efforts between government and opposition. He encouraged the country to build on the momentum and continue in the important reforms: "Candidate country status is within reach."
Important steps that were achieved, such as the adoption of the revised electoral code, provide the basis for continuing with other important reforms. "No efforts and determination should be spared to address remaining issues pertaining to institutional reforms, the fight against corruption and organised crime and the respect for the rule of law, including an independent and efficient judiciary," said President Barroso, while welcoming President Nishani's strong commitment in this area.
"It is now in your own hands to do, with our support, what is necessary to move Albania forward on its European integration path. From the part of the European Commission, Mr President, you can count with a steadfast partner and friend in realising that common goal," concluded President Barroso.
Meeting with Mr Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania
President Barroso emphasised the importance that Romania promotes all European values, the values of justice and freedom and all the features of a truly pluralistic society.
The President expressed the same concerns to Prime Minister Ponta as he had last week to President Băsescu on the need for Romania "to remove all doubts on its commitment to the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the respect for constitutional rulings", as he said in the written statement after the meeting. "This will be especially important in the run-up to the parliamentary elections this autumn," he added.
President Barroso gave an overview of recent economic developments across the European Union and urged the Romanian Government to maintain the efforts to keep the two economic adjustment programmes on track.
President Barroso and Prime Minister Ponta also discussed the absorption of EU funds in Romania. While a major effort has been made over the last year, the absorption capacity remains extremely low. President Barroso therefore also encouraged the government to take the immediate measures necessary to improve the administrative capacity and public procurement rules.
Meeting with Mr Basescu, President of Romania
President Barroso made clear that all political forces in Romania, in government and in opposition, should act with responsibility and restraint, and set their focus very firmly on the urgent need to restore institutional and political stability.
"The European Commission will not compromise on the need for all member states to respect the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the respect for constitutional rulings," said President Barroso in a statement.
The two presidents exchanged views on the current situation in the European Union and in the Euro Area including Commission proposals for the Banking Union and the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
Visit to Hessen, Germany
In the immediate vicinity of Frankfurt, one of the most important financial centres of Europe and seat of the European Central Bank, the President reiterated that the Commission is working hard to ensure stability and more responsibility in the financial sector.
"This is precisely the purpose of our proposal for a single supervisory mechanism for all euro area banks that the European Commission adopted just two days ago," he said. "The financial centre of Frankfurt will, I am sure, greatly benefit from the future central role of the European Central Bank in banking supervision and enhanced stability," he added.
The European Commission has achieved lot in fighting the crisis. "But we need to go further," emphasised President Barroso referring to his State of the Union speech on 12 September where he presented an idea that Europe needs to move towards a European federation of nation states.
"I sincerely hope that the Land of Hessen, its Minister-President, its Government, its Parliament and its people will play a constructive and active role on this ambitious way. I am convinced, for a Land with 6 million inhabitants, export-oriented, with a thriving economy like Hessen, more Europe means more opportunities," concluded the President.
Meeting with Mr Morsi, President of Egypt
President Barroso reiterated the commitment to work with Egypt to build a democratic, free and prosperous country. He also strongly condemned the continuing violence in Syria and recent attacks against the U.S. embassy in Libya.
President Barroso congratulated President Morsi - the first democratically elected President of Egypt - on his election and stressed his vision of Egypt as a country that continues to respond to the aspirations of all those who were assembled in Tahrir Square and around the country last year.
He was very pleased with the reassurances given by President Morsi, especially with Egypt's unwavering commitment to democracy and the rule of law and to the defence of fundamental rights and freedoms for all Egyptians, irrespective of their age, gender or creed. "In fact the respect for minorities, women's rights, and inter-faith dialogue are essential for the future and stability of the country," said President Barroso.
The European Union has also already supported and will continue to support Egypt's transition financially. €449 million has been made available to Egypt for the years 2011-2013 to support several sectors in the country. "We have discussed with President Morsi that we are moreover ready to offer Macro Financial Assistance worth €500 million and the EU is also ready to consider a budget support operation of €150-200 million in support of an agreed Economic Recovery Plan."
"Egypt is an indispensable partner for the promotion of peace and stability in the region and in the Arab World," concluded President Barroso. He expressed his appreciation for President Morsi's wish to become more involved in the resolution of Syria crisis. "This is not acceptable. A President that kills his own people simply does not deserve to be President of a country," said President Barroso.
"Let me also recall that the European Union consistently condemn those who use religion to fuel extremism. I have the deepest respect for Islam and for all religious beliefs. But freedom of expression should not be confounded with the propagation of hate, of intolerance or of prejudice. I want to condemn on the strongest terms these manifestations of hate that sometimes we see against religions or against any other human beings."
Message of condolences to President Obama following the attack in Benghazi
"Let me condemn in the most clear terms the attacks on the United States diplomatic installation that have caused the death of four people in Benghazi, namely the American Ambassador," said President Barroso at the press point this morning.
"There can be no justification for violence and for the loss of innocent lives," continued the President
On 12 September a letter was sent to the President of the United States expressing his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this atrocious attack.
Message on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah 2012
The President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Barroso, sent a message to the Jewish Community on upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday.
Read the message [9 KB]
2012 State of the Union address: President Barroso calls for a federation of nation states and announces blueprint for deeper economic and monetary union
In his annual speech on the State of the Union, European Commission President made a strong case for new direction and a new thinking for Europe. He sketched out the way towards more European unity to overcome the crisis and maintain sovereignty in a globalised world. "Globalisation demands more European unity. More unity demands more integration. More integration demands more democracy," he said.
He notably presented to the European Parliament a Decisive Deal for Europe – to project our values, our freedom and our prosperity into the future of a globalized world. This Decisive Deal would be an expression of Europe's determination to reform together, to maintain the integrity of the Union and show the irreversibility of the euro. A deal that "requires the completion of a deep and genuine economic union, based on a political union."
He strongly emphasised the importance of fairness and equity when tackling the crisis and announced that before the end of the year, the Commission will launch a Youth Package that will establish a youth guarantee scheme and equality framework to facilitate vocational training. He also said: "Fairness and equity means creating better and fairer taxation systems. Stopping tax fraud and tax evasion could put extra billions into the public purse across Europe. This is why the Commission will fight for an agreement on the revised savings tax directive, and on mandates to negotiate stronger savings tax agreements with third countries."
On the Financial Transaction Tax, President Barroso was very clear: "This is a matter of fairness. The Commission will continue to fight for a fair and ambitious Financial Transactions Tax and will do all it can to move this forward with those Member States that are willing."
He also called on all pro-European forces to "now stand together in support of the right multi-annual financial framework that will take us to 2020. This will be a real test of credibility for some member states who talk about investing in growth. Now we will see if they are really ready to agree to a budget on growth.
President Barroso then presented the Commission proposals of the same day for a single European supervisory mechanism as a stepping stone to a banking union . He outlined the further steps for which the Commission will publish a blueprint for deepening the economic and monetary union still this autumn: "The second element of a deeper economic union is the move towards a fiscal union. We need a stronger and more binding framework for the national decision making for key economic policies, as the only way to prevent imbalances. To deliver lasting results, we need to develop a fully equipped Community economic governance together with a genuine, credible Community fiscal capacity. We do not need separate institutions for that. Quite the contrary: for this to be effective and quick, the best way is to work with and through the existing institutions.
Regarding the role of the European Central Bank in the crisis, he showed his conviction that the ECB is acting within its mandate when monetary channels are not working properly and the integrity of the Euro needs to be secured.
He strongly insisted on the need to develop a European public space, where European issues are discussed and debated from a European standpoint and said: "We cannot continue trying to solve European problems with national solutions."
He underlined the importance of a strengthened European Parliament in this regard and the need for complementarity and cooperation between the European and national parliaments. In this context he referred to the Commission's proposal of the same day for a better statute for European political parties .
With the view to the 2014 European elections he suggested: "An important means to deepen the pan-European political debate would be the presentation by all European political parties of their candidate for the post of Commission President at the European Parliament elections in 2014. This would be a decisive step to make the possibility of a European choice offered by these elections even clearer. I call on the political parties to commit to this step and thus to further Europeanise these elections."
He continued with a strong appeal: "We must use the 2014 election to mobilise all pro-European forces. We must not allow the populists and the nationalists to set a negative agenda. I expect all those who call themselves Europeans to stand up and to take the initiative in this debate. Because even more dangerous than the scepticism of the anti-Europeans, is the indifference or the pessimism of the pro-Europeans."
President Barroso also stressed that a stronger commitment to our fundamental values is needed and that a more political European Union also means that "we must concentrate European action on the real issues that matter and must be dealt with at the European level. Not everything can be a priority."
On the global role of the European Union, President Barroso reiterated his conviction that "sharing sovereignty in Europe means being more sovereign in a global world. In today's world, size matters. And values make the difference."
With regard to Syria, he said: "The appalling situation in Syria reminds us that we cannot afford to be by-standers. A new and democratic Syria must emerge. We have a joint responsibility to help make this happen."
He finally called for a federation of nation states and explained: "Let's not be afraid of the word: we will need to move towards a federation of nation states. Today I call for a federation of nation states. Not a superstate. A democratic federation of nation states that can tackle our common problems, through the sharing of sovereignty in a way that each country is better equipped to control its own destiny. This is about the Union with the member states, not against the member states." With regard to the necessary Treaty changes he showed full awareness of the difficulty of Treaty change and said that it needs to be well prepared. It notably should "not distract or delay us from doing what can and must already be done today. A deep and genuine economic and monetary union can be started under the current Treaties, but can only be completed with a new Treaty."
President Barroso concluded with a strong expression to work for the EU's unity and the application of the Community method: "Let me be very clear: in Europe, we need no more walls dividing us! We will start from the principle that deeper integration will not be just for some. No one will be forced to come along. And no one will be forced to stay out. The speed will not be dictated by the slowest or the most reluctant – but the process must be open to all who want to participate. Because the European Union is stronger as a whole than if it fragments into different parts – in the integrity of its single market, its membership and in its institutions."
Brochure [5 MB]
Ask President Barroso about the state of the Union - he will answer in a live interview on 19 September
Where do we stand and how will the European Union emerge from the economic crisis? These are just two of a number of questions the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, will address when he gives the 2012 State of the Union Address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 12th September at 09.00 CET.
President Barroso will give a candid and clear assessment of the situation facing Europe and how he believes Europe should move forward over the coming years. His speech can be followed live at http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm.
In parallel, President Barroso will write to the President of the European Parliament setting out the policy proposals that the European Commission will pursue in the coming months.
On 19th September at 19:00 CET, President Barroso will answer citizens' questions on the State of the Union in a live interview hosted by Euronews, using Google+ Hangout video technology.
Between 7th September and 18th September at midday CET, people are invited to submit video or text questions for him to answer. Questions can be submitted - and voted on - via EUtube, the European Commission's YouTube channel. From amongst the top voted video questions, Euronews will select several participants to put their questions to the President in person, live, via Google+ Hangout.
The interview will be broadcast live on Euronews, on the Commission’s Google+ page, on Europe by Satellite , and the President's website. The livestream of the interview on EUtube will be freely embeddable in any website.
Visit to Italy
"We are preparing the next steps with the vision for the future of the EU, namely the Euro area, but also with proper sequencing of the different steps," said President Barroso prior to his meeting with the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Thursday evening in Rome.
The President called for patience and endurance and stressed that the reform efforts must be implemented beyond short-term political considerations and by rejecting political illusionists who promise quick fixes and easier alternatives.
He reiterated the Commission's intention to present on 12 September the proposal for a single supervisor on the Euro area, which should be in place by January 2013. "We must end this vicious circle when rescuing banks weakens the governments' budgets while increasing risk-averse banks stop lending to businesses and that can undermine the economy further."
President Barroso underlined that the logic of integration cannot be only economic: "This integration is needed also to ensure democratic oversight of the process and to reassure the European citizens that they are part of the process. With more integration comes more democracy, more accountability and we should not be afraid of the words: we need to consolidate a truly political union in Europe."
From Rome President Barroso continued to Florence where he attended the EPP Group Bureau Meeting.
Speech at the Employment Policy Conference "Jobs for Europe"
"Some people say that because of our challenges of competitiveness, we should call in to question our social market economy, our social model. I disagree."
President Barroso addressed the "Jobs for Europe" conference on employment policy organised by the Commission on 6-7 September 2012 in Brussels. He emphasised the need to face a crisis which is not just financial and economic, but also one of confidence in our future and of respect for our values. He said: "We have a really important task of improving our competitiveness, specifically in some of our Member States, but it would be a mistake from all points of view to try to dismantle the welfare state and our social models."
The President said that solving the employment crisis is one of the fundamental elements in resolving the broader European crisis. "I believe that the social responsibility lies of course at the national level but it would be unthinkable not to have a social dimension at European level" - he said.
Speech to European Union Heads of Delegation
"Some pretend that the crisis has proven that the EU is no longer necessary. This is wrong. We need the scale of Europe to count in the world".
President Barroso was speaking at the Annual Conference of the European Union Heads of Delegation, European Union Special Representatives and Chargés d'Affaires.
In his speech, the President covered a wide range of issues. On the financial and economic crisis, President Barroso said: "It is right and just that there is further political or institutional integration as well. This is needed to ensure democratic oversight of the process and to reassure the citizens of Europe that they are a part of the process. More integration, more democracy, more accountability."
On Syria, the President said: "Security Council members need to assume their responsibilities. Inability to act will only discredit the United Nations and make actions outside its framework more likely."