"The State of Europe VIP round table: Re-thinking the European project" with the participation of José Manuel Barroso
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, participated in the "The State of Europe VIP round table: Re-thinking the European project" organized by Friends of Europe and chaired by Etienne Davignon, President of Friends of Europe. He made a speech entitled "Are austerity cutbacks the right solution for Europe’s economic woes?" on this occasion. José Manuel Barroso notably highlighted that the European Council of 23/10/2011 was about ensuring the political will was there to deliver a decisive essential compromise and concrete decisions. Citing Latvia and Ireland as countries whose economies grew during austerity he said that the EC didn't believe cutbacks were the solution to Europe’s challenges but added that sound public finances were an essential part of sustainable growth. It was necessary to continue to invest in people and infrastructure, while the Single Market was the goldmine Europe couldn't turn its back to.