State of the Union Conference with the participation of José Manuel Barroso
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, went to Florence where he participated in the State of the Union conference organised by the European University Institute. In his speech, which concluded the first day of the event, he said that at a time when a so-called decline of Europe was widely discussed in Europe and beyond, it was the appropriate place to remind to people that decline and renewal were two of the greatest and intertwined themes of the European culture and History. He highlighted that the EU had always been able to cope with crises and emerge from them stronger and more united. The President continued by saying that the EU was showing the way out of the crisis while building a sustainable, inclusive, fair and competitive social market economy for the 21st century Europe. The EC had front-loaded all the issues that have dominated the European agenda over the years 2010 and 2011- from better economic governance and regulation of financial markets to supervision of fiscal policies; from the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs to the proposals for a 2014-2020 strategy.