Preparation of the European Council of Brussels, 13 - 14 March 2008: statements by the Council and the EC
End production: 12/03/2008 First transmission: 12/03/2008
In preparation for the Brussels annual spring summit, the Slovenian Presidency and the European Commission presented their key strategies. The spring summit will concentrate on economic topics currently affecting the European Union. On the agenda will be Europe's CO2 reduction, the Lisbon Strategy after the re-boost at the end of 2007, as well as the discussion about tools to guarantee financial stability in Europe.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
||Janez Lenarčič, Slovenian State Secretary for European Affairs and President in office of the Council, (in SLOVENIAN) saying that they are all well aware that the EU has been facing new challenges; globalisation offers new opportunities, not only economic, but also social and cultural; these opportunities the Union is taking account of benefiting from; however globalisation requires the Union and its Member States to adapt and to find the right responses and this will be the focus of the European Council;
great attention will also be given to the social dimension of the Lisbon Strategy; the Council will call for additional efforts in addressing demographic challenges, missing qualifications, and further policy actions, directed to greater social cohesion; the spring summit will also call on Member States to progressively implement the agreed common principles on flexicurity through their national arrangements providing balance between flexibility and security on the labour markets;
the European Council will place the climate and energy policy endeavours in the context of developing new technologies and increasing technology investment as determined in the strategic, energy, technology plan; this would further contribute to enhancing the competiveness in EU businesses; the heads of State and Government will also address the conclusion of the joint report by Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the EU and High Representative for CFSP, and the Commission on the impact of climate change on the international security;
the current situation has highlighted the need for further strengthening of the financial stability framework to enhance prudential supervision and to improve tools for financial crises management; they are expecting the European Council to call for action in 4 primary areas: enhancing transparency for investors, markets and regulators; improving evaluation standards; reinforcing the priority framework and risk management in the financial sector; and improving market functioning including the credit raking agencies
||José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in ENGLISH) saying that they need a single market that works for Europe and in particular for SMEs, which are the backbone of EU's economy, and a place where most jobs are created in Europe; that is why he will ask the European Council to endorse the idea of a small business act to remove the impediments to the creation and growth of SMEs; of course they have to keep in mind that the most important thing they can give to SMEs is a real internal market;
the Commission is really determined to work with the Member States on the basic so that they can have a basic political agreement on the energy internal market and on the climate protection and the renewables package by the end of 2008; and of course they would like to have the final legislative process concluded with the EP at the beginning of 2009
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