EC College Seminar on the European Social Agenda: statement by José Manuel Barroso
End production: 29/04/2008 First transmission: 29/04/2008
On 29 April 2008, the European Commission held one of its regular seminars to reflect on the European agenda in a different environment from the official headquarters. The Members of the EC gathered in Val-Duchesse Castle in Brussels for talks primarily devoted to social issues, focussing on globalisation and the ways that Europe can maintain its social policy credentials in such a context. The debate took place ahead of the launch of the EU executive's renewed Social Agenda, set to be adopted before the summer break.
Val-Duchesse is a former priory which played an important role as a venue for negotiations in Belgian and European politics after World War II. In 1956, Paul-Henri Spaak lead the Intergovernmental Conference on the Common Market and Euratom at the castle, which prepared the Treaties of Rome in 1957 and the foundation of the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1958. The first formal meeting of the Hallstein Commission, the first European Commission, under the presidency of Walter Hallstein, was held on 16 January 1958 at the castle.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of Val-Duchesse
||Cutaway "La dernière heure" newspaper first page
||José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in FRENCH) saying that it is a very important day for the Commission; they choose Val-Duchesse to organise the European Commission College Seminar to honour those who have founded their institution 50 years ago; it is there where the first meeting of the European Commission took place; it is touching when you hear what the former President said years ago: "we are here to serve the European interest"; he is very happy to see that, 50 years later, they have the same view of serving the European interests before the national and economic ones