Extracts from the joint press conference by Joaquín Almunia and Olli Rehn on 5 years of an enlarged EU

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-060653   Duration: 10:54:23  Lieu:
End production: 20/02/2009   First transmission: 20/02/2009
Joaquin Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement, held a joint press conference to present a communication and accompanying report released ahead of the fifth anniversary of the enlargement on May 1. The Communication and Report "Five Years of an Enlarged EU" look at the achievements for both new and old Member States of the last two enlargements of the European Union. They also look into the challenges for the new Member States and the EU as a whole, in particular in the wake of the current economic crisis. But it comes as new members across Central and Eastern Europe are struggling to cope with the global economic crisis. However, the European Union's expansion across Central and Eastern Europe in 2004 and 2007 was an economic success, despite the financial turmoil now sweeping the region, according to Commissioners Almunia and Rehn. They both stated that five years of an enlarged EU has brought lasting benefits and left Europe better placed to tackle the current crisis.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:50:34 Title 00:00:04
10:50:39 Arrival of Joaquin Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement 00:00:06
10:50:45 Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, saying (in ENGLISH) that, in 2009, the 12 EU Members of this Enlargement will receive 7 billion euros through the EU structural and cohesion funds; that the European Investment Bank (EIB), will lend 11.5 billion euros to these 12 countries; that means 3.3 billion euros more than the lending adopted in 2008; the balance of payment facility to support, through financial aid those countries with financial needs, was increased from 12 billion to 25 billion euros; out of this amount, 9.3 billion euros has been used to help the finance in need of Hungary and Latvia. 00:01:09
10:51:54 Cutaway 00:00:05
10:51:59 Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, saying (in ENGLISH) that the EU is doing a lot, but should do probably more; this would require stronger coordination, stronger coordination of private investors and supervisors, stronger coordination of governments, stronger coordination among bilateral and multilateral institutions; that, when looking at what the EU is doing, with these Member States, it is important to quote the figures. 00:00:31
10:52:30 Cutaway 00:00:05
10:52:35 Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement, saying (in ENGLISH) that he hopes that 2009 will be a positive year in the western Balkans, despite all the negative news from the global economy and the political difficulties in Europe; that, last week, a major magazine wrote an article on the western Balkans with a headline "A stuck region"; it has to be taken as a warning signal, not as a fact; that he does not agree with that analysis but it is a worthy warning that the region may be stuck unless the EU is able to take decisions that respect its own consensus on the EU's Enlargement Policy; that, if a country on its own merits deserves to move forward in the EU accession process, the EU should take that decision and let that country move forward in the EU accession process. 00:01:11
10:53:46 Cutaway 00:00:06
10:53:52 Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement, saying (in ENGLISH) that it is important not to make the peoples of the Western Balkans pay for the system errors of financial capitalism; the EU should not make a Serbian worker pay for the mistakes done in the Wall Street; it is important to keep a cold head and make decisions with all the responsibilities that can be expected from the leaders of the European Union. 00:00:31
10:54:23 Cutaway (2 shots) 00:00:14
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