Brussels Economic Forum 2011: extracts from the opening addresses by Olli Rehn, José Manuel Barroso and José Angel Gurria Treviño
Type: Speech - summary
End production: 18/05/2011 First transmission: 18/05/2011
On 18/05/2011 in Brussels, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, opened the Brussels Economic Forum (BEF) 2011, accompanied by Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, and of José Angel Gurria Treviño, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The event offered an opportunity to discuss the new era of the EU economic governance. High level decision-makers, economists, social partners and the media gathered to debate and exchange ideas on overhauling economic policy coordination in Europe, while drawing the lessons learned from the global crisis.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Charlemagne building with the banner of the event
||General view of the forum
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs: in the last 12 months, we managed to safeguard financial stability in the euro area and avoid insolvency of three of our Member States; we prevented a meltdown of our financial system and created effective stability mechanisms; all Member States have engaged in fiscal consolidation and most of them have also launched structural reforms to boost growth and jobs; and we will in June be finalising an unprecedented reinforcement of EU economic governance, with a tight set of fiscal rules and also sanctions.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in EGNLISH) by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC: on the financial assistance given to the euro area countries in distress, as I have mentioned, assistance is given subject to the implementation of a strict conditionality programme by the Member State concerned. The programmes, and the conditions attached to them are agreed before the assistance is granted. This was the case, for example, with Portugal in the Eurogroup and Ecofin of this week. I would like to emphasise that for the Member State undertaking such a programme, its implementation is necessarily painful. It implies the correction of deep rooted imbalances, in many cases associated with vested interests. But if properly implemented the country will be better off. Results will not be immediately visible but they will be there. We need time, we need to persevere. Consistency is a fundamental principle of any policy, and a fortiori of economic or financial policy.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by José Angel Gurria Treviño, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): the challenge for Europe and for the global economy is not to eliminate imbalances but to keep them sustainable, so as to facilitate international reallocation of savings in ways that are supportive of growth. This is one of the challenges to which a Monetary Union, through its impact on financial integration can boost overall growth. This however requires stronger adjustment and competitiveness enhancing mechanisms in the Euro area countries at large. In deficit countries, the competitiveness should be improved to product and labour market policies and surplus countries investment opportunities can be enhanced by more competition in the product markets. In both, structural reforms can correct misallocations in key markets, in product markets, in housing markets for example, while macro-prudential policies should be used to control the credit booms.
||Cutaways of the audience (2 shots)