Intermediary press conference by Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council and José Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC

Type: News   Reference: 83443   Duration: 00:03:17  Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EC/Berlaymont
End production: 01/03/2012   First transmission: 01/03/2012
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC held the European Council intermediary press conference. The heads of state and government confirmed granting of candidate country status to Serbia. The General Affairs Council on 28 February 2012 agreed to recommend the candidate status to Serbia. The European Council on 1-2 March in Brussels discussed and the enlargement of the Schengen area to Bulgaria and Romania and the implementation of the EU's economic strategy based on continued fiscal consolidation and determined action to boost growth and jobs. The heads of state and government concluded the first phase of the European Semester, a six-month cycle of economic policy coordination. They gave guidance for the realisation of Europe's growth strategy Europe 2020, in particular regarding measures which already in the short term would have a positive impact on growth and employment.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 General view of the press room 00:00:06
00:00:11 SOUNDBITE (English) Herman Van Rompuy: we welcome the progress made on the new Greek programme, the aim is to put the Greek economy back on a sustainable footing, both in terms of debt sustainability and competitiveness. The Greek authorities have taken decisive legislative action over the past ten days laving up to their prior commitments and we commend them for this. Eurozone leadership pours the effort undertaken by Greece and the assistance offered by the European Commission to strengthen the countries institutional capacity improving also tax collection is a case in point. Then finally eurozone leaders also confirmed their commitment to reassess the adequacy of the overall ceiling of the EFSF/ESM by the end of the month, in addition they agreed to accelerate payments of the paid-in capital for the ESM. 00:00:57
00:01:08 Cutaway of the press room 00:00:04
00:01:12 SOUNDBITE (English) Herman Van Rompuy: On Serbia we agreed tonight to grant Serbia the status of EU candidate country. This is a remarkable achievement, a result of the effort demonstrated by both sides, in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. I hope it will encourage Serbia to undertake further efforts in order to meet the political and economic criteria for the EU membership. It is also my hope that Belgrade will continue to support region cooperation and good neighbourly relations in the Western Balkans. 00:00:35
00:01:47 Cutaway of the press room 00:00:04
00:01:51 SOUNDBITE (English) José Manuel Barroso: There are distinct points from the discussion; one important point is the ownership of the EU 2020 strategy. We have a strategy for growth, and this strategy should be owned by all the governments, as well as by the institutions and in our countries by all the stakeholders including the social partners, because more than ever we need to step up the quality of social dialogue both at European and national level. On behalf of the Commission today I have pushed for project bonds, we need for structural growth reforms, we need a deeper single market, we need to take advantage of many opportunities in terms of international trade but we also need some kind of targeted investment. It is possible with good leveraging working with others, namely the EIB, to achieve some important projects in terms of infrastructure: in transport, energy, broadband, can be a contribution for our growth. 00:00:33
00:02:24 Cutaway of the press room 00:00:05
00:02:29 SOUNDBITE (English) José Manuel Barroso: The European Council elected Herman Van Rompuy President of the European Council for a second mandate of 2.5 years. The Euro Summit designated him President of the Euro Summit also for a mandate of 2.5 years. Herman Van Rompuy accepted both appointments with pleasure. 00:00:38
00:03:07 Cutaway of the press room 00:00:05
00:03:12 General view of the press room 00:00:05
00:03:17 END 00:00:00
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