Friends of Cohesion: Extracts from the Press conference
Lieu: European Parliament, Brussels
End production: 13/11/2012 First transmission: 13/11/2012
Heads of State and Government from 15 EU Member States plus Croatia have gathered today in the European Parliament in Brussels to stress their support for a strong EU Cohesion Policy. A press conference with the Presidents of the European Parliament and Commission, the Prime Ministers of Portugal and Poland and the social partners followed at the end of the meeting.
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 Brussels
||Views of the press conference room (3 shots)
||Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament, in ENGLISH:
The two communitarian institutions, European Parliament and Commission agree more or less entirely about the necessary strategy for the negotiations about the MFF. I will not hide that in addition to the MFF negotiation, the pending situation on the annual 2013 budget is worrying the EP a lot and we hope that we can solve both.
||Donald TUSK, Prime Minister of Poland, in POLISH:
Better spending must not be undertood to mean no money at all. We are in favour of a balanced approach to potential cuts in the budget. Such cuts should be applied in a balanced manner throughout all European policies. The cohesion policy is the one that promotes growth in Europe and new jobs. If it should go hand in hand with the principle of better spending the cohesion policy will be the best European policy in times of crisis.
||Pedro PASSOS COELHO, Prime Minister of Portugal, in PORTUGUESE:
I believe that we will be being totally realistic in our debates but we have to show two very simple things as well, and that is that in times of general uncertainty when so much depends on the confidence that we can generate then we need to prove that we can reach an agreement on the strategy that we'll be following over the next 7 years in Europe, and if we allocate less resources than we need then we have to ensure that they go to those who need them the most as a part of their development strategy, that's what cohesion policy is.
||Philippe DE BUCK, Director General of Business Europe, in ENGLISH:
The means for growth and competitiveness must be maintained by all means.
||On the cohesion policy we need to support it but also to modernise it, to simplify it, make it more effective.
||Bernadette SEGOL, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), in FRENCH:
For us the macroeconomic conditions which could be attached to these regulations are not acceptable because they punish men and women who live in the weakest member states and regions.
||Jose Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission, in ENGLISH:
A very clear majority supports the Commission proposal, I have no doubts about that, but some governments, the net contributors, are demanding important reductions in terms of the overall level of spending.
||What we are now asking our member states is to be credible, coherent with the commitments they have already taken in terms of the financial framework that will translate these commitments in action. This is why I believe that it is possihble to come to an agreement in the European Council, and even if it's going to be very challenging I will not speculate about alternative scenarios, let's work for a compromise,a fair deal.
||Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament, in GERMAN
We've got one country who is starting the negotiation saying: "Well, these are my figures and I'm not going to have a negotiation on anything more than that!" I don't know if you can call that a negotiation, you call that an ultimatum. There's a second group, the friends of better spending, whatever that means, and the group which is here, the friends of cohesion. Now, I would like to see the creation of a new group, the friends of best arguments.
||If the targets for growth for which we decided at the Council in June, if these are not reached then the Parliament is prepared to refuse a compromise, so I think yes it is a good idea to work towards a compromise but on behalf of the Parliament I think I can say we would not accept every compromise.
||Cutaways (2 shots)