On 5 October 2012, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Robert Fico, Slovak Prime Minister, attended the Friends of Cohesion High Level meeting in Bratislava.
On this occasion, José Manuel Barroso urged both the "Friends of cohesion" and the "Friends of better spending" to unite in the European Council as the Friends of Growth, sustainable growth.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||José Manuel Barosso, President of the EC, and Robert Fico, Slovak Prime Minister, entering theconference room, in Bratislava
||General view of the conference room
||Soundbite by Robert Fico (in SLOVAK) saying that the government of the Slovak Republic is supporting, in the whole, the proposition of the European Commission concerning the budget.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): I am very pleased to meet Robert Fico here in Bratislava and I want to thank him for hosting this Friends of Cohesion Summit.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): Today, we have this summit of Friends of Cohesion. I want to repeat what Prime Minister Fico said some time ago when he said: "Friends of Cohesion are friends of better spending, too." This is important, it is important to reunite the different parties of Europe. That is why I made an appeal today during the meeting that the friends of cohesion and the friends of better spending should all unite in the European Council becoming the friends of growth.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): And the European budget is the most important instrument we have at the European level for targeted investment in growth.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): The Euros spent on cohesion are not just beneficial for the countries that receive those funds. It is also investment that supports other parts of Europe and also has the important role to reduce imbalances in Europe.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): This is why I believe this meeting was extremely good. All the Prime Ministers and the other representatives in a very concise way expressed their position and there was an overall agreement on the need to support the Commission proposal on cohesion and also an agreement on concluding if possible these negotiations until the end of the year.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): Cohesion should not be seen just as a kind of help that the richer countries give to the less prosperous ones. Cohesion is an overall objective of all the European Union.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): So we are able to take decisions. Unfortunately, some time these decisions take too long. This is the reality. I hope that for the MFF, we will be able collectively, all the Member States, to agree on an ambitious and realistic budget for Europe.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): So let's focus our attention on what can be not only a very important contribution for investment and growth in Europe but also what can be good news to the rest of the world regarding capacity of Europeans to come to important and very relevant decisions.
||"European Union Friends of Cohesion High Level Meeting" banner