Preparations for the European Council meeting (14-15 March 2013):

Type: News   Reference: 92131   Duration: 00:04:41  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 13/03/2013   First transmission: 13/03/2013
- extracts from the Council and Commission statements Background: Council and the Commission presented their views in the run up to the EU summit that is going to take place on 14 and 15 March, where EU leaders will conclude the first phase of the 2013 European Semester. The European Semester is a plan to coordinate Member States' economic, fiscal and employment policies over a period of six months each year. The European Council will have to look at how Member States have applied last year's "European Semester" economic policy recommendation; and strategic advices and guidelines would be adopted. EU leaders would also provide guidance to MS on the 2013 Stability and Convergence programmes, and on the implementation of Europe 2020 "flagship initiatives", in particular as regards new skills and jobs, industrial and innovation policies and the digital agenda.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 Exterior view of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France (1 shot) 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (English): Lucinda CREIGHTON, Minister for European Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Irish Council Presidency: "We are all aware that there is a very real public concern about the merit of these policies, but some arguing that the social cost is too high and that they are not working. Coming from Ireland I think I'm more than aware that fiscal consolidation policies have real and sometimes very difficult effects, but if we want to return to sustainable growth and create jobs we have to continue restore stability and that includes putting our public finances into order and we must continue with structural reforms without which there can be no sustainable return to growth." 00:00:39
00:00:49 SOUNDBITE (English): Lucinda CREIGHTON, Minister for European Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Irish Council Presidency: "We must also continue with the implementation with the measure contained in the pact for growth and jobs, this means in particular EU level actions that will support the more country specific orientation of the European semester process. As you know the Irish Presidency has placed particular emphasis on the Single market and external trade agendas, highlighting priority measures that will have a real impact on the economy. There is for example very considerable growth potential that can be realised if we deliver on a combined Single market Act I and Single market Act II proposals. We need together to make progress on these proposals as quickly as possible." 00:00:40
00:01:29 SOUNDBITE (English): Lucinda CREIGHTON, Minister for European Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Irish Council Presidency: "We are fully committed to concluding work on the MFF as soon as possible during our Presidency, we are fully aware that our institutions must work in very close cooperation if we are to deliver on this ambition. Europe needs now to show that it can get on with business; the public will not thank any of our institutions if together we cannot plan, legislate and deliver the programmes which bring Europe home to so many our citizens, whether that be through Erasmus, CAP or Cohesion funding. This work represents a very considerable burden of work, in our view that this must not deteriorate and that we need to manage this together if we are to succeed." 00:00:46
00:02:15 SOUNDBITE (English): José Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission: "Good news in some key areas should not hide the effect that there has not been enough progress to address the issue of growth notably in the real economy and that there was a deterioration of the employment situation. And let me say that if I see the situation of some of Member states it is clear to me that some of the costs paid by the most vulnerable in our societies are becoming simply unbearable. Fair burden sharing must be a core element of our policies." 00:00:35
00:02:50 SOUNDBITE (English): José Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission: "We have put flesh on the bones of the European semester and we are continuing to go forward in terms financial sector regulation. All this decisions have given a clear signal about the irreversibility and integrity of the Euro. And there have send the right message about Europe's capacity to act. On top of that the Commission has presented its blue print for a deep and genuine economic monetary Union offering a vision of future developments and integration. We not allow the momentum for the European Unions reform to slow down; the proper functioning of the EMU requires that it governance's structures are completed, in particular in the area of economic policy coordination and support to structural reforms." 00:00:44
00:03:34 SOUNDBITE (English): José Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission: "There should be any contradiction between the social and the competitiveness agenda. Indeed we can see that the most successful Member states in the European Union, indeed some of the most successful in the world are those with the most effective social protection systems, but this is possible because of their high level of competitiveness. And we should be equally committed to those goals, improving competiveness is not an end in itself, but a means to drive prosperity and to sustain European living standards and values, competiveness is indispensible element to underpin growth and jobs." 00:00:41
00:04:15 SOUNDBITE (English): José Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission: "We see that the best performing Member states are twice as productive as the lowest performers, be guidance support them towards closing the gap, but the real ground work has to come from the Member states themselves." 00:00:13
00:04:28 cut away shots (4 shots) 00:00:13
00:04:41 END 00:00:00
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