General Affairs Council: extracts from the press conference by the Irish Presidency and the European Commission
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 11/03/2013 First transmission: 11/03/2013
On 11 March, the Council prepared the European Council meeting on 14-15 March, on the basis of draft conclusions and a report on the current European Semester monitoring exercise. President Herman Van Rompuy joined ministers to discuss preparations for the European Council.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland : We looked ahead the spring European Council taken place later this week and which will as every spring Council focuses on the state of the European economy. Despite of the stabilisation of the markets the situation on the real economy remains very difficult across Europe. We all agreed today that we urgently need a new focus on the EU's competitiveness, growth and jobs agenda at this week's European Council. The Irish presidency has prioritise this agenda since taken over at the beginning of the year and already seen some concrete achievements, we have reach agreement with the Parliament on new economic governance measures and the two pack and new rules to strengthen our banks.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Eamon Gilmore : We look forward to strong guidance coming from the European Council to steer member States and preparing national economic reform programs that they will be presenting next month. Getting agreement on specific reform measures for each country will be a major task of the second half of our presidency.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration: We all agree that we have very difficulties behind us of sold prospects are quite difficult as well and therefore what is needed right now is to stick our policies is to show that the continuation of our efforts will clearly be the priority for our leaders and at the same time we are also prepared to reflect the differences of the pace of recovery and reforms in our Member States.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Maroš Šefčovič: I informed the Ministers also that the Commission will adopt tomorrow the decision in how we can implement and making operational the European youth initiative and also the funds allocated trough the European Social Funds or the manner which is not spend on the European level and focus them on the areas where they can bring most of the results specially ion the creation of more jobs for young people in the European Union.