European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) with the participation of José Manuel Barroso
Type: Complete press conference
End production: 18/03/2013 First transmission: 18/03/2013
On 18 March 2013, he European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) took place in Berlin. On this occasion, a 15-strong delegation met with Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, François Hollande, President of the French Republic, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC. The meeting was at the initiative of Angela Merkel and the subject for discussion was ‘Restoring Europe’s competitiveness, growth and employment’.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor (in GERMAN) saying that in their political functions they have worked to ensure the stability of the euro zone as a whole; Saying that they have done this in past years and will continue to do so as they have in these days with Cyprus. Here too they want to ensure the euro remains stable overall; Saying that today they looked ahead and said that they need to create a Europe that enhance growth, that inspires people hope, that creates jobs for its people and particularly they need a Europe which is competitive.
||Soundbite by François Hollande, President of the French Republic (in FRENCH) saying that the most important is to stabilize the Euro Zone but the priority is to generate growth and it is possible by creating the necessary framework additions both and the legislative area in our countries but also by boosting research and innovation and creating the best environment for the competitiveness of industries; Saying that it will be the purpose of their discussion tonight.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC (in ENGLISH) First of all, let me thank Chancellor Merkel for her excellent initiative to host tonight’s meeting with representatives of the European Round Table of Industrialists and invite President Hollande and myself to this discussion.
We are here tonight, to discuss with Leif Johansson and other eminent business leaders about how Europe can grow and compete. How Europe can give hope to our young people. How we can generate the growth and jobs our citizens expect and deserve.
We will notably discuss whether the current European policy framework is up to that challenging task – in areas like employment, research and innovation, competition policy, energy policy or education.
I am deeply convinced that Europe has the willingness to do more and better. It has the brains to excel on a global scale. It has a model of society of which we can be proud and which is worth preserving and modernising. And it has also at the same time the modesty to accept that many things can be corrected and that we can go forward to complete many of our work.
We know that this will be a bumpy ride. It is true, that thanks to the decisions taken together over the past years, confidence is gradually returning. Progress is being made in a number of countries which are improving their current account balances and public deficits. But the crisis persists as we can see from the dire growth prospects and record levels in youth unemployment and also the most recent development concerning Cyprus.
Last week's European Council has confirmed our direction by backing our broad policy response, including the sharp focus on growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and on addressing the social consequences of the crisis. I am convinced – we need to hold our nerve and stay the course: the structural reforms that are underway in our Member States combined with the efforts to make our public finances sound and sustainable and also with targeted investment in areas like research and innovation, education, employment and infrastructure, all these efforts will pay off. Pursuing them is key to reinforce our competitiveness for the benefit of all. Growth indeed needs to come from increased competitiveness and productivity, not from debt creation. We have seen in the past that artificial growth fuelled by artificial debt, either public or private, is not a solution.
Final remarks: Competitiveness is not an end in itself. It is essential to our economic success, for growth and jobs. It is also about meeting the challenges our European model of society is facing. It is about defending our influence in the world. That is why I believe today's meeting can be an important contribution and once again I thank Chancellor Merkel for that initiative.
||Soundbite by Leif Johansson, Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) (in ENGLISH) thanking Angela Merkel for inviting the delegation of ERT; Saying that they are here tonight to discuss how they can restore Europe's competitiveness, growth and employment; Explaining what is ERT; Saying that tonight they will discuss the need for a sustainable and affordable energy supply for industrial competitiveness, the need for flexible and responsive education systems, measures to enhance Europe’s industrial innovation capacity, steps to address and improve EU competition policy to encourage growth.