State of the Union Address 2013 by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC: extracts

Type: Speech - summary   Référence: I080759   Durée: 10:03  Lieu: Strasbourg - EP/Louise Weiss
On 11 September 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, delivered the State of the Union Address 2013 at the plenary session of the EP in Strasbourg. Exactly five years after the fall of Lehman Brothers, this speech recalled what had been achieved since then. The President pointed out a number of past figures and evolutions that gave Europe good reason to be confident. He highlighted that recovery was within sight for Europe but it was necessary to be vigilant.On this occasion, José Manuel Barroso also delivered an appeal for more European integration in the face of global developments. In times of change and crisis, he noted, hard questions were asked of political institutions across the world. The bottom-line question in the debate going on all over Europe was "Do we want to improve Europe, or give it up?". The President eventually highlighted that the work on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) remained as valid as ever.
This video shows extracts from the speech.

Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 General view of European Parliament in Strasbourg, France 00:00:05
00:00:10 José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, shaking hands with Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament 00:00:05
00:00:14 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:06
00:00:20 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): As we speak, exactly five years ago, the United States government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out AIG, and Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection. These events triggered the global financial crisis. It evolved into an unprecedented economic crisis. And it became a social crisis with dramatic consequences for many of our citizens. These events have aggravated the debt problem that still distresses our governments. They have led to an alarming increase in unemployment, especially amongst young people. And they are still holding back our households and our companies. But Europe has fought back. In those five years, we have given a determined response. We suffered the crisis together. We realised we had to fight it together. And we did, and we are doing it. If we look back and think about what we have done together to unite Europe throughout the crisis, I think it is fair to say that we would never have thought all of this possible five years ago. We are fundamentally reforming the financial sector so that people's savings are safe. We have improved the way governments work together, how they return to sound public finances and modernise their economies. We have mobilised over 700 billion euro to pull crisis-struck countries back from the brink, the biggest effort ever in stabilisation between countries. 00:01:30
00:01:50 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
00:01:55 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): Now, we can give a clear reply to those fears; no one has left or has been forced to leave the euro. This year, the European Union enlarged from 27 to 28 Member States. Next year the euro area will grow from 17 to 18. What matters now is what we make of this progress. Do we talk it up, or talk it down? Do we draw confidence from it to pursue what we have started, or do we belittle the results of our efforts? Honourable members, I just came back from the G20 in Saint Petersburg. I can tell you: this year, contrary to recent years, we Europeans did not receive any lessons from other parts of the world on how to address the crisis. We received appreciation and encouragement. Not because the crisis is over, because it is not over. The resilience of our Union has been tested and will continue to be tested. But what we are doing creates the confidence that we are overcoming the crisis, provided we are not complacent. 00:01:15
00:03:09 General view of the European Parliament 00:00:08
00:03:17 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): So now is the time to rise above purely national issues and parochial interests and to have real progress for Europe. To bring a truly European perspective to the debate with national constituencies. Now is the time for all those who care about Europe, whatever their political or ideological position, wherever they come from, to speak up for Europe. If we ourselves don't do it, we cannot expect others to do it either. 00:00:27
00:03:44 Cutaway of José Manuel Barroso during his speech 00:00:09
00:03:54 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): So, my point is this; for Europe, recovery is within sight. Let us be realistic in the analysis. Let us not overestimate the positive results, but let's not also underestimate what has been done. Of course, we need to be vigilant. One swallow does not make a summer, nor one fine day. Even one fine quarter doesn't mean we are out of the economic heavy weather. But it does prove we are on the right track. On the basis of the figures and evolutions as we now see them, we have good reason to be confident. This should push us to keep up our efforts. We owe it to those for whom the recovery is not yet within reach, to those who do not yet profit from positive developments. We owe it to our 26 million unemployed. Especially to the young people who are looking to us and they want to have reasons to fell hope about Europe and about their own countries. So, hope and confidence are also part of the economic equation. 00:01:08
00:05:01 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
00:05:05 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): There is a lot we can still deliver together, in this Parliament's and this Commission's mandate. What we can and must do, first and foremost, let's be concrete is delivering the banking union. It is the first and most urgent phase on the way to deepen our Economic and Monetary Union, as mapped out in the Commission's Blueprint presented last autumn. The legislative process on the Single Supervisory Mechanism is almost completed. The next step is the ECBs independent valuation of banks assets, before it takes up its supervisory role. Our attention now must urgently turn to the Single Resolution Mechanism. The Commission's proposal is on the table since July and, together, we must do the necessary to have it adopted still during this term. It is the way to ensure that taxpayers are no longer the ones in the front line for paying the price of bank failure. It is the way to make progress in decoupling bank from sovereign risk. It is the way to remedy one of the most alarming and unacceptable results of the crisis: increased fragmentation of Europe's financial sector and credit markets - even an implicit re-nationalisation. And it is also the way to help restoring normal lending to the economy, notably to SMEs. Because in spite of the accommodating monetary policy, credit is not yet sufficiently flowing to the economy across the euro area. This needs to be addressed resolutely. Ultimately, this is about one thing: growth, which is necessary to remedy today's most pressing problem: unemployment. 00:01:44
00:06:48 General view of the European Parliament 00:00:05
00:06:53 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): In today's world, the EU level is indispensable to protect these values and standards and promote citizens' rights: from consumer protection to labour rights, from women's rights to respect for minorities, from environmental standards to data protection and privacy. Whether defending our interests in international trade, securing our energy provision, or restoring people's sense of fairness by fighting tax fraud and tax evasion: only by acting as a Union do we pull our weight at the world stage. 00:00:38
00:07:31 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
00:07:35 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): In the debate that is ongoing all across Europe, the bottom-line question is: Do we want to improve Europe, or give it up? My answer is clear: let's engage! If you don't like Europe as it is: improve it! Find ways to make it stronger, internally and internationally, and you will have in me the firmest of supporters. Find ways that allow for diversity without creating discriminations, and I will be with you all the way. But don't turn away from it. I recognise: as any human endeavour, the EU is not perfect. For example, controversies about the division of labour between the national and European levels will never be conclusively ended. I value subsidiarity highly. For me, subsidiarity is not a technical concept. It is a fundamental democratic principle. An ever closer union among the citizens of Europe demands that decisions are taken as openly and as transparently as possible and as closely to the people as possible. Not everything needs a solution at European level. Europe must focus on where it can add most value. Where this is not the case, it should not meddle. The EU needs to be big on big things and smaller on smaller things - something we may occasionally have neglected in the past. 00:01:25
00:08:59 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:02
00:09:02 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): But there are, honourable members, areas of major importance where Europe must have more integration, more unity. Where only a strong Europe can deliver results. I believe a political union needs to be our political horizon, as I stressed in last year's State of the Union. This is not just the demand of a passionate European. This is the indispensable way forward to consolidate our progress and ensure the future. Ultimately, the solidity of our policies, namely of the Economic and Monetary Union, depend on the credibility of the political and institutional construct that supports it. So we have mapped out, in the Commission Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union, not only the economic and monetary features, but also the necessities, possibilities and limits of deepening our institutional set-up in the medium and long term. 00:00:54
00:09:56 General views of the European Parliament (3 shots) 00:00:06
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