Extracts from the common press conference by José Manuel Barroso, Olli Rehn, and László Andor, on Alert Mechanism Report and the employment and single market reports

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-083479   Duration: 10:08:22  Lieu:
End production: 13/11/2013   First transmission: 13/11/2013
On 13 November 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, gave a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium on the Annual Growth Survey (AGS), Alert Mechanism Report and the employment and single market reports. The biggest challenge now facing Europe's economy is how to sustain the recovery that is now underway. This is the main message of this year’s AGS, adopted on the same day by the Commission. Its adoption kicks off the fourth European Semester of economic policy coordination in an environment where growth is beginning to return and Member States are making progress on correcting the imbalances that developed before the crisis.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium 00:00:06
10:00:11 Arrival of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro and László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, to the press conference 00:00:08
10:00:19 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): With the adoption of our Annual Growth Survey, the European Commission is setting the top five economic priorities that should guide Member States when they design their budgets and economic reform plans over the next year. But this year is also different. This year, budgetary coordination in the euro area has gone to a new level. This year, for the first time, Member States have sent us their draft budget plans before they are adopted. 00:00:29
10:00:48 General view of the audience 00:00:04
10:00:52 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): The fundamental difference in the European Union this year, I am pleased to say, is that the economy is now reaching a turning point: Growth is gradually returning; financial markets are stabilising; consumers and businesses are more confident about the future and two of our Member States - Ireland and Spain are successfully concluding their respective programmes. Other countries still under a programme of financial assistance have also been making notable progress, namely correcting their external imbalances. 00:00:33
10:01:26 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
10:01:31 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): We must ensure that our efforts translated into stronger growth that generates jobs. The best way - I would say the only way - to do that is to pursue our reform efforts, avoiding reform fatigue. We must not put into jeopardy what has been achieved so far. This will be the way to address in a sustainable manner the biggest problem we are still facing: unemployment, especially of the young. 00:00:30
10:02:01 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
10:02:06 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): We need to look now at the Alert Mechanism Report. With the Alert Mechanism Report, we make every year an objective analysis of the competitiveness of Member States' economies and their macro-economic imbalances. We look at both deficit and surplus countries. This year shows that progress is being made by several Member States to reduce their current account deficits and reverse the losses in competitiveness. 00:00:28
10:02:34 General view of the audience 00:00:05
10:02:40 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): We have decided today to prepare In-Depth Reviews on 16 countries. For 3 of them, this will be the first time: for Germany, Luxembourg and Croatia. These reviews will allow us to conclude whether imbalances exist or not, and whether they are excessive or not. 00:00:20
10:03:01 Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): Only when these in-depth reviews are published next spring winter, we will we conclude whether imbalances exist at all, and if so, how serious they are. In the meantime, our recommendations, which are in fact Council's recommendations from last July, are for sure still valid for all 28 Member States of the EU. 00:00:30
10:03:31 Cutaway of a cameraman 00:00:05
10:03:36 Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): For Spain and Slovenia, which we found in April to be experiencing excessive imbalances, we will assess whether these excessive imbalances persist or rather they are unwinding. We will also assess the contribution of the reforms implemented by these two countries to overcome the imbalances. 00:00:25
10:04:02 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:04:06 Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): We will also assess the persistence of imbalance in three countries for which we called for decisive policy actions. That is France, Italy and Hungary. For the other Member States identified in spring as experiencing imbalances. That is Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. We will assess whether these imbalances persist or whether they have been overcome. 00:00:36
10:04:42 General view of the audience 00:00:04
10:04:46 Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): We have also decided today to carry out in-depth reviews on Germany and Luxembourg, in order to better understand their internal economic developments and assess whether either country is experiencing imbalances. We will also carry out an in-depth review for Croatia, to understand the nature and potential risks related to its external position, trade performance and economic competitiveness, as well as internal developments, including of course the high level of unemployment. 00:00:42
10:05:28 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:05:32 Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): Germany is the growth engine of Europe, not least thanks to its excellent external economic performance and broad trade links to global markets including the fastest growing emerging economies. Let's be clear on this; we are not criticising Germany's external economic competitiveness or its success in global markets. In fact that is what we want from all EU Member States. 00:00:33
10:06:06 Soundbite by László Andor (in ENGLISH): The Commission's assessment is that on average the employment and social situation has continued to worsen, with more than 26.8 million jobseekers unable to find a job, household incomes falling in many countries and inequalities rising. This social crisis represents a drag on growth in the short term by weakening demand. But it also threatens to undermine our long-term competitiveness as people lose their skills and many young people struggle to get a foothold in the labour market. 00:00:34
10:06:41 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:06:45 Soundbite by László Andor (in ENGLISH): Since 2008, there is a persistent and growing divergence in the EU between the so-called 'South and North', or to be more accurate between 'central' and 'peripheral' countries. This divergence is clearly visible in the rates of unemployment, youth unemployment and the young NEETs. As for household incomes, they kept increasing in the North and central euro area countries, but declined by about 10% cumulatively in the peripheral countries from 2010 till 2012. 00:00:35
10:07:20 Cutaway of photographers 00:00:04
10:07:24 Soundbite by László Andor (in ENGLISH): It is in the interest of all Member States to make sure that employment and social challenges are addressed on time and in an effective way. Sometimes, an effective response also requires solidarity between Member States. The action which the EU is taking through the Youth Guarantee is one example of such a concerted response. 00:00:24
10:07:49 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:07:53 Soundbite by László Andor (in ENGLISH): The EU economy is still far from creating enough job opportunities and millions of people who want to work simply do not get the chance. So it is crucial that governments step up their employment policies to support a job-rich recovery. More specifically, Member States need to further improve the resilience of their labour markets to economic changes, notably by improving their public employment services and stepping up investment in human capital. 00:00:29
10:08:22 José Manuel Barroso, Olli Rehn and László Andor leaving the press conference 00:00:15
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