Visit of José Manuel Barroso to Panama: speeches by Ricardo Martinelli and José Manuel Barroso
Type: Complete speech
On 13 December 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, travelled to Panama. His two-day visit started with a bilateral meeting with Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama, at the Presidential Palace in Panama City. On this occasion, the two presidents discussed EU-Panama bilateral relations and trade issues. They also discussed public security, a major concern for the region. After the meeting, the EU-Panama project to support the security sector in Panama amounting to € 28 million was signed. This project proves the EU's commitment to help address security challenges in Central American countries.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama, (in SPANISH) saying that it is a special day for Panama because it is the SICA meeting and giving some welcoming words to the European Union which is the largest investor for Panama and the second destination of all Pan-American exports.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in SPANISH) saying that he is glad to visit Panama for the first time. They have excellent bilateral relations. He came here to meet with President Ricardo Martinelli and to participate in the SICA summit as a special guest at the kind invitation of the President. He takes this opportunity to thank his visit to Brussels in May this year. It is his pleasure now to correspond to his visit in order to continue the excellent dialogue initiated in Brussels. They just finished a very interesting, fruitful and constructive meeting where they talked about the importance of relations between the European Union and Panama and their common desire to strengthen them with renewed ambition and new projects. Needless to tell that Panama is a very important country for the European Union; the country's growth in recent years, the development of infrastructures, the expansion of the canal and the increasingly important position of Panama in the global economy, justify the importance they attach to these relationships. The European Union is also a key player in the recent developments of Panama. They continue to be the main investor in the country and the second largest trading partner. Panama raises more and more interest for European companies and many have chosen Panama as a regional activity centre. Relationships are different but they will go further. Besides bilateral relations, they also want to consolidate their bi-regional relationship with Central America. He believes very much in the merits and benefits of regional integration and he sees with satisfaction that Central America is moving in this direction and that Panama is committed to this process. The partnership agreement signed last year and in application since August responds to the double aspiration for closer relations between the European Union and Central America and also at the same time deepening the regional integration in Central America. It is important to work now in the implementation of all aspects; commercial, cooperative and political. Also committed to continue to improve the security situation and cooperate in the fight against all types of traffic, especially of course, drug trafficking which is a so big threat to society and youth. Except the regional economic integration and the fight against climate change, security is once again high on their future bilateral cooperation and he wanted to thank President Martinelli for their discussions about the key challenges that come on regional security and the fight against drug trafficking. It is important for Europe and they support their efforts. An example of this commitment is the important agreement they have just signed to strengthen public security in the country. This is a programme that makes available significant resources 28 million euros to help Panama in its efforts regarding its strategy for public safety. This is the largest cooperation project ever signed between the European Union and Panama. It is this programme that will be implemented in cooperation with The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the development of a strategy for public safety in Central America and the Caribbean. The European Union wants to work with the authorities in the region to comprehensively address the security challenges that affect them. Panama has witnessed great development in recent years. It has come a long way and he congratulates President Martinelli on his successful presidency. He is pleased that the European Union has been part of this progress. They will continue working together to maintain the same momentum in the future. They also discussed practical issues, the issue of opening an EU delegation here. Of course, they have an embassy here in the region. They have excellent bilateral ambassadors and he promised the president that they will upgrade their presence. For the moment, he cannot give a precise date but they are working in order to do so. Thank you very much.
||Questions/answers session with José Manuel Barroso and Ricardo Martinelli
||Signing ceremony with José Manuel Barroso and Ricardo Martinelli