European Council: Extracts from the final press conference by José Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC, and Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council, and Final press conference opening remarks by Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE, Lithuanian President

Type: News   Reference: i-084943   Duration: 00:06:44  Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 20/12/2013   First transmission: 20/12/2013
For the first time since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council held a thematic debate on defence. It identified priority actions for stronger cooperation. This debate was preceded by a meeting with the ATO Secretary-General. He presented his assessment of current and future security challenges and welcomed the ongoing efforts and commitments by the EU and its Member States as being compatible with, and beneficial to ATO. The European Council welcomed the general approach reached by the Council on the Single Resolution Mechanism, which will be a cornerstone of the Banking Union. The European Council reviewed the economic situation and the progress in implementing the Compact for Growth, Jobs and Competitiveness. The European Council also identified the main features of the Partnerships for Growth, Jobs and Competitiveness to support structural reform, with a view to concluding discussions by October next year. The European Council also adressed the issue of Ukraine, Syria and Central Africa.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 Arrival of Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC and Dalia Grybauskaite, Lithuanian President in the press room (2 shots) 00:00:16
00:00:21 SOUNDBITE by Herman Van Rompuy (In ENGLISH) saying that: We respect and regret the decision of Ukraine's government of late November not to sign. But the future of our relations is for the long-term. We can't let that be compromised by short-term calculations, by outside pressure. It must be a free choice. To my mind, the future of Ukraine lies with Europe. One can try to slow it down, to block it, but in the end no one can prevent it. 00:00:38
00:00:59 Cutaway of a photographer 00:00:03
00:01:02 SOUNDBITE by Herman Van Rompuy (In ENGLISH) saying that: This morning François Hollande shared with us the latest information about operations on the way. It is the second time in the space of a year that France has courageously taken an initiative in a serious crisis. The French response in Central Africa has enabled us to avoid the disaster of civil war if not genocide; therefore I would like to pay tribute to France and to the President of the Republic. The EU, it goes without saying, supports this military effort with a contribution of 50 million Euros to the African Peace Keeping Mission and 60 million Euros in the form of humanitarian aid for the local suffering population. 00:00:50
00:01:52 Cutaway of cameramen 00:00:04
00:01:56 SOUNDBITE by Herman Van Rompuy (In ENGLISH) saying that: From January, the new EU funds for 2014-2020 will be available including for the Youth Employment Initiative. In the past year we have mobilised all possible levers to spur the recovery forward, and thanks to this and all national efforts I am convinced 2014 will be a better year. 00:00:25
00:02:21 Cutaway of the speakers 00:00:04
00:02:25 SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (In ENGLISH) saying that: only two months ago we faced one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in the Mediterranean in recent times, with 350 people perishing off the coast of Lampedusa. I was there and we did not forget what happened. Through our dedicated Task Force, we have worked out together a comprehensive, balanced and practical strategy to respond to this urgent and complex situation. We have recommended 38 concrete actions. 00:00:30
00:02:55 General view of the audience 00:00:03
00:02:58 SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (In ENGLISH) saying that: Allow me just to highlight three priorities: First in terms of relations with third countries such as such as Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Lebanon, we need to address the causes of migration and fight against trafficking, smuggling and organised crime. Second, we need to better manage our sea borders with a reinforced FRONTEX. And thirdly, we need to increase our solidarity in terms of resettlement and helping member states under heavy pressure. 00:00:31
00:03:29 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
00:03:33 SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (In ENGLISH) saying that: The continuing protests and demonstrations in the country show clearly where the Ukrainian people stand. They want freedom, they want prosperity, they want stability. The EU has also stated very clearly – and myself personally, in the conversations with President Yanukovich – that the current tensions in the country need to be resolved politically in dialogue with the opposition and the civil society and that the civil liberties need to be fully respected. 00:00:29
00:04:02 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
00:04:06 SOUNDBITE by José Manuel Barroso (In ENGLISH) saying that: (On Syria) The situation is not improving; it is indeed deteriorating in a dramatic way. The EU continues to spearhead the international efforts on humanitarian aid (over 2 billion since the crisis began), but the scale of the needs is outpacing our efforts. We need therefore to call on other donors to step up their assistance already in the Kuwait conference that will take place next January and to keep up the pressure for a political solution which will be the only lasting way forward. 00:00:33
00:04:39 Cutaway of the speakers 00:00:03
00:04:42 SOUNDBITE by Dalia Grybauskaité (In ENGLISH) saying that: We were able to reflect during these 4 and half months on 4 major groups of responsibilities which fold on our presidency. The first group related to the practically more than 60 legislative acts to negotiate between European member states and European Parliament on the 7 years European budget and practically all if it is done, only 2 are left for the next presidency. 00:00:36
00:05:18 Cutaway of cameramen 00:00:04
00:05:22 SOUNDBITE by Dalia Grybauskaité (In ENGLISH) saying that: Second part which I think we managed well and achieved a lot is the banking union; final agreement has been made just 2 days ago. Third package was related to economic growth and digital market and competitiveness of Europe where we emphasized digital economy, social dimension and energy market where achievements also have been quite impressive. 00:00:29
00:05:51 General view of the audience 00:00:05
00:05:56 SOUNDBITE by Dalia Grybauskaité (In ENGLISH) saying that: Fourth part where we were investing our efforts was external relations including Eastern partnership program where after Vilnius we think we have more clarity, more understanding about future of this program and our partners and also that we have less illusions, more reality about our relations and about future of this region. And of course I want to emphasize that Europe kept open; we started an open additional negotiations with Turkey and other countries and also we started free trade negotiations with our trans-Atlantic partners. 00:00:39
00:06:35 Speakers leaving the press room 00:00:09
00:06:44 End 00:00:00
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