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Copenhagen climate accord


José Manuel Barroso © EC

Joint statement of the EU Presidency and the European Commission

Reacting early on Saturday morning to the Copenhagen accord due to be submitted to the UN plenary session, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "This accord is better than no accord, but it wasn't a huge step. The level of ambition is honestly not what we were hoping for. I will not hide my disappointment regarding the ambition in terms of the binding nature or non-binding nature of the future agreement."

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Read Mr Barroso's statement of 18/12/2009

"We are making very important steps here in Copenhagen"


"We are making very important steps here in Copenhagen"

"It is now obvious that we will not get all we had hoped for," president Barroso stated to the plenary of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. "But what remains on our side here in Copenhagen is a critically important milestone in the battle against climate change. We are making progress on transparency and internationalisation of domestic action. More importantly, our own binding offer has triggered a long list of strong new initial and reduction commitments from developed and developing countries which will, if we get a deal, be subject to both robust monitoring and review.”

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We encourage all parties to urgently go to the outer limits of their flexibility


Logo of the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen © EC

"The European Union is concerned by the lack of progress in the negotiations. We encourage all parties to urgently go to the outer limits of their flexibility so that talks can move forward”, the European Commission and the EU Presidency said in a joint statement on the state of play of the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. "The European Union has put concrete proposals on the table and maintains its conditional offer to do more, if others, especially the major emitters, improve their offers as well."

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An ambitious deal is within our grasp


José Manuel Barroso © EC

"We are going to have to work extremely hard. But I am convinced that we can seal a deal on Friday”, president Barroso stated during his speech at the UN High Level Segment COP 15. "We now have a basis for a real negotiation in the closing days towards a meaningful and ambitious deal, which we must transform into a binding legal agreement next year." This conference is also "a real test of our collective credibility to find global solutions at the highest level”, he mentioned to emphasise this crucial moment.

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The ambitious EU figure can kick-start the end-game of the Copenhagen negotiations


President Barroso was delighted by the decision of the 27 Members States to provide some 7.2 billion euros to a three-year global fund aimed at helping poor nations deal with global warming at the second day of the European Council. "An ambitious figure on fast-start financing that exceeds what could be expected from the EU", he analysed, remembering that when the Commission suggested that reference value of 5 to 7 billion euros, this was considered excessive. "I'm confident that this latest commitment can kick-start the end-game of these negotiations. In Copenhagen, negotiations are moving into a new phase with the tabling of first draft texts today.”

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Without the support to the most vulnerable countries, there will not be an agreement in Copenhagen


The main issues of the first day of the European Council were the financial crisis, economic recovery and climate. On the economic issues there was a very open discussion based on the consultation paper on the future European strategy, the EU 2020 strategy, launched a few weeks ago by the European Commission. On climate change, the EU is still committed to its mandate that it was given in October. The discussions also focused on the financing of measures to combat climate change and president Barroso mentioned he had spoken with prime minister Zenawi from Ethiopia, who is coordinating the African position, on Wednesday by telephone. He also stated: "some people tend to forget the poorest, the most vulnerable African countries, small island states. And without our support to those world partners there will not be an agreement in Copenhagen. That is why, if tomorrow the EU and certain heads of government come with an important commitment in terms of fast-start financing, I think that it could be great contribution for the success of Copenhagen."

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Restoring Europe's social market economy through the EU 2020 strategy


Speaking in Bonn at the European People's Party (EPP) congress ahead of the European Council, president Barroso stressed the need to restore Europe's social market economy and deliver an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen on climate change next week. President Barroso stated: "The crisis, caused partly by greedy and reckless behaviour, shows that you cannot have a strong economy without moral values. Equally, we need a strong economy to give real effect to solidarity. Modernising Europe's social market economy has been at the centre of my first Commission's work, through the Lisbon Strategy. We have made progress. My second Commission will build on that through the EU 2020 strategy." Speaking about the Copenhagen conference, he said: "My acid test is not whether there will be numbers but whether each major player has gone to the outer limits of their capacity, whether we have reached the highest level of ambition possible".

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Tragic event in Russia


European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has sent his condolences to the President of the Russian Federation, Dimitri Medvedev, and the people of Russia, following the tragic fire blaze in the city of Perm. "I am saddened by the accident that robbed so many people of their lives in the Russian city of Perm. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. On behalf of the European Commission I would like to express my solidarity and my deepest sympathy to everyone affected by this tragic event."

Economic crisis and energy security at the core of the EU-Ukraine Summit


The 13th EU-Ukraine Summit, which took place on 4 December, provided the opportunity to president Barroso and president Yushchenko to discuss key issues such as economic reform and economic recovery in Ukraine as well as energy security and the eastern partnership. At the end of the meeting, president Barroso said: “We have a clear view on how our relationship can develop in the next years. We have shown that we stand ready to support Ukraine in all areas. I hope that Ukraine will also implement necessary reforms so that our help will be more efficient”.

Background information

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"We are approaching the moment of truth at Copenhagen"


Speaking after a meeting with Lord Stern, chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment and Dr Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), president Barroso stated that the countdown to Copenhagen demands "the highest level of ambition possible" from all the different communities involved in the fight against climate change. President Barroso welcomed the recent concrete commitments made by countries such as China, adding that it was encouraging to see that around 90 world leaders will attend the conference in Copenhagen. In reference to the conditional reduction target of 30%, however, he stated that the EU "cannot commit now to more if others do not move as well".

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FYROM: time to solve the name issue "once and for all"


In the year 2009, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia got closer to the EU following the recommendation for the start of accession negotiations last October. This was highlighted yesterday by president Barroso in the presence of the prime minister of FYROM, Mr Gruevski, in Brussels. Barroso addressed the "sensitivity" of the name issue for the country and wanted to send a message of encouragement: "I am convinced that there is now an opportunity, provided that there is the necessary political will on both sides to overcome this issue and find a mutually satisfactory solution." He also recalled the necessity of further progress in areas such as the implementation of the Ohrid framework and public administration reform.

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