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Reappointment of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq


Iraqi flag (Commons)

President Barroso conveyed his congratulations to Mr Nouri al-Maliki on his reappointment as Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq. He reaffirmed the Commission's support to the government's "efforts to reconstruct the country and to consolidate Iraq’s democratic political system". The President also expressed his confidence that "with the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which should be signed soon, we will be able to further strengthen the partnership between Iraq and the European Union".

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Message from Barroso on the death of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa


Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa (Commons licence)

President Barroso conveyed his sincerest condolences to the family of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, following the latter's death on December 18. Mr. Padoa-Schioppa was a member of the European Central Bank Executive Board and one of the fathers of the Euro. President Barroso noted: "Europe will miss his intellectual passion and his tenacity that he continued to express at the service of European ideals, as a President of Notre Europe and a leader of European Movement."

2010: European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion


European Year logo (c) EU

President Barroso made an address at the closing session of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion where he emphasised Europe's commitment to a fairer and more inclusive society. He pointed to the Europe 2020 strategy and its target to reduce poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020, and to the newly launched Platform against Poverty as examples of how the Commission and the EU as a whole are working towards the objectives of social inclusion and cohesion.

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European Council, 17 December 2010


President Barroso (c) EU

"What we are seeing is what I call the ritual dances of the different tribes before the real party begins" responded President Barroso to press questions on calls for freezing the future EU budget. "The Commission will make its proposals on the financial framework in June. We will respect what is the general European interest. This is the Community method and we should stick to it, in a loyal cooperation between institutions." He also referred to the European Council conclusions supporting this approach.

European Council, 17 December 2010

We will do whatever is required to support the euro area financial stability


President Barroso © EU

Following the European Council President Barroso stated that the European Council confirmed the important agreements reached yesterday and outlined several concrete commitments that the euro area leaders have set out. " All of this is what we mean when we say we will do whatever is required to support the euro area financial stability," and underlined that the agreement today, to give candidate status to Montenegro, sends a strong signal on the future of the Balkans.

"What we are seeing is what I call the ritual dances of the different tribes before the real party begins" responded President Barroso to press questions on calls for freezing the future EU budget. "The Commission will make its proposals on the financial framework in June. We will respect what is the general European interest. This is the Community method and we should stick to it, in a loyal cooperation between institutions." He also referred to the European Council conclusions supporting this approach.

"Everyone around the table showed determination to do what it takes to protect the euro"

Following the first part of the European Council, President Barroso said that "today was a good day for Europe, because I believe we have done what we needed to do." He added that the important agreement on a permanent European Stability Mechanism and agreement on the limited treaty change were reached: "Everyone around the table showed determination to do what it takes to protect the euro. We are united in this. There is common resolve to ensure Europe comes out of the crisis stronger."


"This is the best signal we can give to show our absolute determination"

Arriving at the European Council President Barroso said: "I expect this European Council to take very important decisions, namely the decision to establish a permanent mechanism for euro area stability and a limited revision of the treaties to make such a mechanism possible. This is the best signal we can give to show the absolute determination of European leaders to do whatever is necessary to protect the euro, to protect financial stability and also to protect the EU as a project."

Read the president's remarks at the press conference

Read the President's statement at the final press conference

Message of Condolence following the passing away of Richard Holbrooke


Richard Holbrooke © EU

President Barroso wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama to express his sorrow over the passing away of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. President Barroso conveyed his condolences to Holbrooke's family, noting that "Europe owes Mr Holbrooke a genuine debt of gratitude for his part in brokering the Dayton Peace Accord, which brought to a halt the most intractable conflict in Europe since the end of World War II."

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European Parliament debate on upcoming European Council

So while I can understand that you want to think about every possible solution, this is a time for immediate action


President Barroso © EU

In his speech 'The European Council: sending a signal of unity, solidarity and support for the European project', President Barroso underlined that he expects "the upcoming European Council will focus on delivery, steadying the course and strengthening the consensus," and added: "Let us do it with a clear sense of our destination. And let that destination be clear as well: a strong and stable euro area in an ever closer European Union."

The full speech

Visit of H.E. King Abdullah II. of Jordan


King Abdullah II. of Jordan and José Manuel Barroso (c) EU

President Barroso today received Jordanian King Abdullah II. The two Leaders welcomed the fact that Jordan accomplished an "advanced status" partnership with the European Union, a milestone which will open a new, even more substantive chapter in the relationship between the Kingdom and Europe. A new EU-Jordan ENP Action Plan will be the vehicle to implement our shared priorities and pave the way for closer dialogue. Finally, the leaders discussed the state of play in the Middle East Peace Process.

EU and Jordan sign air transport agreement

Faster and cheaper settlement of cross-border disputes


José Manuel Barroso

The European Commission proposed the elimination of a complicated and costly procedure for recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters between Member States, which could save up to €48 million a year and facilitate cross-border business, particularly for small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). President Barroso stressed that "this is good news for Europe's citizens and SMEs. Our proposals will deliver faster and cheaper settlement of cross-border disputes, with savings between 2,000 and 12,000 € in individual cases."

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Question Hour with President Barroso, European Parliament


José Manuel Barroso

President Barroso stated on euro bonds: "Let us not kill the euro bonds idea for the future but let us concentrate now on what we can do quickly and decisively." Wikileaks and Cybersecurity were at the core of the question hour with President Barroso. He underlined that "freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and corner stone of our democracies," while stressing the importance of data protection and privacy.

Answers to Members of the European Parliament on Wikileaks/Cybersecurity pdf - 15 KB [15 KB]

President Barroso congratulates Mrs Calmy-Rey


Micheline Calmy-Rey and José Manuel Barroso © EU

President Barroso congratulated Her Excellency Mrs Micheline Calmy-Rey on her election as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2011. Recalling his personal attachment to Switzerland, President Barroso said: "I hope we will have the opportunity to meet shortly to discuss the approach which will enable us to jointly establish a new method of cooperation to help us achieve our common objective of strengthening our relationship."

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EU-India Summit

The EU-India Free Trade Agreement will be a key contribution to global recovery and crucial for growth, jobs and innovation


EU-India Summit © EU

President Barroso participated in the 11th EU-India Summit today, which gave a strong political impetus to the final work on an EU-India Trade and Investment Agreement. President Barroso stressed: "This agreement will bring together markets of one and a half billion people. It will also be a signal for global openness and against protectionism. I am confident that we can conclude the ongoing talks next spring. Let us seal the deal in 2011!"

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50,000 researchers supported by Marie Curie Actions


Marie Curie Actions logo © EU

President Barroso praised the 50,000 Marie Curie grants awarded since 1996 as a support to the "curiosity and hunger for discovery of the scientific community. I believe in a Europe that invests in its future: in research and innovation and in its people. In a Europe that values its talents, where high-level education and skills prepare us to master the challenges ahead."

Read the president's full speech from the conference

Meeting with the Northern Ireland leaders


Northern Ireland First Minister, Peter Robinson, and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness with President Barroso (c) EU

President Barroso, Northern Ireland First Minister, Peter Robinson, and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness discussed today the impact of the economic downturn in Northern Ireland and how they can do more to help people there. President Barroso stressed that his commitment to Northern Ireland is "a commitment to our shared future – the future of Northern Ireland in the European Union. Today we renew that commitment, we celebrate the results achieved, and we look forward to Northern Ireland's future stability and success."

The president's full statement following the meeting

Barroso congratulates the President of Burkina Faso


Blaise Compaoré (Commons)

President Barroso congratulated His Excellency Mr Blaise Compaoré on his re-election as President of Burkina Faso. "I send you my very best wishes for success in consolidating peace, stability and democracy, and in implementing political reforms via solutions based on a broad consensus between all political forces in Burkina Faso," he said.

Working together in partnership


 President Barroso and President Jerzy Buzek © EU

President Barroso and the College of Commissioners received the President of the European Parliament Mr Jerzy Buzek today. They discussed a variety of topics including: the EU budget delivering for European citizens, protecting the European Union's financial stability, important international issues and working together in partnership under the Lisbon Treaty.

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Presentation of the European Book Prize


Prix du Livre Européen

President Barroso took part in the presentation of the European Book Prize and paid tribute to the winners, Sofi Oksanen and Roberto Saviano. The prize is awarded to a novel and an essay setting out a vision of Europe. President Barroso said of the two winners: "Both of them, in their own way, bear witness to the violence perpetrated by man, to the fear, humiliation and torment that have gripped and still grip Europe. But they also bear witness to friendship, solidarity, human warmth, hope and redemption."

Frequently asked questions on the European Stability Mechanism


Euro bills

A new permanent crisis mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), will be set up in the euro area as of mid-2013. Following a proposal by the European Commission, this was agreed by the euro area Ministers of Finance on 28 November 2010. This agreement will be reflected in the proposal for an amendment to the Treaty that will be submitted by President Herman Van Rompuy to the European Council in December 2010.

Frequently asked questions on the European Stability Mechanism

26th EU-Russia Summit

We have now jointly achieved a breakthrough on Russia's WTO accession


Dmitry Medvedev, Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso © EU

The EU-Russia Summit that united President Barroso and Russian President Medvedev saw significant progress in a number of political and economic areas. President Barroso said of Russia's WTO accession: "This is really a milestone. Our difficult bilateral issues are resolved. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this end today. Russia becoming a WTO member in 2011 is a realistic perspective." The leaders also discussed the Partnership for Modernisation which is key to support political and economic reforms in Russia.

Read the president's statement following the EU-Russia Summit

Further information

Good progress in cutting unnecessary administrative burdens


 Dr. Edmund Stoiber © EU

President Barroso and Dr. Edmund Stoiber discussed today the progress made in reducing administrative burdens and the report on national best practice that the High-Level Group is preparing. President Barroso said that "the Commission is clearly not alone in the race to reduce burdens for our businesses. It's a relay race. We have passed on the baton to the Parliament and the Member States. It's now up to them to take it to the finishing line."

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Context and overview of achievements and examples

Detailed update on reducing administrative burdens

Read the president's press statement

Bilateral Meeting with Greek Prime Minister


Papandreou & Barroso

President Barroso received Greek Prime Minister Papandreou in Brussels. Commending the "significant progress Greece has made", President Barroso thanked Papandreou for his attachment to the Community method and underlined that "it is essential that Greece continues to show the same strong commitment that we have seen over recent months both in terms of consolidating public finances and implementing key structural reforms".

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Opening of European Development Days

Development cooperation is a human imperative and a strategic necessity


Logo of the European Development Days © EU

President Barroso launched the fifth edition of the European Development Days, a flagship event which showcases the EU's continuing and enduring commitment to development. In his opening speech, President Barroso pointed out that "It is now clear that traditional development aid on its own is not enough. It needs to go hand in hand with policies which encourage growth. We need to boost trade and investment as well as tackle global challenges like climate change and poverty."

In the margins of the European Development Days, President Barroso met with a number of heads of state and government to discuss the development agenda, including: Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Blaise Compaore, President of Burkina Faso; Madhav Kumar Nepal, Prime Minister of Nepal; Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi and Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

Read the opening speech by the President

The EU lends assistance to Israel


The Israeli flag © Commons

The European Commission activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in response to Israel’s request for assistance to fight the fires raging in the northern part of the country. President Barroso commented: "I want to express my condolences to the victims' families and friends, and our solidarity with the people affected by the fire. I also reiterate that Europe stands ready to work closely with Israel in combating this catastrophe."

Read the press release on the offer for support

Ahead of the EU-Russia Summit


Russian Flag (Commons)

The 26th EU-Russia Summit will take place in Brussels on 7 December. President Barroso said ahead of the meeting: "I look forward to a successful Summit, with tangible progress in key areas: We just achieved a breakthrough on Russia's WTO accession and strongly support Russia's efforts to become a member in 2011. This will strengthen trade and investment and contribute to shared growth. We will also give new impulses to our Partnership for Modernization, which is key in supporting reforms."

EU-Russia Summit

Explaining 2011 priorities and defending cohesion policy


José Manuel Barroso at the Committee of the Regions © EU

Addressing the Committee of the Regions, President Barroso presented the Commission's priorities for 2011 and commented on the 1st anniversary of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, as well as cohesion policy and the future budget of the Union. He declared: "We are proud of our cohesion policy. We consider it indispensable for the future of the European Union. Cohesion policy is an essential contribution not only to solidarity in Europe but also to the growth of Europe as a whole."

Read the president's speech

Regional Policy in the EU

Watch extracts from the Plenary Session