EU-Mercosur Summit, Madrid
After the Mercosur Summit president Barroso said that the EU feels a natural affinity with Mercosur. He added: "I am extremely happy about our decision to resume the negotiations for an Association Agreement. This would enable the creation of one of the largest Free Trade Areas in the world (700 million consumers) and enhance our political cooperation and coordination." The process of regional integration, promotion and protection of human rights, climate change and biodiversity were also discussed.
Meeting with Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurría
President Barroso and the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurría, discussed the valuable contribution of OECD data and analysis to help the EU and Member States to take the right policy decisions and put Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. They also discussed the important decisions of the EU to guarantee the stability of the Eurozone, and Mr. Gurría welcomed the EU's measures as "credible and having the right size".
Informal lunch with US vice president Joe Biden
In the context of the visit of US vice president Joe Biden to Brussels, president Barroso and the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, had an informal lunch.
Opening ceremony of the Shanghai EXPO 2010
President Barroso alongside vice president/High Representative Ashton attended the Shanghai EXPO 2010 opening ceremony today. The EU is represented with its own pavilion, showing that the EU is part of the new global horizons symbolised by the Expo. For Barroso, this is also an occasion to bring people closer together and build stronger ties between the citizens of the European Union and China. Barroso stated: "It is an occasion to celebrate our relationship."
President's Barroso speech at Tsinghua University, Beijing
In his speech president Barroso stressed the 35-year-old strong strategic partnership between EU-China. In the meantime both countries evolved and China became an important international player. Due to the very scale of China's economy and its geostrategic importance, China's actions affect the rest of the world. "And what China does not do will also affect the rest of the world and ultimately also China," stressed Barroso and added that Europe stands ready to work in partnership with China.
Weekly Commission meeting
Commission in favour of an Intergovernmental Conference on the composition of the EP
The European Commission adopted an Opinion recommending the opening of an intergovernmental conference to deal with transitional measures for the composition of the European Parliament, as proposed by the Spanish government. The latter submitted a formal proposal with the aim of allowing an additional 18 Members of the EP to take office by 1 December 2010. The Commission Opinion recommends opening an intergovernmental conference as soon as possible, remaining strictly limited to the discussion of the Spanish proposal.
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President's Barroso official visit to China 29 April - 1 May
The EU and China are important global players and it is essential that we work together in addressing common challenges
President Barroso will lead a delegation of Commissioners on a trip to China to discuss bilateral issues, global challenges such as the economic and financial crisis, climate change and international security with the Chinese leadership. Barroso: "We will seize this opportunity to generate positive momentum in our 35-year relationship and develop a far-reaching agenda for the next 5 years." Barroso will also participate in the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and the inauguration of the EU Pavilion.
Official visit to Japan 28 April 2010
President Barroso will attend the 19th EU-Japan Summit held in Tokyo alongside President of the European Council Van Rompuy. The meeting will be hosted by Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama and will focus on the discussion of the future framework for bilateral political and economic relations. It will also be an excellent opportunity to identify areas of concrete cooperation in the fields of global and regional issues, peace and security, economy and trade.
Meeting with the EIT board
President Barroso and Commissioner Vassiliou met Martin Schuurmans, chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, members of the EIT governing board and representatives of the EIT's newly created 'Knowledge and Innovation Communities'. Discussions focused on the importance of the EIT's contribution to achieving the goals of the Commission's ‘Europe 2020' strategy and the EIT's place and future development in the EU higher education, research and innovation landscape.
Working lunch with Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris
President Barroso met the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. They reviewed key European and international affairs, and discussed in particular the necessity to take swift and decisive action against the speculation about Greece. Barroso also stressed the importance of strengthening the coordination and monitoring of Member States’ economic policies. He also confirmed the European Commission’s desire to develop global economic and financial governance.
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President Barroso will attend the state funeral in Poland
Alongside the Polish commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, president Barroso will attend the state funeral of the Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife in Cracow, Poland, on Sunday, 18 April. Today president Barroso signed the book of condolence in memory of all victims who passed away in the tragic airplane crash on Saturday, 10 April 2010. And in its weekly meeting the College observed a one-minute silence in respect for the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group
On 14 April, President Barroso chaired a meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group. The Group discussed the results of the ongoing settlement talks and looked in particular at EU-related aspects of a future settlement. The overall assessment was that important progress has been made by the leaders of the two communities Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue.
25th anniversary of European Capitals of Culture
Without culture, Europe would remain incomplete
President Barroso alongside Commissioner Vassiliou opened the conference and the exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture in Brussels. Barroso qualified the initiative as a real "success story" and urged all the national, regional and local authorities to make sure that culture is firmly anchored in long-term local development strategies. He added that the Capitals of Culture "point the way to the creative economies, cities, and communities that are crucial for our future".
Irish Shamrocks for president Barroso to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day
Congratulations to Ireland
On the occasion of the celebration of Saint Patrick's Day, president Barroso received a bouquet of Shamrocks from Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the Irish commissioner in charge of Research, Innovation and Science. The shamrock, a three-leafed clover, is one of the most well-known symbols of Ireland. Barroso thanked the Commissioner for the present and shared that also for him 17 March was a special day because it was precisely on that day that he was elected prime minister of Portugal. "Congratulations to Ireland," said a grateful Barroso.
First official meeting between Jerzy Buzek and the new Commission
The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, met President Barroso and the College of Commissioners for a working lunch. In a spirit of partnership and interinstitutional cooperation, Mr Buzek’s visit was an opportunity to work on various current issues from the "Europe 2020" strategy to the renewal of the Framework Agreement between the two institutions. This first official meeting, at the invitation of the Commission, will be followed by other regular encounters throughout the mandate of this Commission.
President Barroso in Budapest
President Barroso visited Budapest to meet the Hungarian prime minister, Gordon Bajnai for a working dinner. The two leaders discussed among other things the new Europe 2020 strategy, adopted by the Commission on the same day, which received the strong support of the Hungarian prime minister. President Barroso also attended a conference of the European People's Party. In his speech, he explained how the Europe 2020 strategy could help upholding and renewing the European social market economy, which has come under threat in the economic and financial crisis. During the visit he also reiterated that Budapest, which hosts the European Institute of Technology and Innovation, is at the heart of the EU's efforts to put Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Italian president Napolitano meets president Barroso and the College
President Barroso today welcomed the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, in the Commission by praising him as a "precious interlocutor and an example for all of us with his dedication to the European cause, to our common values, dialogue and democracy." Mr Napolitano also had the occasion to meet the entire College. The main topics discussed were the new Europe 2020 strategy, the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, external relations as well as migration. On Europe 2020 Barroso highlighted the importance that both Italy and the Commission attribute to industry, manufacturing, SMEs, and the single market in putting Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Climate change: EU makes emission reduction targets official following Copenhagen Accord
The European Union has today formalised its support for the Copenhagen Accord on climate change and presented its commitments for emission reduction targets. In a joint letter with the Spanish Presidency of the Council, the European Commission has formally stated the EU's willingness to be associated with the Accord and submitted for information the EU's established greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020. President Barroso said: "The EU is determined to move ahead rapidly with implementing the Copenhagen Accord in order to make progress towards the agreement that we need to hold global warming below 2°C. The Accord provides a basis on which to build this future agreement and I therefore urge all countries to associate themselves with it and notify ambitious emission targets or actions for inclusion as we are doing."
Nomination of Commissioner-designate Mrs Kristalina Georgieva
President Barroso met with Mrs Kristalina Georgieva following her nomination by the Bulgarian government. He has given his agreement for her name to go forward as commissioner-designate and believes she has all the professional background and European convictions to be an excellent Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. Mrs Georgieva has extensive international experience and a grasp of the issues to make a real impact in this new role. Mrs Georgieva's name will now be confirmed by the Council and she will debate her future responsibilities at a hearing with the European Parliament on 3 February. President Barroso hopes that the European Parliament will be able to vote on the whole college of commissioners on 9 February, in accordance with the timetable agreed by the European Parliament today.
Mrs Georgieva's CV [11 KB]
EU launches 2010 European Year: Stop poverty now!
"Combating poverty and social exclusion is an integral part of getting out of the crisis. It is too often the vulnerable in society who end up being hardest hit by the impacts of a recession. That is why the European Year 2010 should act as a catalyst to raise awareness and build momentum for a more inclusive society which is part and parcel of the EU’s future 2020 strategy that I have proposed," said Commission president José Manuel Durão Barroso ahead of the launch of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion at an event held in Madrid with Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
Resignation of commissioner-designate Mrs Jeleva
President Barroso took note of Mrs Jeleva's withdrawal as commissioner-designate. He fully respects this personal decision. Bulgarian prime minister Borisov has in the meantime informed president Barroso of his intention to suggest Ms Kristalina Georgieva, currently vice-president of the World Bank, as member of the European Commission. President Barroso will meet her as soon as possible, with a view to considering his agreement to that suggestion. President Barroso welcomes the swift reaction of the Bulgarian Government to this situation. The process of the investiture of the new Commission should now continue and be concluded at the earliest opportunity.
Kick off of the new European Capitals of Culture 2010
On Saturday 9 January president Barroso will take part in the kick-off celebrations of "Essen for the Ruhr" in Germany as one of the three "European Capitals of Culture" in 2010, together with Pécs in Hungary and Istanbul in Turkey. President Barroso is convinced that "without culture, Europe and its citizens would lack the inspiration, creativity and spirit of innovation they need for their common project." The grand opening of "Essen for the Ruhr" will be held in the World Heritage site "Zeche Zollverein", formerly the world’s largest colliery and today an impressive industrial monument and culture centre.