European Commission meeting with the Russian government
Today showed how many interests the EU and Russia share. We will thus continue work on our Modernisation Partnership
President Barroso and the Commission College received the Russian government led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. They made progress on a number of key issues, from talks on a New Agreement, to Russia's WTO accession and energy matters. A joint statement on the Middle East and North Africa was also agreed, in which the EU and Russia support the peoples of Arab countries "in their aspirations for a more just and prosperous life."
Message on the situation in Libya
It is intolerable to see the army using force against civilians. We will support the aspirations of the Libyan people.
President Barroso made the following statement on Libya: "I think it is intolerable to see the army using force against civilians as we have been seeing during the last days. This is simply intolerable and I think we have to demand from the Libyan authorities very clearly that they stop violence, tell them that repression is not the solution and that we will support the aspirations of the Libyan people."
Meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Pillay
President Barroso met with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay to discuss how to further strengthen global EU-UN co-operation in the field of human rights. The situation in North Africa was also discussed. President Barroso: "Some people expressed in the past moral prejudice about Arab culture, saying "do Arabs really care about democracy". I think young people of those countries are showing that they do not want dictatorships."
Message of Condolence for New Zealand
President Barroso extended his heartfelt condolences to His Excellency Mr John Phillip Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, following the tragic natural disaster in New Zealand. The President noted that his thoughts are with the families of the victims affected by the tragedy. He affirmed that the European Union is ready to provide assistance if needs be and to work with the New Zealand government to give relief to the affected communities.
Message of congratulations to Mr Yoweri K. Museveni
President Barroso sent a message to Mr Yoweri K. Museveni in order to congratulate him on his re-election as President of Uganda. President Barroso emphasised that "the European Union remains fully committed to supporting Uganda's efforts to eradicate poverty and boost sustainable development."
Message of Condolence to Estonia
President Barroso conveyed his deepest condolences to the President of the Republic of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves after he learned of the death of 10 children and youngsters in the fire of an orphanage in West Estonia on Sunday 20 February. President Barroso emphasised that the sympathies and solidarity of the European Commission lie with the families of the victims.
Alcuin Lecture, Cambridge University
Non progredi est regredi. Stay in the race or fall behind!
President Barroso delivered the annual Alcuin speech at Cambridge University where he spoke of the relationship between the British nation and the European Institutions. The President pointed to Europe's tradition of openness and networks on which to frame policies for a return to growth. President Barroso: "One of the unsung success stories of the crisis was the way in which we managed to defend the Single Market and keep it open for business."
Speech by President Barroso on the adoption of the Treaty amendments
These changes should not disrupt the solidarity mechanisms
Following the European Commission’s favourable opinion on the European Council’s decision to amend the Treaty to enable the establishment of a European stability mechanism, President Barroso told the European Parliament that the decision is "essential in order to confirm our determination to defend our common currency and to guarantee sound financial stability". He commented at the same time that "the current policies are not sufficient".
Read the Commission’s opinion [18 KB]
Javier Solana receives Charles V European Award
President Barroso presented Javier Solana, former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, with the Charles V award. In his speech, he thanked Dr.Solana for his contribution to the European Project and outlined the rich legacy that he brought to the role of High Representative. Javier Solana played a big role in developing the European Union's global action and in defining its strategic goals.
Meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister Mr Zapatero
President Barroso met the Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. In the context of the follow-up to the recent European Council, both leaders discussed in particular the economic situation and developments in Egypt and in the region.
Visit of the Prime Minister of Moldova, Vladimir Filat
After the meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Vladimir Filat, President Barroso expressed his confidence in Moldova's government to build on the substantial progress achieved last year in EU-Moldova relations. He noted that the reform efforts produced tangible results for the country's citizens. "In the same vein of constructive cooperation, we expect that Moldova’s political leaders show responsibility and compromise to end the current impasse over the election of a President," stressed President Barroso.
A year after the Lisbon Treaty: a successful test of strength
These three key words: effectiveness, legitimacy and consistency are alluded to, moreover, in the very brief Preamble to the Lisbon Treaty
President Barroso has conducted an initial assessment of the application of the Lisbon Treaty. In the context of the debate on the strengthening of economic governance, he reiterated that the spirit of the Treaty is based on the Community approach. He stressed the conditions to be complied with by Member States’ initiatives: loyal cooperation, solidarity and cohesion. They may not "affect the exercise of the Union’s powers under the Treaty. This is a fundamental point" he said.
Road to Low Carbon Prosperity Summit
President Barroso stressed that the only adequate answer to ensure the preservation of the planet, security of supply and economic growth is to turn to a more efficient use of resources. He stated that the future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is more intelligent and competitive. "If we set the right framework, invest in our scientists and research, then businesses will lead the way," he outlined and added: "What we are all involved in here is a race to the top".
Conference "Single Market Act: Time to Act"
In his speech at the Single Market Act Conference, President Barroso focused on the benefits the Single Market Act has for all Europeans. "Let’s look at the areas which have most potential to deliver benefits. Let’s start discussion and consensus building" he said and called for a mobilisation of efforts around the 20th anniversary of our Single Market. "Let's use it to deliver a focused and balanced set of core Single Market measures which can help kick-start growth and create jobs."
Meeting with Swiss President Calmy-Rey
President Barroso today welcomed Ms Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation. The Presidents agreed to give a new stimulus to the fruitful partnership between the Union and Switzerland. The EU is ready to move forward, in particular by establishing a general framework that would give an overall perspective to our agreements and safeguard the principle of consistency in the interests of our citizens and enterprises. The Presidents have appointed a group of experts to explore this strategic approach.
Commission calls for actions on commodities and raw materials
The European Commission today presented a series of measures to ensure a fair and sustainable supply of raw materials and to improve the regulation, functioning and transparency of financial and commodity markets. 'In order to secure supply of raw materials for the European industry for coming years, we need to link this policy with our reforms of the regulatory framework for financial markets," said President Barroso.
Read the Communication [222 KB]
Situation in Egypt
The European Commission calls for orderly transition and the holding of free and fair elections in Egypt.
The European Commission today expressed its firm commitment to support the legitimate aspirations of the people of Egypt. It called for an orderly transition and the holding of free and fair elections in a timely, decisive and coherent manner. The European Commission underlined that it "stands ready to step up its assistance to Egypt and its people in this transition."
"We are for a peaceful solution through dialogue," said President Barroso on the situation in Egypt: "Dialogue is the only way for Egypt to achieve changes that address at the same time the challenge of democracy and the challenge of stability." He added that "the rule of law, fundamental rights and free and fair elections are the best means to achieve stability and prosperity. These are the principles present in our dialogue with our partners and neighbours, this is our European policy."
Press Club Brussels Europe
President Barroso attended the opening ceremony of the first ever Press Club Brussels Europe, established in cooperation between International Press Association and the Brussels Capital Region. President Barroso welcomed the Press Club and underlined: "These days, political events again remind us just how vital media are to vigorous democracy. Freedom of expression and the freedom of the press are two non-negotiable freedoms that lie at the very heart of our democratic societies. They are essential core values of the EU."
Pre-European Council Debate, European Parliament
President Barroso welcomed the deepening and acceleration of economic governance and policy co-ordination and re-explained that the European Semester precisely addresses budgetary policies as well as macroeconomic imbalances and competitiveness gaps. "But we are firmly convinced that the Treaty provides the right framework and instruments to achieve this," he said and called on Member States "to adopt measures which are fully compatible with the Community method and the framework of the Treaty".
Meeting with the Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly
President Barroso met László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly, today. The meeting evolved around the role of the national Parliament during the Hungarian Presidency and beyond and about the European Commission's Work Programme for 2011.