Meeting with the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau
President Barroso met today with Carlos Gomes Junior, Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, for political consultations. Their discussions centred on the current situation in Guinea-Bissau and the necessary implementation of the reforms in order to stabilise the country. President Barroso strongly encouraged these reforms, which are essential to the gradual resumption of cooperation with the European Union.
Speech at the annual conference of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation
President Barroso paid homage to Sergio Vieira de Mello in his speech on the path to democracy. ‘The aspiration for democracy is universal because it comes from the core of a human being,’ he said, citing as examples Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, East Timor and North Africa. Europe cannot ‘sit on the fence between dictatorship and democracy, so we have clearly chosen to support democracy,’ he added.
European Council, 24 – 25 March 2011
We have reinforced our monetary union with an economic union
After the end of the Spring European Council President Barroso explained that "we have reinforced our monetary union with an economic union". He was also pleased to see strong support for deepening of the single market. He added that leaders also endorsed the Commission's call for a comprehensive safety and risk assessment to be done at all nuclear power plants in Europe and neighbouring countries. "These must be done on the basis of clear, common and transparent criteria," he underlined.
"The economic and monetary union will finally walk on its two legs instead of limping along"
At the end of the first day of the European Council, President Barroso said: "We are now doing what was a very important aim for all those who wanted a stronger Union to complete the monetary union with an economic union." On Libya, the President underlined that the EU has provided two thirds of global humanitarian aid. He also stressed that "we are working hard on implementing the new partnership for democracy and shared prosperity" with the region.
"What Europe will put in place at this European Council on 24-25 March will be a real game-changer"
"What Europe will put in place at this European Council on 24-25 March will be a real game-changer in terms of economic governance," stressed President Barroso in advance of the upcoming Spring European Council. He explained that the European Commission has been working hard to develop a comprehensive response to the crisis and stressed that "we will together with the European Parliament play a central role in its implementation".
Brussels Forum – German Marshall Fund
In his address to the Brussels Forum President Barroso expressed his satisfaction after the European Council: "We have now clear priorities of economic policy included in a system that guarantees strong coordination". Stronger economic governance also means a deepening of the Single Market. The President stated the Commission will present its vision for a New Single Market in April: "The Single Market is not yesterday's business, but the springboard of tomorrow's Europe".
Tripartite Social Summit
Following the Tripartite Social Summit, president Barroso declared: "We discussed how we can adapt our economy in a way that makes it stronger in today's competitive global environment and which also strengthens our social model which is in fact the foundation of our social market economy". He recognised that the prospects for the European economy are better today than one year ago, but the recovery remains fragile. It is important to find a common approach to face the challenges in our Union.
Meeting with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann
President Barroso met the Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on the eve of the Spring European Council. They focused on the main issues on this European Council's agenda, notably the comprehensive economic crisis response to be agreed by leaders as well as on EU action in support of Japan and the Southern Mediterranean.
Message of congratulations to Mr Mahamadou Issoufou
President Barroso sent a message of congratulations to the new Nigerien president, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou. Highlighting the clear choice made by the Nigerien electorate, President Barroso also invited President Issoufou to strengthen the dialogue between Niger and the European Union 'in order to achieve the joint objectives of tackling poverty, development and the peace and stability of Niger.'
Dare to think and dare to act for a brighter European future
President Barroso was conferred with the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Ghent. Speaking at the ceremony, he called for daring to think and to act for a brighter European future and shared his view on the role of knowledge in sustainable and inclusive growth. "We might fear the challenges we have to confront. But we have to overcome them", he said. "We need memory, knowledge and reflection to grow and to build our future", he added.
150th anniversary of Italian unity on 17 March 2011
President Barroso conveyed his message of congratulations to Italy on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian unity today. In his message he said "The 150th anniversary does not only represent a crucial event in Italian history, but also an achievement for the entire European continent." He also stated that "a strong and united Europe needs more than ever a strong and united Italy. Also Italy needs Europe more than ever as the recent global developments show."
Europe leading social innovation
Speaking at the opening conference on the Social innovation Europe initiative, president Barroso emphasized that this is "about tapping into the creativity of charities, associations and social entrepreneurs to find new ways of meeting pressing social needs, which are not adequately met by the market or the public sector". That is why "the Social Innovation Initiative should not be just a thing for respectable Think Tanks, but for concrete consequences in policy making and policy outcomes."
Conference of Presidents, European Parliament
President Barroso presented the outcome of the extraordinary European Council in the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Euro area Member States. In his speech he explained the "Pact for the Euro" and expressed his belief that the comprehensive package for the European economy will be adopted at the forthcoming European Council on 24-25 March. "What Europe will put in place then will be a real game-changer," said president Barroso.
Europe 2020: one year on, nine to go.
Our aim is simple: good jobs, higher living standards, and a better quality of life for all Europeans.
Speaking at the Lisbon Council conference President Barroso reminded people that Europe 2020 is about "creating a Europe that benchmarks itself on the best in the world". "We are on the right track", he said, but we need "the change of phase to make things happen on the ground". He underlined that the Pact for the Euro makes a clear reference to Europe 2020 and elevates to the highest political level a set of concrete measures from the strategy in order to ensure their immediate implementation.
Meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan
"We are particularly pleased with the very good progress in the negotiations on the future Association Agreement," said President Barroso on the future Association Agreement after the meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan. Alongside the important political, regional and economic issues, the two leaders also discussed the progress on democratic reforms in Armenia, media pluralism and improvement of the Armenian electoral conduct.
President Barroso's statement on Japan
I am pleased to announce that the European Union therefore presented a consolidated offer to the Japanese authorities.
President Barroso explained that "the European Commission has just received from Japan a detailed request for European assistance in order to address the consequences of the devastating earthquake of last Friday. He announced that the European Union therefore is presenting a consolidated offer to the Japanese authorities and stressed that "we continue to stand by the Japanese people and the Japanese authorities in these very difficult moments."
European economic governance in action
Addressing the European Economic and Social Committee, President Barroso discussed economic governance and the fundamental role of social dialogue. He stressed the importance of reorganising public finance in order to guarantee a sound economic recovery: "It is an act of responsibility and solidarity with regard to future generations who must not bear the weight of our debts or pay the price for the lack of reforms which are too often put off until tomorrow", the President said.
Official visit to Rome, Italy
During the official visit to Italy, President Barroso held several high political meetings. He met with the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. After meeting with the latter he stressed that "Europe is ready to show solidarity and share the burden with those who are particularly exposed." President Barroso also met the Governor of the Banca d'Italia, Mario Draghi, and received the Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome.
European Council on the Southern Mediterranean and Euro area leaders' meeting
Today's deal is crucial for the euro area, but it is relevant for the whole of Europe
President Barroso welcomed the political agreement amongst the Euro area on the "Pact for the Euro". He underlined that the Pact is in line with the Treaty and fits into the EU Semester. President Barroso stressed that the Pact is open to non-Euro area members, because the EU is an open club. The EFSF and the ESM will be more flexible, with strict and clear conditions attached. President Barroso believes that now a real credible plan for reinforcing the economic governance in the EU is in place.
President Barroso and the ECB President Trichet also welcomed and supported the ambitious policy response to address main economic challenges announced today by the Portuguese Government. The Presidents of the two institutions underlined that the present momentum should be maintained and the Portuguese authorities should ensure full implementation of all measures. They confirmed that the policy follow-up will be closely monitored by the European Commission in close cooperation with the European Central Bank.
European Council on the Southern Mediterranean and Euro area leaders' meeting
Europe is on the side of those who struggle for more freedom and a better future
Following the meeting of the European Council on the Southern Mediterranean, President Barroso underlined that the EU will intensify the pressure on the regime in Libya to step down. He emphasized that the EU is ready to support democratic transformation and institution building, but with stronger conditionality. That is the purpose of the Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean which the Commission has put on the table and the European Council welcomed.
"I am confident that we will offer real support and hope to the Southern Mediterranean region"
In a letter to the members of the European Council, President Barroso outlined his strategic vision for Europe's support for reform and economic transition in the Southern Mediterranean based on the Commission's proposal for a Partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the countries in the region. The President is confident that EU will rise to the task and offer tangible support and hope to the region.
Read the letter [68 KB]
Meeting with Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO
President Barroso met today with the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Mr Jacques Diouf. They discussed food security and the volatility of global food markets. President Barroso presented the initiatives of the Commission in these areas and reconfirmed that FAO is a key partnership organization.
Eurostat conference "Statistics for policymaking: Europe 2020"
President Barroso delivered the opening speech at the Eurostat conference "Statistics for policymaking: Europe 2020". He underlined that "implementing the overall response to the crisis will require sound, high-quality data and statistical analysis, on which decisions can be based". President Barroso also acknowledged that "designing and monitoring statistical indicators for policy purposes requires close cooperation between policymakers and statisticians at national and at European levels".
Letter to the Heads of State or Government
In a letter to the members of the European Council President Barroso today outlined his strategic vision for Europe's support for reform and economic transition in the Southern Mediterranean based on the Commission's proposal for a Partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the countries in the region. The President is confident that EU will rise to the task and offer tangible support and hope to the region.
Read the letter [68 KB]
Meeting with Enda Kenny, new Taoiseach of Ireland
President Barroso welcomed Mr Enda Kenny to the Berlaymont as the newly elected 12th Taoiseach of Ireland and congratulated him on his election. The two leaders discussed the meetings of the Heads of State of Government taking place on 11 March and agreed to work together to get Ireland back on its feet.
Congratulations to Enda Kenny, new Taoiseach of Ireland
President Barroso congratulated the newly elected Taoiseach of Ireland, Mr Enda Kenny wishing him "every success in one of the most challenging times in recent Irish history". President Barroso added that Mr Kenny can count on the European Commission to help his Government to "steer Ireland out of the current crisis and back on the path to recovery and sustainable growth".
Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean
It is our responsibility to rise up and support the transformation in the Southern Mediterranean
The European Commission adopted today a strategy that spells out what Europe can do to support the momentous changes in the Southern Mediterranean. President Barroso emphasised that "the European Union is determined to make a qualitative leap forward in the relations with its neighbours who are willing and able to embark on the path of political and economic reforms". The Strategy is based on 3 pillars: democratic transformation; involvement with civil society and development solidarity.
Read the Communication [76 KB]
100th anniversary of International Women's Day
Speaking on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day President Barroso reminded that "the principle of gender equality is firmly anchored in the EU" but that additional efforts are needed to make it a reality. He stressed that the Commission remains at the forefront of those pushing gender equality inside the EU and in relations with third countries. President Barroso reaffirmed that today gender equality is integrated in all Commission's policy proposals and actions.
Debate on the preparation of the Euro Area Summit on 11 March 2011
President Barroso proposed today a "Convergence and Competitiveness Pact" aiming at reducing differences and enhancing competitiveness within the euro area and the EU. He stressed that this pact must be carried out under the conditions laid down in the Treaty and within the existing system of economic governance. President Barroso insisted that it is important to "ensure that this pact delivers real added value and does not take us away from the essential goals of growth and employment".
Meeting with President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy
President Barroso and the President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy met today in Paris. The two leaders had an open discussion and had converging views on the priorities for the future economic governance in the Euro area and in the European Union as a whole. President Barroso and President Sarkozy also expressed their support for the democratic transition in the Southern Mediterranean.
Visit to Finland
President Barroso is on a visit to Finland on 4 and 5 March. He participates in the dinner of the special Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the European People's Party and meets with the Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi. On 5 March President Barroso visits Turku, European Capital of Culture for 2011.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro
President Barroso and Prime Minister Lukšić discussed today the ongoing efforts of Montenegro on its path to the EU. President Barroso congratulated the Prime Minister for his commitment and efforts in addressing the Commission's recommendations. Montenegro is on the right track, but its next steps towards the EU depend on its own achievements. President Barroso assured Prime Minister Lukšić that the Commission will continue to support Montenegro in all the stages of the enlargement process.
Meeting with the President of Generalitat de Catalunya
President Barroso welcomed to the European Commission the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Mr Artur Mas. During the meeting President Barroso and President Mas discussed the current economic situation in Spain and in Catalonia in particular. They also touched upon the recent developments of the situation in the Southern Mediterranean.
Statement on the situation in North Africa
Arabs are "fit" for democracy, and Europe is on their side
In his statement today, President Barroso said the events in Europe's Southern Neighbourhood represent "a rendezvous with history." He added that "Europe will rise to this challenge and support the current transformation processes" in the region. The Commission has a crucial set of political and economic tools that are already being deployed and will be further strengthened. President Barroso sent a clear message to the young Arabs that are now fighting for freedom and democracy: "We are on your side."
Meeting with the President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbaeva
President Barroso and President Otunbaeva discussed today the reform agenda for the stabilization and democratization of Kyrgyzstan. President Barroso applauded President Otunbaeva's courage and commitment in a difficult political context. He stressed the importance of interethnic reconciliation and integration for the stability and development of Kyrgyzstan. President Barroso confirmed that the EU "remains committed to helping Kyrgyzstan move forward".
Conference on social cohesion and shared responsibilities
In his speech at the conference on social cohesion and shared responsibilities, President Barroso underlined that "to be sustainable, growth must benefit everyone." He added that "boosting economic prosperity and social cohesion are key tasks for the European Union, and on them rests the fight against poverty and social exclusion." Only sustainable and inclusive growth as promoted in the Europe 2020 strategy "will encourage a high-employment economy favouring social and territorial cohesion".
Meeting with Hristo Stoichkov
President Barroso today met Hristo Stoichkov, former Bulgarian football star and goodwill ambassador for the "Football against Hunger" humanitarian campaign supported by the European Commission. President Barroso, Hristo Stoichkov and Commissioner Georgieva put their signatures on footballs and T-shirts that Mr Stoichkov will bring to children in Burkina Faso during his next humanitarian mission.
Message by President Barroso and President Van Rompuy on the earthquake in Japan
Following the devastating earthquake which has struck Japan, Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy expressed on behalf of the EU solidarity and condolences to the people and government of the country. They also confirmed that the EU stands ready to assist Japan in any way in case of need.