Statement on Cyprus
In a statement ahead of the meeting of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, Christofias and Eroglu, on 30-31 October in New York, President Barroso said: "After more than three years of settlement talks time has come to close all outstanding core issues. All Cypriots and the European Union will benefit of a united Cyprus." He added that "the European Commission expects the New York meeting to produce tangible results, paving the way for the final phase of the process. I am following very closely the whole process. I would like to call on both leaders to grasp the opportunity to reach a comprehensive settlement now. The two leaders and the United Nations can continue to count on the European Commission's full support for their historic endeavour."
European Council and Euro area summit, 26 October 2011
The package agreed tonight confirms that Europe will do what it takes to safeguard financial stability
"The package we have agreed tonight is a comprehensive package that confirms that Europe will do what it takes to safeguard financial stability," said President Barroso after the meeting of the Heads of State or Government of the euro area. In his statement he also thoroughly presented the conclusions which leaders have adopted. He stressed that at the G20 summit in Cannes next week the EU will be able to show to its partners in the G20 that Europe is able to make "an agreement to conclude measures to restore confidence in the European banking sector; ensuring the adequate firewalls; accelerating our ambitious agenda for growth; and further strengthening economic surveillance and coordination. To show are partners and our citizens that we are ready to complete our monetary union with a true economic union."
Presentation of the outcome of the European Council at the EP
Referring to the summit meetings of the European Council and the euro area of 23 and 26 October 2011, President Barroso explained the bold decisions taken over the last days based on the Commission's Roadmap to Stability and Growth of 12 October. "Today we have a more ambitious platform on which to build Europe's growth" he said. He outlined the details of the agreement on Greece, the leveraging of the EFSF by four or five times, the measures to restore confidence in the banking sector as well as concrete ways to boost growth. In this context he expressed satisfaction about Italy's commitment to further structural reforms, while emphasising the need to fully implement them according to a clear timetable. He also announced a Commission package of proposals for November in order to further deepen Europe's economic governance. He was pleased with the strengthened role of the Commission in monitoring and coordinating economic and budgetary policies in Europe and ensuring coherence between the euro area and the other EU members. He informed about his intention to reinforce the role of Olli Rehn as Commissioner for the euro. President Barroso repeated his call for building a true economic union to complement a monetary union including – if needed – through Treaty change, while ensuring the unity of all Member States. With a view to next week's G20 summit in Cannes, he underlined that a Europe that is determined, responsible and united will strive to lead the global crisis response. "Europe will push for an ambitious action plan of all G20 members that can address the challenges and imbalances that are still hindering growth at the global level" and concluded by stressing that he intends to present the proposal for a financial transaction tax at the G20 summit. "I believe that the protest movements we have witnessed in recent weeks, from Madrid to Manhattan, show that this is the kind of action people expect from their leaders – to ensure that the financial sector contributes to society."
Message to the Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
President Barroso congratulated Mr Awn Al Khasawneh, Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on his appointment as the new Prime Minister of Jordan. He said: "The European Union views Jordan as a key partner in the region and I look forward to cooperating with you, Prime Minister, and your government with the objective to develop further our relationship in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy 'advanced status' partnership."
Meeting with Romanian President Traian Băsescu
President Barroso today met the Romanian President, Traian Băsescu, to discuss pressing issues on the agenda ahead of tomorrow's European summits. "The economic crisis has a strong impact on people's standard of living. Just a little more than 24 hours before the European Council and the follow-up Euro area summit, let me repeat that we are working on solid and convincing solutions to deliver tomorrow a comprehensive package for stability and growth. It is time to end the uncertainty," said President Barroso, adding that "one of the key elements of the comprehensive package is growth enhancing reforms". The Presidents also discussed the accession of Romania to Schengen where President Barroso reiterated the Commission's support for the country to join the Schengen area: "We consider that Romania has met all the necessary requirements, so to have Romania in Schengen is a matter of fairness."
European Council and Euro area summit, 23 October 2011
We expect final decisions to be taken in 72 hours and I am confident these decisions are going to be taken
"We want the Union to stay very strong," said President Barroso at the press conference following the European Council, while at the same time recognising that more needs to be done in terms of "coherence and integration in the governance of the euro area". The President also sent a clear message to the European Council that "the EU can and must do much more to deliver growth." He stressed that "without growth our citizens will not be confident in their future and in the future of the economies in Europe" and outlined how "we can make the crisis an opportunity for renewal." President Barroso reiterated that "decisive action this week is essential if the EU is to continue to credibly lead the global response at the G20 in Cannes."
President Barroso announced "the agreement to disburse the European contribution to the next tranche of financial assistance to Greece." He emphasised that "an ambitious reform of the EFSF is an essential element in fighting contagion." President Barroso welcomed the good progress that was made on coordinated measures to ease bank funding and to ensure banks have significantly higher levels of capital. He remains confident that final decisions on all the elements of the comprehensive response will be taken on Wednesday.
Sources of growth [2 MB]
Condolences following the earthquake in Southeast Turkey
President Barroso and President Van Rompuy expressed their condolences following the earthquake in Southeast Turkey. They said: "We are greatly saddened by the news of the terrible earthquake that has struck the Van province in Southeast Turkey. Our thoughts are with the injured and the families of the victims and we should like to convey our condolences to the people and authorities of Turkey."
High Level Conference on the Multiannual Financial Framework
The two-day high-level conference on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, bringing together national parliamentarians, ministers and other stakeholders with representatives of the EU institutions, concluded with a convergence of views on many key issues, while showing the need to continue a broad dialogue on the basis of the Commission's proposals. Participants stressed that such an event represented a unique opportunity to have a debate with all key players on such an important issue as future EU budgets.
In his opening speech President Barroso welcomed the many key figures from Member States, national parliaments, EU institutions and stakeholders who participate in this event - co-organised by the Commission, the Polish Council Presidency and the EP. He called on the forthcoming European Council to take decisive and immediate action on all aspects of the roadmap presented by the Commission last week, notably the leveraging of the EFSF. He then stressed that the EU cannot solve this crisis without sowing the seeds for sustainable and job-creating growth and emphasised that investments at European level can make an important contribution to that, in particular in an austerity context. He called for changing the ways of financing the EU budget, namely through new own resources like the Financial Transaction Tax. In the conclusion he made it clear that the EU budget is not money for Brussels, but for young people, researchers, and others and called on participants to make the case for Europe and not give in to populism.
Launch of the two first satellites of the Galileo Programme
Today Europe launched the first two Galileo satellites at 12h34 CET from Kourou, French Guiana, with a Soyuz launcher to reach their orbit at 23.000 kilometres. President Barroso described the launch as a major step for Europe and its citizens. President Barroso stressed that it is "of strategic importance, not only for the competitiveness of our industry and for job creation, but also to ensure Europe's independence in space technology and policy." The President also explained that "Galileo is also an investment in Europe's industrial future and competitiveness: it will benefit companies ranging from shipping, fleet management, finance, electricity and telecommunications, with an overall impact estimated at 90 billion euros over the 20 years. The Commission has proposed a budget of 7 billion euro for Galileo between 2014 and 2020.
Meeting with President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica Cordano
President Barroso met today Uruguayan President Mujica and both agreed that Uruguay the EU attach great importance to strengthening cooperation between MERCOSUR and the EU through the Association Agreement.
Statement on the reported death of Muammar Gaddafi
In a joint statement President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said: "The reported death of Muammar Gaddafi marks the end of an era of despotism and repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long. Today Libya can turn a page in its history and embrace a new democratic future. We call on the National Transitional Council to pursue a broad based reconciliation process which reaches out to all Libyans and enables a democratic, peaceful and transparent transition in the country."
Connecting Europe Facility
Connecting Europe Facility and the Project Bond Initiative are a perfect demonstration of the value added that Europe can provide.
The European Commission adopted today a plan for a €50 billion boost to Europe's transport, energy and digital networks. Targeted investments in key infrastructures will help to create jobs and boost Europe's competitiveness at a time when Europe needs this most. At this opportunity President Barroso stated: "The Connecting Europe Facility and the Project Bond Initiative are a perfect demonstration of the added value that Europe can provide. These proposals will help to build the roads, railways, energy grids and pipelines, and broadband networks that are so important to our citizens and businesses. We are closing the missing links in Europe's infrastructure networks that otherwise would not be built. This investment will generate growth and jobs and at the same time make work and travel easier for millions of European citizens and businesses". 'Connecting Europe Facility' will also make Europe's economy greener by promoting cleaner transport modes, high speed broadband connections and facilitating the use of renewable energy in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Farewell ceremony of Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB, Frankfurt
President Barroso attended the farewell ceremony of Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the ECB, in Frankfurt, Germany. In his statement President Barroso underlined that the euro is one of the major achievements of the European project and that it defines European integration. "Many have contributed to this, but the European Central Bank has been centre-stage throughout its development. In his statement President Barroso described President Trichet as "a man of intellect, a man of vision, but also a man of action, who has played a decisive role in defending the independence of the ECB and strengthening financial stability." He welcomed President Trichet's successor Mario Draghi, adding that "both he and the ECB will retain the full confidence of the Commission." Just a few days ahead of a crucial European Council meeting, the President used the opportunity to discuss the Commission's proposal for a Roadmap to Stability and Growth with key interlocutors in the margins of the event.
Tripartite social summit
After the Tripartite social summit President Barroso said: "The message that we received both from the business side and the trade union side is to do whatever is necessary to protect the financial stability of the euro zone, to restore confidence in the euro zone and in the European Union." President Barroso stressed that "we have launched a young opportunities initiative and I have asked social partners, especially the business community, to back it enthusiastically," and added that "it is important that all make a contribution."
Official visit to Bulgaria
After the meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, President Barroso stressed that he hopes that agreement can be found at the European Council on the 23rd October on decisive action towards comprehensive crisis response. The President reiterated the Commission's unequivocal support for Bulgaria joining the Schengen area and encouraged the Prime Minister to continue the reform efforts in the areas of judicial reform, the fight against corruption and organised crime. He also praised the high levels of support for the European Union in Bulgaria.
Official visit to France
President Barroso met the French Prime Minister, François Fillon, and gave a speech on economic integration at the Union for a Popular Movement's (UMP's) parliamentary sitting days in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. The meeting with the Prime Minister presented an opportunity to discuss preparations for the European Council on 23 October and other current issues. President Barroso then had a working meeting with the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Paris. The meeting gave President Barroso the opportunity to present the Commission’s roadmap for dealing with the economic crisis and the preparations for the European Council on 23 October.
Meeting with the Danish Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt
The meeting between President Barroso and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt focused mainly on the forthcoming European Council. After the meeting President Barroso stated: "We agreed that we need to deliver a solution to break the vicious circle between doubts over the sustainability of sovereign debt, the stability of the banking system and the EU's growth prospects." He reiterated that the roadmap to stability and growth, presented yesterday, "sets out five interdependent elements which must be implemented together and as quickly as possible". The President also expressed that "Denmark with its new government will continue the longstanding tradition of a constructive and valuable Danish contribution to Europe's progress and during the Presidency and beyond Denmark will contribute to the European spirit which we need very badly in our Union."
Friends of Europe Roundtable
The 23/10 European Council is about ensuring "the political will is there to deliver a decisive essential compromise and concrete decisions," President Barroso said today. Citing Latvia and Ireland as countries whose economies grew during austerity “the Commission does not believe that cut-backs are the solution to Europe’s challenges. But, yes, sound public finances are an essential part of sustainable growth." We must continue to invest in people and infrastructure, while the Single Market is “the goldmine Europe cannot turn its back to."
Meeting with Irish Prime Minister Taoiseach Kenny
President Barroso met Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Kenny to discuss economic issues ahead of the European Council on 23 October. After the meeting President Barroso said: "We believe that we have to be stronger in our response; I believe in a decisive, comprehensive response." President Barroso outlined that "it is of critical importance to agree on stronger community approach with European institutions working in close cooperation with the member states shaping the future of our Union."
Presidents on the recent political developments in Slovakia
Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy made a statement on the recent political developments in Slovakia, stressing that "we remain confident that the Slovak authorities and the Parliament are fully aware of the critical importance of an enhanced and more flexible EFSF to preserve financial stability in the euro area. And that is in the interest of all euro countries, including the Slovak people. Our common currency plays a crucial role in investment decisions, in growth, in jobs. This is about the prosperity of us all." The Presidents call upon "all parties in the Slovak Parliament to rise above the positioning of short term politics, and seize the next occasion to ensure a swift adoption of the new agreement."
Roadmap to stability and growth
This roadmap charts Europe's way out of the economic crisis.
European Commission President Barroso today presented a roadmap to stability and growth. In his speech to the European Parliament he underlined that "to break the vicious cycle of uncertainty over sovereign debt sustainability and over growth prospects, we need comprehensive solutions now." The President reiterated that, as he promised in his State of the Union address two weeks ago, "today we are delivering." He said: "The Commission has just adopted a roadmap to stability and growth. And we have set out concrete terms and timelines to implement it."
Meeting with Mr Andris Berzins, President of Latvia
President Barroso today met with Andris Berzins, President of Latvia. They discussed the economic situation in the European Union and in Latvia in particular. The Presidents also addressed the next Multiannual Financial Framework and aspects of particular interest to Latvia, notably the Commission's recently presented proposals for the future of cohesion and agricultural policy.
Meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
President Barroso today met the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, to discuss matters of the greatest importance for the euro area and for the future of the European Union. "I exchanged with the Prime Minister some of the ideas we are now developing for the governance in the euro area and also some measures to address the current situation," stated President Barroso. He explained that an important point they discussed "was the problem of governance in the euro area. We need stronger governance, we need more discipline." President Barroso underlined: "We need integration and discipline."
G20 Summit: Letter by Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy
We need to make this a Summit that restores confidence, supports growth and job creation, and maintains financial stability
President Barroso together with European Council President Van Rompuy sent a letter to the other members of the European Council in order to share their views on the key issues of the G20 summit in Cannes on 3-4 November 2011. In the letter they expressed their hope that these orientations will serve as a good basis for our preparatory exchange of views at the October European Council meeting. They called for a "renewed collective G20 spirit" and stressed that "the fact that France holds the G20 Presidency this year gives Europe a special responsibility. We need to make the Cannes Summit a G20 Summit that restores confidence, supports sustainable growth and job creation, and maintains financial stability".
Speech at the Jean Monnet Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland
‘It is during the most demanding times that Europe has always found the way forward towards integration’, President Barroso recalled on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Jean Monnet Foundation in Lausanne. He said that ‘according to Jean Monnet, “people only accept change when they are compelled to, and they only accept constraint during a crisis”. And what is needed right now is a stronger Europe, and leadership means we make possible what is needed.’
9th Open Days
President Barroso delivered a speech on European cohesion policy at the opening of the 2011 Open Days. He appealed to European leaders to explain in their region and in their country how important this regional and cohesion policy is, underlining that the money invested through this policy "is not money for Brussels; it is money for the regions of Europe. It is money for the workers of Europe, money for the farmers, all those who want to have a future in Europe, money for the citizens of Europe, money for those who are unemployed and those who are afraid of being unemployed." He concluded by stressing that "this is the appeal I want to make to you so that we can work with our Member States and explain that there is no excess of regional policy in Europe, there is no excess of cohesion in Europe, there is no excess of Europe, on contrary what we need in Europe is more solidarity, more responsibility. We need in fact more Europe."
Live YouTube/Euronews Interview with President Barroso
I will ask all G20 leaders to support a global financial transaction tax, part of which could go to the poorest people in the world
As part of the YouTube World View series of interviews with world leaders President Barroso participated today in a live Interview, broadcasted in 11 languages. Economic issues dominated the top questions. The most popular question was about what went wrong in Greece and how to boost the Greek economy. President Barroso answered that "One country – like one family or like one company – can not live long time above its means. And Greece was doing precisely that." He also underlined that in the future there will be more integration of national budget and economic plans and also sanctions for those who do not comply with the rules. The President once again reiterated that we need a financial transaction tax so banks make a fair contribution to the costs of crisis and indicated that revenue from the tax could be used to fund development aid. The interview was live transmitted on http://www.youtube.com/worldview, Europe by Satellite and Euronews TV
Visit of Finnish Prime Minister Mr Jyrki Katainen
President Barroso and Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen discussed the pressing issues on the economic agenda, ahead of the European Council on 17-18 October. President Barroso pointed to Finland as an example of economic reform, saying "Finland has shown to all of us that it is possible to turn a crisis into an opportunity. That is exactly what we are doing now in Europe and I believe that we will succeed."
Meeting with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel
Europe cannot be successful without Germany, and I also believe that Germany cannot be successful without Europe
Together with the College, President Barroso received Chancellor Merkel today. At the subsequent press point President Barroso stressed that "only through European renewal, only with more Europe, with more committed European Union leadership we can build confidence in our common capacity to act," and underlined that "renewal requires leadership and determination. That is why we need to say without ambiguity 'yes' to a more united Europe, with strong Community institutions, working in close, loyal partnership with our Member States … The contribution of Germany remains decisive". He also announced that together with Chancellor Merkel he will push for a global financial transaction tax at the G20 Summit in November.
5th EU – Brazil Summit
At the end of the 5th EU-Brazil Summit, where a new Joint Action Plan for the next three years was adopted, President Barroso stressed that "the EU and Brazil are natural strategic partners sharing common values and objectives"."We are both convinced that the EU and Mercosur can generate extraordinary political and economic gains for our two regions," he said and explained that the EU is already Brazil's main trading partner and the main investor in Brazil. Mercosur is the destination for more direct European investment than Russia, China and India put together.
Congratulations to the Danish Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt
On behalf of the European Commission President Barroso expressed his warmest congratulations to Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt, newly appointed Danish Prime Minister. "Your Government takes office in one of the most demanding periods of recent decades. The economic situation is of grave concern and promoting stability and a return to sustainable growth must remain top of the European Union's agenda in the coming months and years," stated President Barroso and added that "Denmark has an important contribution to bring here."