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"We are in this together and together we will be able to overcome this crisis"

"I did not like at all […] when I saw some claiming victory over the others. This is not the way to do things in Europe. We win together or we will be defeated together; what we need is a strong European team."

03/07/2012

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Read the President's closing remark in the European Parliament

Watch the Video of the President's closing remark in the European Parliament

Video extract: "I did not like when some claimed victory over the other."

Video extract: "Leaders and MEPs to tell the same at home as in Strasbourg"

"In the Commission's view we should start making the genuine Economic and Monetary Union a reality as quickly as possible."

In his speech at the European Parliament, President Barroso shared his conviction that the European Council and the Euro area summit have delivered results that should strengthen confidence in Europe's financial stability and pave the way for the future.

In particular, he outlined that both events have for the first time tackled all the elements of a comprehensive response in one and the same meeting.

He recalled that consolidation and sustainable growth go hand in hand and that it was therefore important that a Compact for Growth and Jobs was agreed, mainly based on proposals by the Commission.

He also referred to the endorsement of the Commission's country-specific recommendations and highlighted the significance of the future EU budget as "our most important instrument for targeted investment and indispensable tool for growth and jobs." He maintained that it would therefore be a "strong political and economic signal if we could reach agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework by the end of this year."

President Barroso sketched out the need to urgently embark on the path towards a banking union, fiscal union, economic and political union and reiterated that the process must combine the necessary deepening of the Euro area with openness towards the Member States who want to join the Euro and with the safeguards for those who have an opt-out.

He finally praised the important outcomes of the European Council and Euro area summit on short-term measures to support countries under market pressure.

Read the whole speech in the European Parliament

Watch the video of the speech in the European Parliament

"This European Council has delivered what our citizens, our international partners and the markets have been asking for." Agreements on single banking supervisory mechanism, the compact for growth and jobs and a clear commitment to a banking union.

In his speech after the last working session President Barroso outlined three main areas of the European Council outcomes:

First, short term measures to support countries under market pressure. "We have a clear commitment to a single banking supervisory mechanism for the euro area which will then allow for the direct recapitalisation of banks by the ESM under very strict conditions."

Second, full agreement on a compact for growth and jobs that turns words into concrete action and into financing commitments. It includes boosting the lending capacity of the European Investment Bank; launching the first phase of project bonds; and redirecting some structural funds.

Finally, the President expressed his deep satisfaction with reaching a clear commitment to a banking union. He recalled that this banking union will be designed in a way that fully respects the integrity of the single market, while recognising the arrangements for countries not in the single currency. "Over the summer, the Commission will put together the legislative proposals to make this a reality." announced President Barroso.

Deepening of the Economic and Monetary union will continue. Following the report presented by the President of the European Council in close cooperation with the Presidents of the Commission, the Eurogroup and the ECB a specific and time-bound roadmap will be developed taking into account decisions taken yesterday and today.

Conclusions of the 28/29 June European Council

Statement by President Barroso at the final press conference

The President's presentation "Restoring growth, investing in our future", 28-29 June 2012 pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) Click on the 3 dots to access document in all languages

"EU Structural Funding for growth and jobs" - Report to the European Council, 28-29 June 2012 pdf - 411 KB [411 KB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) Click on the 3 dots to access document in all languages

Watch the video of the final press conference

Statement by President Barroso at the end of the Euro area Summit

Watch the video from the end of the Euro area Summit press conference

Statement by President Barroso at the intermediary press conference

Watch the video from the intermediary press conference

President Barroso meets with President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz on the eve of the European Council

"It is very important that this European Council rules out any doubt about the irreversibility of the euro," said President Barroso after the meeting.

27/06/2012

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"Both short-term and longer term decisions need to be taken," continued the President. He outlined the Commission priorities for the upcoming Council.

First, endorsement of the country-specific recommendations that have been proposed in the new European semester. Member States should pursue, and in some cases intensify, their efforts regarding stabilisation, sound public finances and structural reforms.

Second, approval of the Compact for growth by the European Council. The package includes reinforcement of the lending capacity of the European Investment Bank, project bonds, and redirection of some structural funds. The President also called on the Council to consider the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) as an instrument for investment, investment in growth and jobs.

Thirdly, the roadmap for the future of the European and Monetary Union. "I think it is critically important to have an understanding that to go further we need to work on a banking union, on a fiscal union and step towards a political union. The banking union can be done immediately without revision of the treaties. That is why we are suggesting to focus now on the banking union," said President Barroso.

"So, we have to combine this ambition, the vision, with proper sequencing. That is what I am looking for in the discussions tomorrow," concluded the President.

Read the speech from the opening session

Watch the video

Meeting with Mr Janez Janša, Prime Minister of Slovenia

The meeting on the eve of the European Council focused on the Council preparations and on the economic situation in Slovenia as well as in the rest of the European Union.

27/06/2012

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"I welcome Prime Ministers Janša's backing for the Commission's economic strategy, the need to go for consolidation and growth. I believe tomorrow's European Council will endorse a growth initiative which brings together many important ideas the Commission has put on the table over the past eighteen months," said President Barroso "as well as his support for an EU budget that is commensurate to our common goals of boosting growth, competitiveness and employment in Europe."

On the occasion of 20th anniversary of Slovenia's independence the President congratulated the Slovenians on their "impressive European success story". At the same time, he encouraged the country and the Prime Minister to continue pursuing necessary reforms and strive towards sustainability of its public finances, namely through endorsement of Country-Specific Recommendations presented on 30 May.

Read the whole speech

More on the Country Specific Recommendations

Watch the video

Meeting with Mr János Áder, President of Hungary

Meeting for the first time after Mr Áder's election, the leaders mainly discussed recent developments in Hungary and the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework.

26/06/2012

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At the meeting, President Barroso and President Áder took stock of the latest developments in Hungary, especially concerning the independence of the Central Bank. President Barroso welcomed the on-going parliamentary process aiming at aligning the current Hungarian legislation to EU law.

The discussions about the Multiannual Financial Framework focused on proposed budget for Cohesion policy, since in Hungary between 2009 and 2011 97% of all public investments were co-financed from structural funds. President Barroso used the opportunity to assure President Áder that despite proposed capping of cohesion funds based on country's GDP, exceptions and measures for countries experiencing below average growth have been secured in the proposal.

President Barroso also warmly welcomed the measures that Hungary has taken to tackle the fiscal deficit, which has allowed the Commission to propose the lifting of the suspension of the Cohesion funds.

Watch the video

President Barroso proposes banking union

In a debate at the European Policy Centre President Barroso called for a banking union as the first building block for deepening the Economic and Monetary union. "A big leap forward is now needed," said the President.

26/06/2012

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We can see a vicious circle established in Europe today when struggling banks stop lending to the economy, making it slow down and needing to be bailed out by taxpayers' money. This puts additional burden on countries and their budgets. "We can break this negative cycle now if we are bold enough to establish a strong and integrated financial framework," said the President. He added that this framework should include a single rulebook, a single European banking supervision, a common deposit insurance and a resolution framework.

"Our starting point should be the 27 Member States. But we must recognise that some countries do have opt outs. These opt outs must be taken into appropriate account in the future architecture. But they remain the exception, not the rule. Those who wish to advance must be able to do so," said the President.

He also recalled the proposals the European Commission has already put on the table towards the banking union, namely those on capital requirements and common bank resolution, and elaborated on proposed concepts of fiscal and political union as the second and third building blocks for a genuine Economic and Monetary Union.

"Let me leave you in no doubt – this crisis is the biggest threat to all that we have achieved through European construction over the last 60 years. Faced with this stark reality, standing still is not an option. A big leap forward is now needed. It may not be simple. It will require ambition, vision and determination to enact far-reaching reforms. But I believe this is the best, and indeed the only way forward that can give our citizens the prosperity, our businesses the opportunities, and our young people the futures that they all deserve," concluded the President.

Click the image below to read "Building blocks for deeper integration"

 

Building blocks for deeper integration - Flipbook

What the Commission brings to the European Council

Report: "Towards a genuine economic and monetary union"

Read the introductory speech

Read more about what the Commission proposes for a banking union

Read more about what the Commission proposes for a fiscal union

Read more on what the Commission proposes for growth

VIDEO: Extracts from President's introductory speech

VIDEO: Whole debate including full Q&A session

VIDEO: President on banking union

VIDEO: President on timing towards banking union

VIDEO: President on need for unity vs different paces towards reaching the full EMU

Message of congratulations from President Barroso to Mr Mohamed Morsi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

President Barroso congratulated Mr Morsi on his election and expressed his hope that the process of Egypt's political transition will continue through further reforms and ensuring high level of rights and freedoms for all its citizens.

25/06/2012

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"I would like to congratulate you, on behalf of the European Commission, on your election as the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

For the first time in history, Egyptians have been able to choose their President in a democratic process. This is a major milestone in Egypt’s political transition. I hope that under your leadership Egypt will see through further socio-economic reforms and that all Egyptians will be able to enjoy their full democratic rights and fundamental freedoms.

I look forward to working closely with you and the executive and reiterate the European Commission’s support in addressing Egypt’s political, economic and social challenges."

Rio+20 Conference

“We share the same planet and a common responsibility” said President Barroso in the opening session. Next day, he also called for global Financial Transaction Tax as an innovative resource for funding development.

22/06/2012

Barroso

President Barroso said: "A global Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) would ensure not only that the financial sector pays a fair contribution to the economy but could provide valuable resources to fund development." He stressed that European Union's pioneer role in this call.
The EU and its Member States are already among the world's biggest providers of development assistance. Additional resources from European Financial Transaction Tax ensure Europe can not only maintain current support, but go beyond.

From the Opening Session, Wednesday 20 June:
President Barroso opened his speech expressing Europe's unwavering commitment to sustainable development, to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
He insisted on the need to agree on common, specific and quantifiable goals and to decide on the best ways to get there. He reminded that, for the European Union, the green economy is about "changing the way we consume and produce today to adapt our economies to the boundaries of our planet and allow future generations to meet their own needs tomorrow." He said: "we believe that promoting the right kind of growth that is inclusive and environmentally friendly, is the most effective pathway to achieve sustainable development".
Rio+20 is the occasion, the President underlined, to better mobilise and focus the resources – national and international, public and private – necessary to meet our priorities. President Barroso stressed three aspects the efforts should focus on to deliver concrete results:

- putting in place self-sustaining domestic policies in each country;
- providing the right financing instruments;
- fostering skills, know-how and technology diffusion (as the EU is already doing by opening its programs to researchers in developing countries)

"Finally, better and more efficient global governance is strongly needed to move towards a greener and more sustainable economy and to eradicate poverty" - concluded the President

Read the speech from the opening session

Read the speech "Civil society participation in sustainable development"

Watch the video

Statement by President Barroso on the formation of the new Greek Government

President Barroso welcomed the formation of a new government in Greece and said its broad parliamentary support sends a clear signal of Greece's determination to honour its commitments and stay in the euro.

21/06/2012

Greek flag © EU

"…I look forward to working again with Prime Minister Samaras, whom I have known for many years and who I know is committed to the European project.

The Commission stands by Greece and its people. We will continue to work with the Greek authorities to bring Greece back to growth and job creation. In the coming days the troika will return to Athens to exchange views with the new government and to begin to assess what has been done and what still needs to be done in relation to the essential reforms set out in the second economic adjustment programme for Greece," continued the President in his statement.

Read the statement in Greek

Opening session of the Rio+20 Conference

“We share the same planet. We face the same challenges. We share a common responsibility towards the future generations.” President Barroso said in his speech. He reiterated EU's strong commitment to sustainable development

21/06/2012

Barroso

At the opening session of the Rio+20 Conference President Barroso expressed "Europe's unwavering commitment to sustainable development, to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, and to deliver with all of you a clear message on a common vision and an agenda for change".

He insisted on the need to agree on common, specific and quantifiable goals and to decide on the best ways to get there. He reminded that, for the European Union, the green economy is about "changing the way we consume and produce today to adapt our economies to the boundaries of our planet and allow future generations to meet their own needs tomorrow." He said: "we believe that promoting the right kind of growth that is inclusive and environmentally friendly, is the most effective pathway to achieve sustainable development".

Rio+20 is the occasion to better mobilise and focus the resources – national and international, public and private – necessary to meet our priorities. President Barroso stressed three aspects the efforts should focus on to deliver concrete results:

- putting in place self-sustaining domestic policies in each country;

- providing the right financing instruments;

- fostering skills, know-how and technology diffusion (as the EU is already doing by opening its programs to researchers in developing countries)

"Finally, better and more efficient global governance is strongly needed to move towards a greener and more sustainable economy and to eradicate poverty" - concluded the President.

Read the whole speech

Watch the video

Joint letter: President Barroso and EIB President Hoyer on reinforcing the capital base of EIB

The two Presidents have, at the request of members of the European Council, jointly outlined how an increase in the European Investment Bank's capital base could be used to support growth and job creation in the EU.

21/06/2012

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President Barroso said: "To restore growth in Europe, we need both reform and targeted investment. A €10 billion increase in the EIB's capital could unlock investment up to eighteen times that amount – to support innovation and skills, SMEs, clean energy and modern infrastructure across the EU, including the most vulnerable of our Member States. I hope that this decisive contribution to growth and jobs will receive the backing of Member States at this crucial time for the European economy."

The financing would target regions and sectors in all Member States, in particular where investment could be rapidly unlocked, and could be blended with EU funds.

A possible capital increase for the European Investment Bank will be discussed, alongside other initiatives to promote jobs, growth and competitiveness, during the 28-29 June European Council. This is a decision for Member States, which are currently discussing the merits of a capital increase where all Member States would contribute based on their current shareholding.

Read the letter

President Barroso and President Van Rompuy on the results of the 2012 G20 summit

President Barroso welcomed the results of the G20 2012 Summit: recognition of the EU's efforts to deal with the crisis and support for further integration as well as conclusions on IMF, trade and sustainable development.

20/06/2012

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"There was a focus on the situation in the Euro area in our discussions. G20 leaders recognised the value of the European project and of the EU's currency, the Euro. They welcomed the measures taken in Europe to stabilise our economies and our financial system and expressed support for our intention to move ahead with deeper economic and fiscal integration. Our partners have recognised that a strong, deeply integrated European Union is decisive for systemic global stability. This recognition mirrors the momentum which is now building in Europe. The EU is determined to show the irreversibility of the euro and of the European project, said Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy in a joint statement just after the end of the summit.

Both Presidents were also very pleased about other important results of the summit:

- The G20's reaffirmed commitment to fully and speedily implement financial reform and build a more responsible and solid international financial sector;

- Additional pledges by other G20 members to fulfil, and even exceed, the joint commitment from spring 2012 to increase the IMF's resources. The European Union, as the largest contributor to the IMF, has already shouldered 240 billion euro (around half of the overall increase);

- On the European Union's insistence, the Toronto standstill commitment for protectionist measures has been prolonged and an agreement on trade facilitation is in within view;

- Further progression of the Doha Development agenda and to the benefit of the least developed countries.

President Barroso also argued strongly in favour of a global Financial Transaction Tax whose revenue could be used again to help the world's poor.

Joint statement on the results of the G20

Statement by President Barroso after the G20 discussions on the global economy and the European debt crisis

Joint Statement on EU/US trade relations

Interim Report – EU-U.S. High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth

Barroso at the press conference ahead of the G20 Summit

Video statement following the G20

"We are not here to receive lessons" – reply by President Barroso at the G20 press conference

General video from the Summit

EU-US statement on transatlantic trade relations agreed in the margins of the G20 summit

Presidents Obama, Barroso and Van Rompuy welcomed the report by Working Group on Growth and Jobs and urged towards reaching a recommendation to Leaders later this year.

19/06/2012

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, Herman Van Rompuy (hidden), Barack Obama, President of the United States and José Manuel Barroso © EU

"The transatlantic relationship is the world’s largest economic relationship, accounting for half of global economic output and nearly one trillion dollars in goods and services trade and supporting millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Still, there is more to be done to deepen and broaden our ties. Particularly at this time, a bold initiative to expand trade and investment could make a significant contribution to our strategy to strengthen growth and create jobs.

In that regard, we received the Interim Report of the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, and welcomed the Group's thorough assessment of all the options to achieve that objective…

… We therefore urge the Group to complete its work as quickly as possible, including consultations with public and private stakeholders, in accordance with the respective processes of both sides, with the goal of reaching a recommendation to Leaders later this year on a decision as to the negotiations."

Read the whole statement

Interim Report – EU-U.S. High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth

The EU at the G20 Summit in Mexico: "Rebalancing global growth together"

At the press conference ahead of the summit, President Barroso conveyed messages on results of Greek elections, deepening the economic and monetary union as well as on his expectations for key items on the G20 agenda.

18/06/2012

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"It is now crucial that a stable and cohesive Greek government be formed quickly. The new government needs to get to work swiftly to implement the economic reforms which are needed to bring Greece back on its feet again. This was also my message yesterday, when I personally congratulated the leader of New Democracy, Mr Samaras, who has now the responsibility to form a government in Greece," said the President as he opened the press conference.

On deepening economic and monetary union President Barroso said: "The European Union can and should now move further towards banking union. The Commission will be ready this autumn to make proposals that complement and deepen what we have already put on the table for more effective and integrated banking supervision, a common deposit guarantee system and an integrated banking resolution scheme. Further ahead," he continued, "we should deepen our fiscal union, notably by refining our financial backstops and achieving a more integrated budgetary coordination. Under strict conditions some forms of debt mutualisation will be considered. But let me be very clear: any future Eurobonds or Stability Bonds will not be a license to spend! On the contrary they will become a powerful tool for increased discipline and stability."

On the G20 priorities, the President outlined the European Union's positions and called on G20 leaders to make ambitious and responsible contributions to remove obstacles to growth. He emphasised that the EU is sounding the alarm on the worrisome rise of trade protectionism and urged G20 partners to step up the fight against protectionism, move forward on trade facilitation and strengthen the multilateral trading system.

The President also underlined the EU's progress on G20 commitments on financial reform and the reform of the International Monetary Fund, and encouraged G20 partners to follow suit. He concluded with a strong appeal to continue to work on a Financial Transaction Tax both in Europe and at global level.

Read the whole speech

Watch the video of the press conference

Joint statement on Greek election results

Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy commented on the results of the Greek elections:

17/06/2012

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Today, we salute the courage and resilience of the Greek citizens, fully aware of the sacrifices which are demanded from them to redress the Greek economy and build new, sustainable growth for the country.

We will continue to stand by Greece as a member of the EU family and of the Euro area.

We look forward to work with the new government and to support the continued efforts of Greece to put its economy on a sustainable path.

The second economic adjustment programme agreed between Greece and the Eurogroup is the basis upon which to build to foster growth, prosperity and jobs for the Greek people. We stand ready to continue assisting Greece in achieving these goals."

Watch the video statement

Statement by Eurogroup

EU-Mexico Summit up-dated

15/06/2012

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The sixth summit between Mexico and the European Union (EU) was held on June 17 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico. It was presided by the President of Mexico, Mr. Felipe Calderón who issued with Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy a joint statement after the summit (MEMO/12/452). They highlighted the maturity of their relation in the framework of their Strategic Partnership. Likewise, the Leaders stressed the reliability and the depth of the aforementioned relation as well as the convergence in values and positions in multiple issues of the international agenda.

Following the Summit, Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy also published a joint press statement (MEMO/12/451).

Joint EU-Mexico statement following the EU-Mexico Summit in Los Cabos

Joint press statement

Video from the Summit

President Barroso on the occasion of Aung San Suu Kyi's delivery of her Nobel Prize lecture

"Today, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver her Nobel Prize lecture in Oslo, 21 years after she was awarded the prize. Her extraordinary achievements over more than two decades will be duly acknowledged in Oslo."

16/06/2012

Aung San Suu Kyi © EU

The President continued: "Today, and unthinkable only a few years ago, quite a few of her visions have become reality: a country that is opening up to the world and embarking on a journey towards more democracy and more development. Reforms in Myanmar – courageously led by President U Thein Sein – will need all the support they can get. And we hope that reforms will continue and deepen as the country's challenges in what regards national reconciliation are still important."

"I salute Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on this special day and wish her all the success in the pursuit of her noble goals. I salute the fantastic transition her country has embarked upon. The European Union will continue to support her and will assist her country on the journey to its place in the family of nations," concluded President Barroso.

The European Union is closely following and supporting the positive developments in the country. Apart from suspending sanctions, the new package of €150 million in development assistance for 2012/2013 has been approved. On 28 April 2012, the EU office in Myanmar was opened.

Read the whole statement

Meeting with Mr Werner Hoyer, President of European Investment Bank

In a run up to the June European Council, the two Presidents discussed the state of play regarding the EIB capital increase proposal and the pilot project bonds.

15/06/2012

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The meeting, just two weeks before June European Council, was to give the two Presidents the opportunity to exchange views ahead of the summit as well as to discuss recent developments on these two important initiatives.

On Wednesday in his speech in the European Parliament President Barroso warmly welcomed an agreement reached on pilot phase of project bonds proposal to unlock up to €4.6 billion for investment.

He also said that he expects from the European Council a clear decision on the proposal to increase lending capacity of the EIB. "An increase of €10 billion would allow the EIB to increase its lending capacity by €15 billion a year for the next 4 years to around €65 billion per annum," said the President in May this year.

Meeting with Mr Tomislav Nikolić, President of Serbia

President Barroso reiterated the strong commitment of the European Commission to support Serbia's European path.

14/06/2012

President Barroso and President Tomislav Nikolić © EU

After the meeting, President Barroso said that President Nikolić's decision to come to Brussels as his first official visit abroad since taking office was a clear sign of the priority President Nikolić and Serbia attached to their European reform agenda. "The European Union and Serbia already enjoy strong ties. Indeed, we are, by far, Serbia's biggest trading partner and the main provider of foreign direct investment, grants and loans. But we want to go further. The Commission is strongly committed to helping Serbia advance on the road towards the European Union," continued the President, adding that the Commission "looks forward to working closely with Serbia on key areas such as judicial reform, anti-corruption policy, the fight against organised crime, media freedom, the protection of minorities, and not least structural economic reforms."

President Barroso concluded by saying that "the normalisation of Serbia's relations with Kosovo remains an absolutely central condition for moving to the next stage of the EU process. In other words, this will be crucial to make it possible for the Commission to eventually recommend the opening of accession negotiations to our Member States."

Read the full speech

Watch the video

Meeting with President of Peru, Mr Ollanta Humala

President Humala was today received by President Barroso, only 10 months after his election, which confirms the very good relations between the EU and Peru.

13/06/2012

José Manuel Barroso and Catherine Ashton meet Ollanta Humala © EU

After the meeting President José Manuel Barroso said that the EU and Peru are natural partners: "We share common values and principles, such as democracy, rule of law, human rights and a social market economy. We work closely in important areas such as combating climate change and drugs and we both hope to build an international system based on common standards."

He continued: "Peru is also an excellent business partner. The European Union is the main destination for Peruvian exports, and we are the largest foreign investor in Peru. The presence of President Humala here today is very timely and will certainly have positive effects in this regard, especially laying the groundwork for the European Parliament vote in favor of the Trade Agreement between the EU, Peru and Colombia, which has the full backing of the Commission. This Agreement will stimulate EU investments in Peru, will bring many benefits to citizens and businesses of both parties and will allow more economic development. In this sense I have proposed to the President Humala that the signing of the Agreement is made as soon as possible and have suggested the end of June in Brussels."

The EU is also the biggest provider of aid to Peru with 135 million euros (2007-2013), of which 34 million is devoted to the Peruvian national strategy for combatting drugs.

Read the full speech (in Spanish)

Watch the video (in Spanish)

European Parliament: President Barroso ahead of the European Council

"I will urge the European Council take concrete commitments towards economic and monetary union"

13/06/2012

(c) EU

This European Council will focus on growth. "Today, I want to propose that we conclude an inter-institutional agreement on the growth initiative. Given the urgency of the situation, it is important to prioritise key decisions. An inter-institutional agreement would set a fast timetable and get things moving. I also expect a clear signal on the increasing lending capacity of the EIB at the next European Council." said the President.

On the Multiannual Financial Framework, President Barroso said: "Quick adoption of the MFF would send an immediate signal that Europe is ready to invest in our future, that we are serious about growth. With reduced spending power at home, some member states view the MFF as an extravagance to be minimised, and a potential source of savings to repatriate. This is a great mistake. Our budget is a budget for investment and for growth and I believe that we all agree that in current times we need to combine stability with growth."

At the core of the European Council will also be a discussion on the building blocks for the future of the economic and monetary union." Financial integration is one area where major progress could quickly be made, even without Treaty changes. Thus, the creation of a banking union appears as a natural priority," said the President and added: "I see two major steps. First, to accelerate the adoption of proposals already on the table. Second, by autumn the Commission could be ready to come with key proposals to introduce more integrated banking supervision and common deposit guarantee and resolution funds."

The full benefits from deepening the economic and monetary union and from creating the banking union could however only be reaped by the development of the fiscal union. Concrete steps towards it, according to President Barroso, include further development of our financial backstops and a serious discussion of the joint issuance and mutualisation of national debt in the form of stability bonds.

"Finally, a deeper economic and monetary union requires deeper accountability and legitimacy. Decisions of historic dimension need to be prepared, and the citizens need to be involved in the debate," concluded the President.

Read the full speech

Watch the video

Myths and facts about the EU budget

Interview with the Financial Times

Ahead of the June European Council, President Barroso gave an interview to the Financial Times on his views on deepening economic and monetary union and taking a big step forward in European integration.

12/06/2012

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“The European project has always made progress step-by-step. We should continue step-by-step, but now we need a very big step." said President Barroso in the interview.

He continued: “I think now we have conditions to go further that, frankly, we did not have before. There is now a much clearer awareness among European member states about the need to go further in terms of integration, especially in the euro area. This is one of the lessons of the crisis.”

It is this optimism, the President said, that leads him to believe that an EU banking union may soon be in the offing, complete with a single banking supervisor, a common deposit guarantee scheme, and a rescue fund that gets cash from bank levies or even a financial transaction tax.

Read the whole article pdf - 148 KB [148 KB]

The EU at the G20 Summit in Mexico: "Rebalancing global growth together"

As G20 leaders we all need to make ambitious and responsible contributions to remove obstacles to growth.

15/06/2012

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On the eve of departing for Mexico, President Barroso said: "Once again the world is looking at the G20 to help resolve the crisis. The main risks are related to tensions in financial markets, as well as concerns about fiscal, financial and external imbalances. They concern many regions in the world, including the Eurozone. As G20 leaders we all need to make ambitious and responsible contributions to remove obstacles to growth and tackle the unacceptable high levels of unemployment, which hurts our social fabric and people's sense of dignity and purpose. What is at stake is our collective capacity to act."

He emphasized that "In Europe we are not complacent about our difficulties and acknowledge that further efforts are needed. We will leave no doubt that the European Union remains determined and will take every action needed to stay the course, defending stability and fostering growth that will be beneficial to all. We are determined to show the world that the euro and the European project are irreversible."

The European Union is represented at the summit by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.

Read the press release: EU at G20

Questions and answers: EU at G20

Annual meeting with the European Court of Auditors

This afternoon, the European Commission held its annual meeting with the European Court of Auditors.

11/06/2012

José Manuel Barroso and Vítor Manuel da Silva Caldeira, President of the European Court of Auditors © EU

The Commission and the Court of Auditors are in regular contact and meet every year to take stock of their relations and to exchange views on on-going issues. It is also an opportunity for the Commission to stress its commitment to a sound and transparent financial management of the EU budget and the implementation of a number of important initiatives during its mandate.

The European Court of Auditors is the EU's independent external audit institution that assesses the collection and spending of EU funds. Every year, the Court's audit of the EU’s annual accounts is the basis for the so-called budget discharge, i.e. the final approval of how the Commission implemented the budget. The discharge is carried out by the European Parliament on a recommendation by the Council as part of their political oversight of the EU budget.

European Court of Auditors

Read more about the Budget discharge procedure

Myths and facts about the EU budget

Statement by President Barroso and Vice-President Rehn on Spain

We welcome today’s communication by Spain of its intention to request the support of the euro area for the restructuring of its financial sector, and the Eurogroup’s positive response to this.

11/06/2012

President Barroso and Vice-President Rehn  © EU

The Commission is ready to proceed swiftly with the necessary assessment on the ground, in close liaison with the ECB, EBA and the IMF, and to propose appropriate conditionality for the financial sector. With this thorough restructuring of the banking sector, together with the on-going determined implementation of structural reforms and fiscal consolidation, we are certain that Spain can gradually regain the confidence of investors and market participants and create the conditions for a return to sustainable growth and job creation.

Also read the statement by the Eurogroup

Meeting with Brigi Rafini, Prime Minister of Niger

During his meeting with the Prime Minister of Niger, Brigi Rafini, President José Manuel Barroso congratulated the Prime Minister on the exemplary democratic transition made by Niger since 2011.

06/06/2012

Brigi Rafini © EU

The President cited several examples of good practice under the cooperation between the European Commission and Niger, such as, for example, the financing of several projects with a security dimension in the justice sector, with support to the internal security forces. Furthermore, the Commission has also launched projects to support the socioeconomic development of North Niger.

Mr Barroso announced that he is in favour of the ‘New Alliance for Food Security’, which aims at encouraging private sector contributions. The total amount of humanitarian and development aid granted to Niger exceeds the EUR 100 million threshold. The possibility of increasing this humanitarian aid in order to stabilise the situation until the next harvest is currently being examined, as the need is great.

The full statement can be viewed here

Watch the video

Meeting with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Yesterday President Barroso met Chancellor Merkel for a working dinner in Berlin.

05/06/2012

President Barroso and Chancellor Merkel © EU

They took this opportunity to discuss and prepare for the next European Council and to talk about further steps on how to enhance growth and stability in Europe. They both agree that beyond immediate actions for growth and stability, a political vision for the future of Europe is needed and that the monetary union should be supported by the creation of an economic union. Therefore they are both in favour of the creation of a banking union to reinforce the supervision of European banks and increase their capacities.

Back in Brussels, President Barroso will today meet leading members of the political parties of CDU/CSU and SPD of the German Bundestag.

Please find here President Barroso's full statement

Watch the video of the press statements made by President Barroso and Chancellor Merkel

Statement by President Barroso following the EU-Russia Summit

Russia is our largest neighbour and a close strategic partner

04/06/2012

José Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Vladimir Putin (c) EU

Russia is not only the EU's largest neighbour - it is also a strategic partner with which the EU is building a solid and mutually beneficial relationship. During the EU-Russia Summit, President Barroso highlighted the important progress achieved in recent years in key areas of cooperation. An ambitious and comprehensive bilateral New Agreement should become a solid basis for cooperation in the years to come – this agreement should include substantial provisions on trade and investment, including energy.

Read the full statement here

Read the press release on the Summit

Read more information on the EU-Russia summit

Watch the video of the final joint press briefing

Speech at the EU Friends of Cohesion high level meeting

Today President Barroso gave a speech at the EU Friends of Cohesion high level meeting in Bucharest.

01/06/2012

© EU

The President highlighted the importance of cohesion policy for the entire EU, naming some of its results – the growth of GDP per head in all convergence regions by 10% between 2000 and 2008, for example. Since the beginning of the crisis, almost 20 billion euro from structural funds, including the Cohesion Fund, have been reprogrammed towards more growth-related areas such as R&D, business support and energy. Cohesion policy has a strong transformational power and must be seen as a part of the essence of the European Union.

Read the full speech: "Together doing more and better for growth and jobs"

Results of the Irish referendum on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance

President Barroso welcomed today the results of the Irish referendum on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance.

01/06/2012

Irish flag

"This Treaty is a key component of the EU's response to the current economic crisis. Restoring sustainability to public finances remains an important objective" he said. He called on Ireland's support to the Commission's proposals for boosting growth published earlier this week. The President added that today's vote is a significant step towards Ireland's economic recovery.

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