European Council: A good week for Europe
The commentators that predicted the dismantling of the euro have been shown to be totally wrong, said President Barroso. "This week was indeed a good week for Europe," he added, mentioning the Nobel Peace Prize and the very important agreements on the Single Supervisory Mechanism and on Greece.
He also underlined the good discussion on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union that Heads of State and Government had last night. "The Commission will keep driving the ambition," he promised.
"I am really confident that we are going to overcome the difficulties," said President Barroso, wishing a Happy Christmas to all.
European Council: Key proposals for the Banking Union agreed
President Barroso welcomed the endorsement of the agreement on the Single Supervisory Mechanism. "The next steps should be a swift conclusion on the bank capital rules and the harmonisation of bank resolution…The Commission will make a proposal for a single resolution mechanism in 2013."
"The agreement on the Single Supervisory Mechanism is extremely important because it shows the EU and the euro area mean business. It also shows that we can move forward at 27 within the Treaty framework," said President Barroso. He emphasized that it is critically important that the Mechanism is designed to meet euro area needs but at the same time that it stays open to all.
He stressed that the agreement on the Single Supervisory Mechanism is the key to all further steps in the construction of the Banking Union. "We will not tolerate poor supervision for any of the 6000 banks in the euro area."
The Commission will present a proposal for the next key step – a single resolution mechanism – in 2013. "This will mean that taxpayers will not have to pick up the bill in the future and that the sector will pay to solve its own problems," said the President.
President Barroso welcomed the broad agreement at the European Council on the need for the quick adoption of the "two pack" legislation and called for quick agreement by the European Parliament that would allow the proposals to be adopted.
The Heads of State and Government had a very open discussion on the medium and long term elements proposed in order to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union. They will come back to this discussion at the June European Council, for which they asked the President of the European Council, in cooperation with the President of the European Commission, to come forward with more concrete ideas and a time-bound roadmap.
"This year has been extremely tough, especially for the most vulnerable in our societies. But in fact, we are tackling the root causes of the trouble: Public finances are getting better. The competitiveness of the least competitive is improving. The financial sector is being cleaned up. Our governance architecture is making progress. So while we are not complacent, there are reasons to be positive and I think that investors and our partners are recognising that," concluded the President.