Sustainable development: The European Commission's New Year's resolutions
Opening the Brussels Sustainable Development Summit, President Barroso said that the Commission will present its views on this combined Sustainable and Millennium Development Goals agenda early next year - "a very practical new year's resolution, if you will!"
The summit is the first in a planned series of high-level international conferences to build action plans for global sustainable development. President Barroso said that European Union can be satisfied with what has been achieved during 2012 adding that "the EU will play a leading role in the relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Working Group."
He stressed that the European Union is backing up its commitment with significant funding, "we have earmarked almost 2 billion euros for projects related to the Rio outcome for this year and 2013."
But work along the Rio+20 is only part of the picture. The European Union invests a total amount of around 8 billion euros for sustainable development in general.
President Barroso said that EU will work towards the sustainable development goals " across all policy areas; both inside the European Union and on the global stage."
"Of course the extent of our support depends on the financial resources which we have available," he emphasised, referring to an ambitious increase of nearly 20% in the EU's external assistance for the next financial period as proposed by the Commission that will be discussed, together with the EU Multiannual budget 2014-20 as a whole, at the beginning of the next year.
"Sustainable development and justice are twin-principles, which our European Union should continue to bring to the table of the global community," concluded the President.