President Barroso - Prime Minister Monti: joint declaration after the meeting
Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti met on Wednesday to discuss preparation of the upcoming European Council, which will be devoted to the coordination of economic, fiscal and employment policies in the EU to boost growth and job creation, based on the Commission's Annual Growth Survey published on 28 November 2012.
They discussed the Commission’s work in progress, following the December European Council, on contractual arrangements to raise competitiveness through structural reforms, which includes solidarity mechanisms to help member states.
Both are convinced that continued and determined action at European and national levels is needed to ensure that the return of confidence in the euro area is sustained. The crisis is not yet over and efforts must not be relaxed. This implies pursuing commonly agreed and differentiated reform and consolidation efforts to create growth and jobs and enhancing competitiveness, while ensuring financial stability.
The commonly agreed approach also includes a strong social dimension, which is reflected in a variety of European Union policies and instruments (like the European Social Fund, the proposed youth guarantee or the future Youth Employment Initiative) that complement national action in order to protect the most vulnerable from the worst effects of the crisis.
Regarding the Italy's economic situation, the Commission believes that the country is undergoing an ambitious reform process that, if fully implemented, will significantly raise its growth potential. Italy has also put its public finances on a more sound footing, an essential condition to ensure growth.
President Barroso underlined that the Commission remains committed to assist Italy and all the other EU countries in this challenge.
President Barroso expressed his full confidence that Italy, as one of Europe's and the world's biggest economies, will ensure the conditions of political stability in the interest of Italy and Europe as a whole.