On the way to the next Council, President Barroso meets Austrian Chancellor Faymann
President Barroso met today Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann in Vienna to discuss the preparations of the June European Council, the economic situation and the on-going reforms in Europe. They also talked about the recent floods that affected Austria.
"One meeting alone will not solve Europe's problems – but we can make several decisions that will affect people's lives and improve our prospects of confidence, of a return to better times", the President said.
The Commission is mobilising all tools to support Member States in combatting youth unemployment. "I hope that, at the next European Council, Heads of State and Government will be in a position to turn commitments into determined action. It's time to develop a European consensus on the practical ways to resolve the crisis", the President added.
President Barroso called for the implementation at national level of the Youth Guarantee and underlined the Austrian youth guarantee as an example in terms of training young people. As part of the contribution to the European Council meeting next week, the Commission has made proposals on frontloading the EUR 6 billion Youth Employment Initiative, and to focus all this amount in the first two years, from 2014 to 2016.
On financing the economy, the President stressed the need for SMEs to have access to finance. "In many of our Member States we have a real problem here. That is why, working with the European Investment Bank, we have now completed some proposals that are going to be discussed tomorrow by finance ministers (and that I hope will be endorsed in the next European Council) in terms of blending some instruments we have at European level with others resources at national level", he said.
President Barroso underlined the need of an European consensus on the practical ways to resolve the crisis and to restore sustainable growth, and he called for more confidence: "One of the difficulties we have today in Europe is the lack of confidence. (…) Investors don't feel confident to invest, consumers don't feel confident to consume, to buy, to purchase".
The recent floods in Austria were also discussed at the meeting, with the President expressing the Commission's solidarity by commending the efforts of the local and national services and standing ready to assist with the Solidarity Fund.