Q&A session in the European Parliament for the president
The future "EU 2020" economic strategy was at the core of the last "hour of questions for the president", held yesterday in Strasbourg. The rules of the game were half an hour of free questioning and half an hour of questions on the chosen topic of the day. "We have not only to find new sources of growth but also to identify what went wrong with the previous model of growth", stated president Barroso. The challenge for the new model which is to succeed the Lisbon Strategy is to achieve "full ownership" by all the players, from the member states to the European Parliament. The MEPs also questioned the president about climate change and the current economic situation in Greece. According to the rules, MEPS had a minute to ask their questions and Mr Barroso had one minute to answer.
We are setting the standard
Europe has started the ball rolling by implementing strict legislation, President Barroso reminded us in an interview for the French radio station Europe 1 broadcast in audiovisual format the day after the opening of the Copenhagen Summit. He also explained what he sees as the key to success: ‘We need to have concrete figures for the limitation of greenhouse gases which are in line with scientific data, i.e. a maximum temperature increase of 2°C, and funding schemes to help developing countries, in particular the poorest, to adapt and work towards reducing the gases.’
Lisbon Treaty makes Europe more operational
Health, energy, combating climate change. President Barroso explained, in an interview given to Euronews, that the European Union can now do even more in these fields which are so important to its citizens. With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, regulations will henceforth be passed with a majority rather than a unanimous vote, thus making Europe more operational. Improving operational efficiency is also the task falling to Catherine Ashton, who has been appointed High Representative of the Union and Vice-President of the Commission. A ‘sort of Foreign Minister’ in practice, according to the President, since she will be speaking for Europe on foreign policy issues whilst being at the same time Vice-President of the Commission and a member of the Foreign Affairs Council where she will chair meetings with foreign ministers.