Interview with the Die Welt on the Treaty change
Ahead of the European Council on 9 December, President Barroso gave an interview to Die Welt in which he set out his expectations for the summit and on the issue of Treaty change. He reiterated that the European Commission is in favour of amending the Treaties if it is for more integration and discipline beyond what has already been agreed or proposed. "Important for me is a new fiscal pact," he said. He also stressed how much the Commission is doing in terms of fiscal discipline and structural reform and emphasised its comprehensive approach. On Stability Bonds he reiterated what the recently published green paper is about and said: "Only when this fiscal irresponsibility is not possible any more, eurobonds can be a natural and advantageous means for the euro area." President Barroso also expressed his appreciation for the German-French duo saying that it would be problematic if there were fundamental differences between the two. "I have no problem with their initiatives and really welcome that they meet… Partnership is indispensable, but not sufficient."
Interview [121 KB]
Live YouTube/Euronews Interview with President Barroso
"I will ask all G20 leaders to support a global financial transaction tax, part of which could go to the poorest people in the world"
As part of the YouTube World View series of interviews with world leaders President Barroso participated today in a live Interview, broadcasted in 11 languages. Economic issues dominated the top questions. The most popular question was about what went wrong in Greece and how to boost the Greek economy. President Barroso answered that "One country – like one family or like one company – can not live long time above its means. And Greece was doing precisely that." He also underlined that in the future there will be more integration of national budget and economic plans and also sanctions for those who do not comply with the rules. The President once again reiterated that we need a financial transaction tax so banks make a fair contribution to the costs of crisis and indicated that revenue from the tax could be used to fund development aid. The interview was live transmitted on http://www.youtube.com/worldview, Europe by Satellite and Euronews TV
Televised TSR interview on Libya and nuclear energy
In a television news interview for Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR), President Barroso reaffirmed that in relation to Libya, the problem was Colonel Gaddafi, and restated the unanimous position of the EU Member States on the need for his departure from power. On nuclear energy in Europe, the President emphasised that the stress tests aim to guarantee the highest possible safety levels, although he stated that the decision to use nuclear energy remained a national decision.
Interview with the KURIER
In an interview with the Austrian KURIER, President Barroso stressed the importance of reassessing the safety of nuclear power plants in a coordinated way after the incident in Japan, and that this is the most effective way to improve the situation as well as the right signal for citizens. He also argued that the choice of energy is a national competence, implying that a EU citizens' initiative on the use of nuclear power would not be in line with the Treaty. He expressed appreciation for the specificity and traditions of Austrian agriculture, and explained that the Commission will table its proposals for a new financial framework after 2013 at the end of June 2011.
Interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung on Economic Governance
In an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung, President Barroso underlined that the Commission's proposal to increase the lending capacity and widen the scope of activity of the EFSF is "embedded in a comprehensive programme of fiscal consolidation and structural reform to guarantee stability and discipline." He stressed: "I have no hidden agenda! There is no common liability for public debt. We do not want a transfer union and we don't have one. What we have is a system of loans and loan guarantees that leads to stability in the interest of all."
Interview with the CNN on Euro
In an interview with the CNN president Barroso reiterated that the situation of the euro is a credible and strong one and that the euro is fundamentally a very credible currency. "It is the second currency in the world and in fact the credibility of the euro lies in the monetary policy of the European Central Bank that is a very credible policy," said president Barroso and added that the target against inflation that has been extremely successful and the fundamentals of the euro area are good.
Interview with the CNN on fiscal consolidation/growth
President Barroso stated that if the countries do not correct the fiscal imbalances there will be no conditions for growth. "Because the credibility lies on that as well," he said and added that reducing the costs can help also those countries to be more competitive in the global market. "The overall situation of the euro area and the European Union gives me confidence that growth that remains our first objective will be sustainable and we will have that growth."
Interview with the CNN on Hungary
Speaking with CNN, president Barroso stressed that Hungary is not the next Greece. "Hungary will be able to take all the necessary measures to correct the fiscal position," said the president and added that they are ready not only to accelerate the fiscal consolidation, but also to accelerate structural reform. "They will be able to face this challenge," he stressed and asserted: "I believe we have now the mechanisms in place to face any crisis that may happen in terms of debt."
Interview with Hamburger Abendblatt (Germany)
In this interview President Barroso underlined that now the time has come to assist Greece in order to ensure the stability of the Eurozone as a whole. He rejected the idea that this assistance is about financial transfers or subsidies. "We are not liable for Greek debt, but support the Greek efforts to get back to fiscal virtue." Barroso also expressed his expectations towards the Petersberg climate dialogue in Bonn, hosted by Germany and Mexico, as an important step towards progress in global climate negotiations. He finally announced the Commission plans on energy taxation and nuclear waste storage.
"There is no stability without solidarity"
In an interview with Financial Times, president Barroso expressed confidence that solidarity would prevail among Member States to make a decision on providing financial assistance to Greece at the upcoming European Council: "There is no stability without solidarity and no solidarity without stability.” He stressed that it "is completely wrong and misleading to say that because of the "no bail-out" clause there can not be help to some Member States". Since the IMF had intervened in several EU Member States, including Latvia, Hungary and Romania, Barroso added: "I never understood these theoretical debates about the IMF being associated with our efforts.”
We need both: solidarity and stability
In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, president Barroso explained the intention to propose an instrument of the euro zone for coordinated bilateral loans to Greece. He underlined that an urgent decision of leaders about the instrument is needed to avoid insecurity. The eventual activation of the instrument would be decided by the euro zone in case of need. He said: "We need both: solidarity and stability." Barroso also underlined the need for stronger economic governance to address competitive divergences and pleaded for a return to "fiscal virtue".
Read the full Handelsblatt interview [304 KB]
President Barroso, ‘The key European guest’
President Barroso is the key guest on France 24 for their new programme Ici Europe. The interview will be broadcast this weekend on TV, today at 7 pm on RFI and on the France 24 website. Barroso discussed topical issues including the Commission’s role vis-a-vis the economic situation in Greece and the preparation of the next European Council. When questioned about the likeliehood of a country being excluded from the euro zone, Barroso stated: ‘We are in favour of increased monitoring, but exclusion is not being considered in the current framework. It would even be contrary to the Treaty.’
The new Commission is ready for work
One of the first concrete measures that the new team will carry out is "to present a proposal once again to member states to give powers to Eurostat to check national accounts because sometimes we find the statistics we get are not correct," president Barroso told Euronews on the eve of the election of the new College of Commissioners by the European Parliament. Focusing on some of the immediate priorities for his second term, Barroso stressed the need for a "real economic government" for Europe in the sense of a "common approach with strengthened co-ordination".
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.
Q&A session in the European Parliament for the president
Nine of the 27 candidates to be the European Union's new commissioners are women, the commission president announced Tuesday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg during the second session of the Commission president question time. 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 – this time the decisions on top EU jobs taken at the 19 November summit. MEPs had a minute to ask their questions, Mr Barroso one minute to answer.
Hunger in the world: a scourge to be eliminated
‘Even the best and most modern financial policies will be in vain if the governments of developed countries do not meet their commitments by making available budgets and by making high-quality investments in agriculture at global level,’ declared President Barroso in a panel discussion published in various media prior to the World Summit on Food Security at which he will speak personally this afternoon in Rome. ‘We are now all faced with a setback in combating global hunger,’ he continued, ‘given that more than one billion people in the world still do not have enough food to satisfy their basic daily nutritional requirements, and the situation is getting worse in developing countries.’
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Limiting bonus capping: a question of ethics
Before heading for New York and then Pittsburgh for two critical dates, President Barroso agreed to participate in ‘Internationales’, the politics show on French-language television channel TV5, produced in partnership with Radio RFI and Le Monde newspaper. When asked about the burning issue of bonus capping, he said that even if the Americans did not follow, Europe should take the lead. ‘It’s a question of legitimacy; I am in favour of freedom of financial markets, but freedom also calls for rules […] What is happening is so outrageous, it is really an ethical problem and I think that on this subject, if necessary, we will have to go it alone’. However, President Barroso refrained from making any predictions four days before the opening of the G20.
Barely re-elected, the President faces major challenges
In the middle of a busy week which included his re-election by MEPs, an informal meeting of the heads of state and government, and a visit to Ireland, President Barroso answered questions from the Belgian television channel Kanaal Z. The interview, which lasted more than 13 minutes, focuses in particular on compliance with European competition rules in the Opel case, Ireland’s possible rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, and the relationship between José Manuel Barroso and Guy Verhofstadt, the new leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament.