The EU-China Summit focused on global challenges, in particular on climate change
During the 12th EU-China Summit, president Barroso stressed that we need political leadership from all sides if we want to get a deal in Copenhagen. He welcomed the news that China is now indicating what they are prepared to do on mitigation in concrete numbers. "We agree that there must be a differentiated approach and different responsibilities for developed and developing countries. And we can always negotiate with numbers… but we cannot negotiate with science, with the science and the facts", he said. The EU remains committed to a legally binding outcome of the Copenhagen conference.
Official List of commissioners designate for the next Commission
President Barroso has received nominations from all Member States. He will now proceed with the allocation of portfolios. "It is my job to allocate the right portfolios to the right people. I look forward to present a strong Commission team to the European Parliament", he said. Hearings at the European Parliament will then take place in January before the College of Commissioners as a whole will be subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament.
President Barroso officially opens a dairy employing disabled workers in Alsace
On Tuesday, in addition to attending the plenary session in Strasbourg, President Barroso officially opened some cowsheds at a farm in Bischwiller in the French administrative region of Bas-Rhin. The farm employs around 15 disabled people. Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party at the European Parliament, was present, as were several local elected members.
President Barroso very much welcomes the tougher target on greenhouse gas emissions set by Russia
Speaking at the press conference following the EU-Russia summit, president Barroso stated that "With the Copenhagen conference starting in just over two weeks, we have made very important progress today and I very much welcome the signal from president Medvedev today of their proposed emissions reduction target of 20 to 25%. I have instructed officials to work very closely with their Russian counterparts on all the details, because we fully agreed in our discussion this morning that this is a critical negotiation and we must succeed in Copenhagen. Both the EU and Russia have responsibilities to lead on climate change, and we need all players to do all they can to remain within the two degrees target. We can negotiate between ourselves on the numbers, but we can't negotiate with physics. Science must be our guiding light. I am confident that we can still achieve a meaningful result in Copenhagen."
Helping public authorities to create employment whilst investing in the future: the public-private partnerships solution
In order to foster more frequent and more efficient application of public-private partnerships (PPPs), at a time when innovative public funding solutions are required to meet the challenge of limited national budgets, the Commission has adopted a Communication on exploiting the potential of PPPs. ‘If they are well planned and carried out, respecting the long-term public interest, PPPs can increase investment in health care, education and high-quality sustainable transport systems. They can help to combat climate change and improve energy efficiency. We would like public authorities to make fuller use of PPPs and use them more efficiently,’ explained President Barroso.
Improving prevention and management in the event of an energy crisis between EU and Russia
As agreed by the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and the president of the Russian Federation, Dimitri Medvedev, during the last EU-Russia summit in Khabarovsk, the EU and Russia have strengthened current dispositions under the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue to prevent and manage potential energy crises, with an enhanced early warning mechanism. Energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs and the Russian minister for Energy, Sergei Shmatko, signed a memorandum on an early warning mechanism in Moscow on Monday that includes a clear definition of the circumstances that would trigger the activation of the mechanism, in terms of what constitutes a "significant disruption of supplies", be it due to maintenance of relevant infrastructure, accidents, or commercial disputes.
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President Barroso invites all heads of State and government to join him at the Copenhagen conference
President Barroso made a public announcement today that he is to participate, on behalf of the European Commission, in the final stage of the United Nations Climate Change Conference on 17 and 18 December 2009 in Copenhagen. The Commission will also be represented by the Commissioner for Environment, Stavros Dimas. President Barroso did not consider it of value to justify once again the crucial importance of the conference, and explained to what extent leadership would play a key role in the final negotiations. From this perspective, he declared: ‘I sincerely hope that all leaders will be able to participate.’
20th anniversary of the democratic change in Central and Eastern Europe
Two days after the commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall, President Barroso participated in a formal ceremony organised by the European Parliament in Brussels to celebrate the20th anniversary of the democratic change in Central and Eastern Europe. The ceremony was attended by the former President of the Czech Republic and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek. Both of them were important protagonists during the period of democratic change.
Video message by president Barroso ahead the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall
"For me, the pecking of holes in the Berlin wall in November 1989 echoed the music of freedom that I got used to listen to only a few years before" said president Barroso in reference to the revolution in his own country, Portugal. For me, in 1989 not just the wall collapsed, but a world of ideology and oppression. The iron curtain had cut Europe into two –its dismantling in 1989 was the start of making it one. The past five years as Commission president I dedicated a huge effort into making this enlarged European Union work. (…) Now we have to work hand in hand to tear down the last remains of the wall that still persist in Europe. Let's remove them, brick by brick, like the long chain of dominos that we will topple tonight in Berlin.
Festival of freedom
Invited by chancellor Merkel of Germany, president Barroso commemorated the fall of the Berlin Wall with the president of the European Parliament, heads of state and government as well as hundreds of thousands of citizens. During the night, he toppled the domino he painted himself a few weeks ago with Belgian school children as part of the artistic domino project consisting of more than 1000 dominos that symbolically reproduce the domino effect of events in 1989.
Celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989. On Monday, 20 years later, a reunited Europe will celebrate this page in history. Representing the European Commission, President Barroso will go to Berlin to participate in a wide-ranging programme of commemorations, in particular the 'Festival of Freedom' in which the Berlin Wall will fall a second time — symbolically.
European citizens must not be subject to further disruptions of gas supplies from Russia through Ukraine
President Barroso spoke on Thursday with president Yushenko of Ukraine to discuss the transit of gas supplies, the current economic situation and the Ukrainian request for assistance to tackle the H1N1 virus. He stressed that it is absolutely essential that there are no blockages within the Ukrainian system on the payment of gas supplies from Russia.
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President Barroso optimistic on progress on trade and climate change at the EU-India summit
At the eve of the summit which takes place this year in New Delhi, president Barroso said: “In the past decade, the EU and India have evolved to become key actors on the world stage. The dynamic strategic partnership we have forged over the years is a sign of strong commitment and mutual understanding to contribute together to global solutions to global challenges, from peace, security and development aid to the fight against climate change. By agreeing a position on climate finance last Friday in Brussels, the EU is signalling that we are ready to help if developing countries and, in particular, emerging economies like India deliver. ”
It's now absolutely clear that the Lisbon Treaty will enter into force soon
President Barroso welcomed that president Klaus has taken the crucial step of signing the instrument of ratification on the Treaty of Lisbon in the Czech Republic. "It's now absolutely clear that the Lisbon Treaty will enter into force soon", he commented. “At this point in time, I want to pay tribute to all those who have worked hard in the 27 member states to make the Lisbon Treaty a reality. The road is now open for the consultations on the appointment of the president of the European Council and vice-president of the Commission / high representative to begin. This will in turn allow me to start the process of nominating the new Commission."