25th anniversary of European Capitals of Culture
"Without culture, Europe would remain incomplete"
President Barroso alongside Commissioner Vassiliou opened the conference and the exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture in Brussels. Barroso qualified the initiative as a real "success story" and urged all the national, regional and local authorities to make sure that culture is firmly anchored in long-term local development strategies. He added that the Capitals of Culture "point the way to the creative economies, cities, and communities that are crucial for our future".
Irish Shamrocks for president Barroso to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day
"Congratulations to Ireland"
On the occasion of the celebration of Saint Patrick's Day, president Barroso received a bouquet of Shamrocks from Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the Irish commissioner in charge of Research, Innovation and Science. The shamrock, a three-leafed clover, is one of the most well-known symbols of Ireland. Barroso thanked the Commissioner for the present and shared that also for him 17 March was a special day because it was precisely on that day that he was elected prime minister of Portugal. "Congratulations to Ireland," said a grateful Barroso.
First official meeting between Jerzy Buzek and the new Commission
The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, met President Barroso and the College of Commissioners for a working lunch. In a spirit of partnership and interinstitutional cooperation, Mr Buzek’s visit was an opportunity to work on various current issues from the "Europe 2020" strategy to the renewal of the Framework Agreement between the two institutions. This first official meeting, at the invitation of the Commission, will be followed by other regular encounters throughout the mandate of this Commission.
President Barroso in Budapest
President Barroso visited Budapest to meet the Hungarian prime minister, Gordon Bajnai for a working dinner. The two leaders discussed among other things the new Europe 2020 strategy, adopted by the Commission on the same day, which received the strong support of the Hungarian prime minister. President Barroso also attended a conference of the European People's Party. In his speech, he explained how the Europe 2020 strategy could help upholding and renewing the European social market economy, which has come under threat in the economic and financial crisis. During the visit he also reiterated that Budapest, which hosts the European Institute of Technology and Innovation, is at the heart of the EU's efforts to put Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Italian president Napolitano meets president Barroso and the College
President Barroso today welcomed the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, in the Commission by praising him as a "precious interlocutor and an example for all of us with his dedication to the European cause, to our common values, dialogue and democracy." Mr Napolitano also had the occasion to meet the entire College. The main topics discussed were the new Europe 2020 strategy, the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, external relations as well as migration. On Europe 2020 Barroso highlighted the importance that both Italy and the Commission attribute to industry, manufacturing, SMEs, and the single market in putting Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.