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EU-Mercosur Summit, Madrid


José Manuel Barroso After the Mercosur Summit president Barroso said that the EU feels a natural affinity with Mercosur. He added: "I am extremely happy about our decision to resume the negotiations for an Association Agreement. This would enable the creation of one of the largest Free Trade Areas in the world (700 million consumers) and enhance our political cooperation and coordination." The process of regional integration, promotion and protection of human rights, climate change and biodiversity were also discussed.

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Meeting with Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurría


Angel Gurría and José Manuel Barroso © EU President Barroso and the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurría, discussed the valuable contribution of OECD data and analysis to help the EU and Member States to take the right policy decisions and put Europe on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. They also discussed the important decisions of the EU to guarantee the stability of the Eurozone, and Mr. Gurría welcomed the EU's measures as "credible and having the right size".


Informal lunch with US vice president Joe Biden


Joe Biden, Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso © Reporters In the context of the visit of US vice president Joe Biden to Brussels, president Barroso and the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, had an informal lunch.


Opening ceremony of the Shanghai EXPO 2010


Shanghai Expo logo © President Barroso alongside vice president/High Representative Ashton attended the Shanghai EXPO 2010 opening ceremony today. The EU is represented with its own pavilion, showing that the EU is part of the new global horizons symbolised by the Expo. For Barroso, this is also an occasion to bring people closer together and build stronger ties between the citizens of the European Union and China. Barroso stated: "It is an occasion to celebrate our relationship."


President's Barroso speech at Tsinghua University, Beijing


José Manuel Barroso © EU In his speech president Barroso stressed the 35-year-old strong strategic partnership between EU-China. In the meantime both countries evolved and China became an important international player. Due to the very scale of China's economy and its geostrategic importance, China's actions affect the rest of the world. "And what China does not do will also affect the rest of the world and ultimately also China," stressed Barroso and added that Europe stands ready to work in partnership with China.

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Weekly Commission meeting

"Commission in favour of an Intergovernmental Conference on the composition of the EP"


European Parliament in Strasbourg © EU The European Commission adopted an Opinion recommending the opening of an intergovernmental conference to deal with transitional measures for the composition of the European Parliament, as proposed by the Spanish government. The latter submitted a formal proposal with the aim of allowing an additional 18 Members of the EP to take office by 1 December 2010. The Commission Opinion recommends opening an intergovernmental conference as soon as possible, remaining strictly limited to the discussion of the Spanish proposal.

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Working lunch with Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris


Nicolas Sarkozy and José Manuel Barroso © EU President Barroso met the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. They reviewed key European and international affairs, and discussed in particular the necessity to take swift and decisive action against the speculation about Greece. Barroso also stressed the importance of strengthening the coordination and monitoring of Member States’ economic policies. He also confirmed the European Commission’s desire to develop global economic and financial governance.

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Meeting with the EIT board


EIT logo © EIT President Barroso and Commissioner Vassiliou met Martin Schuurmans, chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, members of the EIT governing board and representatives of the EIT's newly created 'Knowledge and Innovation Communities'. Discussions focused on the importance of the EIT's contribution to achieving the goals of the Commission's ‘Europe 2020' strategy and the EIT's place and future development in the EU higher education, research and innovation landscape.


Official visit to Japan 28 April 2010


Flag of Japan President Barroso will attend the 19th EU-Japan Summit held in Tokyo alongside President of the European Council Van Rompuy. The meeting will be hosted by Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama and will focus on the discussion of the future framework for bilateral political and economic relations. It will also be an excellent opportunity to identify areas of concrete cooperation in the fields of global and regional issues, peace and security, economy and trade.


President's Barroso official visit to China 29 April - 1 May

"The EU and China are important global players and it is essential that we work together in addressing common challenges"


Flag of China President Barroso will lead a delegation of Commissioners on a trip to China to discuss bilateral issues, global challenges such as the economic and financial crisis, climate change and international security with the Chinese leadership. Barroso: "We will seize this opportunity to generate positive momentum in our 35-year relationship and develop a far-reaching agenda for the next 5 years." Barroso will also participate in the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and the inauguration of the EU Pavilion.

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Meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group


Flag of Cyprus © EU On 14 April, President Barroso chaired a meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group. The Group discussed the results of the ongoing settlement talks and looked in particular at EU-related aspects of a future settlement. The overall assessment was that important progress has been made by the leaders of the two communities Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue.

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President Barroso will attend the state funeral in Poland


José Manuel Barroso signing the book of condolence © EU Alongside the Polish commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, president Barroso will attend the state funeral of the Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife in Cracow, Poland, on Sunday, 18 April. Today president Barroso signed the book of condolence in memory of all victims who passed away in the tragic airplane crash on Saturday, 10 April 2010. And in its weekly meeting the College observed a one-minute silence in respect for the victims of this terrible tragedy.

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25th anniversary of European Capitals of Culture

"Without culture, Europe would remain incomplete"


Cultural activities in Europe © EU 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".

Read the press release on the 25th anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture

More information on European Capitals of Culture

Visit the website of the European Capitals of Culture

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First official meeting between Jerzy Buzek and the new Commission


José Manuel Barroso and Jerzy Buzek © EU 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.


Irish Shamrocks for president Barroso to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day

"Congratulations to Ireland"


Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and José Manuel Barroso © EU 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.

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President Barroso in Budapest


Gordon Bajnai © EU 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


José Manuel Barroso and Giorgio Napolitano © EU 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.

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Meeting with Pascal Lamy


José Manuel Barroso and Pascal Lamy © EU Today President Barroso met the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, to discuss the Doha cycle and the progress that has been made. They shared views on a political strategy to restart negotiations and on the role of the G20 in this process. Amongst the other topics discussed were the new Commission’s trade priorities and the impact of new institutional provisions on commercial policy.


Meeting with President of Mongolia


Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj © EU President Barroso met with president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia. He announced that the European Commission will increase its bilateral assistance to the Asian country by 40% to €5 million per year. He also took the opportunity to congratulate president Elbegdorj for the recent announcement of a moratorium on death penalty: "I hope this moratorium is the first step towards the abolition of the death penalty in Mongolia, which might encourage other countries in the region to follow suit." The economic transition of Mongolia to a more modern economy was also in the agenda of the meeting.

Watch the press conference [10'34"]


Results of the public consultation on Europe 2020 and an evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy


Hands holding a globe symbolising growth and jobs © EU As president Barroso has said: "The renewed Lisbon strategy was able to build an understanding of how structural reform feeds directly into growth and jobs. But the crisis has wiped out many of the gains. We must now use the "Europe 2020" strategy to create new sources of growth." The Commission publishes today a summary of the results of the public consultation on Europe 2020 and an evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy.

Europe 2020 – public consultation, first overview of responses, provisional version pdf - 48 KB [48 KB]

Lisbon Strategy evaluation, provisional version pdf - 159 KB [159 KB]


Nomination of Commissioner-designate Mrs Kristalina Georgieva


Kristalina Georgieva © Reporters President Barroso met with Mrs Kristalina Georgieva following her nomination by the Bulgarian government. He has given his agreement for her name to go forward as commissioner-designate and believes she has all the professional background and European convictions to be an excellent Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. Mrs Georgieva has extensive international experience and a grasp of the issues to make a real impact in this new role. Mrs Georgieva's name will now be confirmed by the Council and she will debate her future responsibilities at a hearing with the European Parliament on 3 February. President Barroso hopes that the European Parliament will be able to vote on the whole college of commissioners on 9 February, in accordance with the timetable agreed by the European Parliament today.

Mrs Georgieva's CV pdf - 11 KB [11 KB]


Spain, the right country at this time


Spanish flag © EU During the press conference which followed the debate in plenary session, president Barroso said that the Spanish EU Presidency "is very good news for Europe" as Spain is a very committed pro-European Country and has a very committed European leader with José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He also took note of the timing of this presidency, which "comes at a very important moment, when we have to prepare the new economic strategy for Europe, "the European 2020 Strategy"" and insisted on the full ownership of this strategy, offering to have debates in plenary with MEPs and also with stakeholders in Europe – mainly the social partners.

Watch the press conference with Zapatero from EBS


Resignation of commissioner-designate Mrs Jeleva


Flag of Bulgria © EU President Barroso took note of Mrs Jeleva's withdrawal as commissioner-designate. He fully respects this personal decision. Bulgarian prime minister Borisov has in the meantime informed president Barroso of his intention to suggest Ms Kristalina Georgieva, currently vice-president of the World Bank, as member of the European Commission. President Barroso will meet her as soon as possible, with a view to considering his agreement to that suggestion. President Barroso welcomes the swift reaction of the Bulgarian Government to this situation. The process of the investiture of the new Commission should now continue and be concluded at the earliest opportunity.