Message on Treaty change
President Barroso reiterated today his position on the issue of Treaty change. He stressed that "Treaty change may be necessary for reinforcing the Euro area governance and we are supporting the idea provided it is to reinforce the European union, provided it is not to divide the European Union." The President said: "With some conditions we believe Treaty change can be a contribution to show one very important thing – that the euro is irreversible, that all the member states of the European Union and of the euro area remain united supporting their common currency."
Message on the need for growth and enhancing measures
President Barroso commented on the need for growth and enhancing measures to complement fiscal consolidation efforts. He reminded that the Commission proposed yesterday extra support for small companies using structural funds. "It is a complete innovation, because of the lack of funding for small companies, that we have seen in many countries in Europe, we have adopted legislation that allows us to use structural funds to fund the small and medium sized companies. Up to €5bn can be used to attract additional private funding of 6 times that value." This extra support for small companies using structural funds is extremely important and it shows that we have committed to growth. The President also underlined that the Commission will next week propose a legislation to make more cross-border funding accessible for Europe's 23 million SMEs. "These will put down barriers that limit the supply of venture capital," he explained. In conclusion he called on Member States to "speed up their decisions on these very important matters because growth is also important to overcome the current difficulties in the Euro area and in the European Union."
Meeting with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community
President Barroso today met the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Derviş Eroğlu. President Barroso welcomed the results of the tripartite meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York on 30 – 31 October, where some encouraging progress was made. He stressed that "what counts now is to reach agreement on all internal aspects of the settlement by the next tripartite meeting in January 2012." The President also underlined that the Turkish Cypriots will greatly benefit from reunification.
Meeting with the Minister-President of Hessen, Germany
President Barroso received the Minister-President of Hessen, Germany, Mr Volker Bouffier. They focused on the current sovereign debt crisis and the need for continued and determined action to tackle it, including through deeper integration and greater discipline. Other issues in the discussion concerned airport ground-handling services and the inclusion of aviation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Minister-President Bouffier also handed over an invitation to the world-famous art exhibition dOCUMENTA which will take place in Kassel (Hessen) in 2012.