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EP Debate on the start of the Danish EU Presidency

European Parliament © EU

The Europe 2020 strategy is not a strategy that can wait until 2020 – it needs action now

Speaking in the European Parliament plenary debate on the start of the Danish EU Presidency, President Barroso expressed his conviction that Denmark would make a decisive contribution to the common European project.

The President recalled the Commission's view of a comprehensive crisis response, going beyond fiscal consolidation, as put forward in its Roadmap to stability and growth last October. He said: "The Commission will urge the Member States to complete what is still pending in this Roadmap – from a lasting solution for Greece, to the implementation of a credible system of firewalls."

"While we put these instruments in place, our response cannot only be about discipline and sanctions. Yes, discipline is needed but we also need convergence. Yes, stability is indispensable but we also need growth. Europe needs greater convergence, solidarity and growth." He then reiterated that growth in Europe must come from deepening our Single Market and warned of protracted discussions on the European patent: "We must urgently reach agreement on the European patent. We have been discussing this for decades. I fully expect negotiations on this to be completed early in the Danish Presidency. I call on the three Member States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, who are holding this up over a site issue of some offices, to swiftly find a compromise. Frankly, it is not acceptable! It is not acceptable that such a crucial initiative is blocked over such a trivial disagreement." On Europe's overall growth strategy he said: "Many of the measures we need are already on the table in the Europe 2020 growth strategy. There will be no resolution to this crisis unless we get serious about implementing them. The Europe 2020 strategy is not a strategy that can wait until 2020 – it needs action now."

Read the President's opening statement

Watch the President's opening statement at the EP Plenary Debate

Watch EP debate live

Watch the President's closing remarks at the EP Plenary Debate

Read the President's statement at the press conference following the presentation of the programme of the Danish EU Presidency

Previous news on College visit to Denmark, 11 – 12 January 2012

Watch the Joint press conference following the presentation of the programme of the Danish EU Presidency