Action on the economy and climate change cited among EU executive’s success stories
Ahead of the European elections, a commission report highlights some of the EU’s achievements since the last vote five years ago. Not the least of those was the reunification of Europe, accomplished through two expansions of the EU, in 2004 and 2007.
“Europe has shown that it is stronger and can work effectively with 27 member states,” president Barroso said, urging Europeans to vote in the 4-7 June elections. “Now is the time for European citizens to express their views for the future.”
On the economic crisis, the EU has played a key role in restoring stability to financial markets and getting credit flowing again. The commission was the first international institution to produce a credible recovery plan.
The EU also has led efforts - in Europe and at the global level - to strengthen regulation and supervision of the financial system, deemed crucial to restoring confidence in the system and preventing another crisis.
During Mr Barroso’s term, European lawmakers and leaders have reached agreement on over 470 of the commission’s proposals, including a landmark package of laws to fight climate change and promote clean energy.
An early leader on global warming, Europe has also pioneered the world’s largest multi-national carbon market, providing a model for other countries now considering similar emissions trading schemes.
This commission has made consumers a top priority. Its efforts have led to more rights for passengers on public transport and big cuts in mobile phone rates.
The EU executive also has championed economic and labour market reforms designed to make Europe more competitive globally. It has weeded out 5 000 pages of EU law and is expected to reach its target of reducing red tape on businesses by 25% by 2012.
“The commission has shown that it can deliver meaningful benefits for Europe’s citizens,” Mr Barroso said.