This G20 summit should send a strong message of confidence that the recovery will continue, says President Barroso ahead of the summit, today in Saint Petersburg.
"The EU delivered on its commitments made last year, but the global recovery still remains fragile. (...) We in Europe are seeing a turning point", said President Barroso, while underlining that "we should avoid any kind of complacency, namely because of the high level of unemployment but indeed there are positive signs of recovery." He pointed out that it is critically important to make every effort to ensure this recovery is sustainable over time, adding: "That's why credibility and confidence are key". The President expects the G20 to adopt the Saint Petersburg Action Plan as a vehicle for continued collective action for growth and jobs.
President Barroso also set out his expectations for the other main items on the agenda of this G20 summit: taxation, financial regulation, and trade.
On taxation: "the G20 should finish what we have started in Europe by making the automatic exchange of information the global standard. This summit will complete the paradigm shift in taxation. Citizens can be reassured: the days of tax fraud and tax evasion by individuals and by companies are numbered. We are introducing more fairness in taxation. (...) I will push to start the automatic exchange of information among G20 members as early as 2015." He also called on G20 leaders to "take decisive action against profit shifting and base erosion, based on the OECD's excellent work."
On financial regulation: "this G20 should maintain the momentum on financial regulation and continue filling the blanks in financial markets". He emphasized in that context that "Europe is now ready to lead sweeping action to bring light into an area that so far has remained in the dark: shadow-banking." This refers to the ambitious approach for oversight and regulation of shadow-banking, proposed by the European Commission only a day before.
On trade: "this summit should confirm the G20's commitment against protectionism, extend the Toronto standstill clause and do more to roll back trade-restrictive measures". Europe is liberalising its trade relations with numerous countries and regions in the world, including "with some countries in our neighbourhood". He added that "this should be welcomed as a positive example of the European Union's action to stimulate growth and jobs. Not only in these countries, but also in the wider region. We expect that the sovereignty of our neighbours and partners will be fully respected", he emphasized.
President Barroso ended his statement with an appeal to forge a consensus in the international community on how to respond to the latest developments in Syria, and also on how to put an end to the conflict there, "the biggest humanitarian tragedy of our times": "This week the appalling number of 2 million Syrian refugees was reached. We all have a duty to act". The EU is the biggest donor providing relief for the people on the ground suffering the consequences of this crisis (€1.3 billion so far).
Statement by President Barroso ahead of the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg
Press release: Commission's roadmap for tackling the risks inherent in shadow banking
Photos and videos from the event
More information on the G20