President Barroso attends ‘Friends of cohesion’ meeting at the European Parliament
Commission President José Manuel Barroso met with leaders from the "friends of cohesion policy" group meeting at the European Parliament on 13th November. The 16 country strong grouping brings together the leaders of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain; formed to co-ordinate policy objectives in this area for the future.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated: "Cohesion is critically important because it is not only in the interest of the most vulnerable regions, the less developed regions of Europe, but for growth as a whole. … I'm a friend of cohesion but I'm also a friend of better spending. I'd like to see the friends of cohesion and the friends of better spending united in a grand coalition as the friends of growth, a truly European coalition for Europe."
President pinpointed the EU's seven-year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework, as the most important instrument for investment in growth and called "on all Heads of State and Government to go an extra mile to reach a consensus at next week special European Council and also with the European Parliament by the end of the year."
Representatives from the employers' organisation BusinessEurope, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Association of SMEs were also present at the meeting.
Read the President's full speech