Jose Manuel Barroso
Last quote by Jose Manuel Barroso
Jose Manuel Barroso quotes
I won't give any advice in public, successors don't like to receive counsel in public… Now it's him (Jean-Claude Juncker) who's President, it's not me and of course he has my full backing. I wish him and the Commission and Europe, the very best.
The situation remains difficult but we're much better now than two years ago when everyone, or a large number of partners predicted the break up of the euro zone.
I would've prefered if it was more forthcoming….
I don't agree with this sort of behaviour. I think it's always a mistake. Why is it a mistake? Because Mr Cameron always says he wants Britain to be in Europe, he wants a referendum to confirm its place in the EU. But he's trying perhaps, against his will, for political reasons because another party is threatening; he's trying to reinforce anti-European sentiment. It's a fundamental error.
The crisis is also down to the cumulative mistakes made by some governments which didn't think in terms of balance, governments which accumulated excessive debts. So, Europe is not the problem. On the contrary, Europe is part of the solution and it's thanks to the European Union that certain countries have been rescued from the brink of bankruptcy.
It's already strong and getting stronger. Listen, when there's constant, every day attacks by political leaders on the European Commission, the European Union, of course people say the European Union isn't a good thing….
Well, it's unacceptable.
We were in fact very close to default, i mean with a less polite word: to the bankruptcy of some of our member states. And look where we are now: Portugal and Ireland exited the program, successfully. Ireland is now one of the fastest-growing countries in Europe.
Ongoing discussions between Russia and Ukraine on energy supply have also reminded us of the need to have an effective European energy strategy.
It's important to understand that this Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership can be a real transformation in the global economic scenario, because our relationship is the biggest by far in terms of trade and investment. There were and there are some concerns, the issue of surveillance by American agencies, of course, is a very serious issue and we have expressed to our American partners our concerns in a very firm and convincing way. But we are also addressing this through dialogue.
We call on Russia to cease all preparations for the annexation of Crimea. it's simply not possible that one century after the first world war, we see this annexation of one part of a country by another country.
It is important when disbursing this money that Ukraine commits to reforms. That is, of course, a government that provides inclusiveness. That is a government that is ready to make the best of this support. And I expect Ukraine to sign an agreement with the IMF.
We have … made it clear that the EU will respond to any deterioration on the ground. We therefore expect that targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force can be agreed by our member states as a matter of urgency.
I think we need to change the perception that one region's gain is another region's pain. We in the EU are against the mentality of bloc against bloc.
If one year ago, we knew how it will be today, what could have been the decisions then? I am sure that if we could have that focus, the decisions could have been much more ambitious.
We know how much Ukrainian people feel European, how much they care about Europe.We will, of course, now pursue our conversations with our Ukrainian partners, knowing well that we should always respect Ukraine's sovereign decisions.
The fact that we have a strategic partnership with Russia does not mean that when we are dealing with another country, we can accept any kind of third party involvement in a bilateral relationship. We cannot accept a condition on a bilateral agreement to have a kind of possible veto by a certain country.
We do need to examine this further and to understand whether the high surplus in Germany is something that is affecting the function of the European economy as a whole.
We should not forget that in Europe, not so many decades ago, we had very, very worrying developments of xenophobia and racism and intolerance. So I think everybody that has European principles should be worried about some of these movements.
What we don't like is the discourse that is sometimes behind anti-European slogans, a discourse that is promoting what I call negative values, things like narrow nationalism, protectionism and xenophobia. That is a concern.
Lets now keep on working to make Georgia closer to the European Union.
Member States have asked the European Commission to lead a task force on the issue. We will present a report to the Council in December. We will also discuss this matter again at the European Council, and today I call for a strong response from the European Union.
It's why the Commission has been fighting for a budget at a European level that promotes investment and growth. So I can agree with all of those who say that fiscal consolidation will not solve the problem.
It took me 6 hours 40 minutes to fly to Brussels. On one hand our country is far from Europe. On the other in our global era everything is near. In the development of the parliamentary democracy only the European Union can help us.
Greece has been very courageous in its fiscal consolidation efforts. But in terms of structural reforms, let's be also honest, they started sometimes late. I think we have agreed that more emphasis has to be put in structural reforms and also on speeding the privatization programme.
I prefer to concentrate on what's positive because I think it's important to boost people's confidence. The European Union is doing all it can for Europe with all the means at its disposal. But what we can't do is respond with means we don't have. That's why I strongly defended Europe because I believe it's important that people know what we're trying to do collectively within the European institutions.
I prefer to concentrate on what's positive (…) The European Union is doing all it can for Europe with all the means at its disposal (…) That's why I strongly defended Europe because I believe it's important that people know what we're trying to do collectively within the European institutions.
The language of Europe is translation.
It's true in difficult economic times (…) certain parties become more popular. From the extreme right to the extreme left, people are manipulated, and some groups offer simplistic solutions to complex problems to ease people's fears and anxieties. So I'm counting on the pro-European forces to lead this battle.
So, from an economic point of view, especially in a time of huge constraints on our budgets, and also from the political point of view we need a stronger European dimension in terms of defence and security.
These negotiations will not always be easy but I am sure they will be worth it.
If this is proven, it would be very disturbing and raise serious and very important concerns. This is why as soon as media reports were released we immediately requested a full and immediate clarification of the matter from the US.
Some time ago, together with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and the President of the European Council, we received the Nobel peace prize on behalf of the European Union. It was precisely about this idea of a reconciled, united, Europe, that we were thinking.
The European Commission will present its proposal for a single resolution mechanism in the next two weeks.
The EU calls for a reform of laws inherited from the previous regime, particularly in the criminal code to ensure freedom of speech for Tunisian men and women.
Integrating two of the most developed, most sophisticated and certainly the largest economies in the world can never be an easy task, but we will find convincing answers to legitimate concerns, we will find solutions to thorny issues, we will keep our eyes on the prize and we will succeed.
We need to reform, and reform now. The cost of inaction will be very high.
This is the European consensus I am calling everyone to rally around now. We have to overcome the ideas of policies coming just from one or another capital, we need a European consensus.
Every euro spent on debt is a euro not invested in jobs, not invested in youth, not invested in entrepreneurs or education or research.This is why we need to keep healthy public finances, we need to go for structural reforms and we need to have measures to foster growth, mainly to try to tackle the urgent and dramatic issue of the unemployment, specifically youth unemployment.
While I think this policy is fundamentally right, I think it has reached its limits. A policy to be successful not only has to be properly designed, it has to have the minimum of political and social support.
We need to combine the indispensable correction in public finances, huge deficits, huge public debt… with proper measures for growth.
Slovenia is indeed the country – of all the member states of the European Union – where the relative dimension of the financial sector is smaller compared to the overall GDP, so it's at least abusive to make a comparison on that ground with Cyprus.
We will also look to politicians to set an example by stepping aside where integrity rulings or corruption charges exist.
We are tackling the crisis, we have a long term vision for our Union. This week was a good week for Europe, not only the Nobel Peace Prize – that means a lot to us – but also, in more concrete terms, a very important agreement on the SSM (single supervisory mechanism) and on Greece.
We know by experience in war that populism and nationalism is a danger for peace. But, precisely, the EU is a project for peace above the differences of countries and I believe we can overcome this struggle against nationalism.
In the next six to 18 months we are putting an ambitious work program including the start of the fiscal capacity for the euro area. We propose to rule this fiscal capacity initially in a convergence and competiviness instrument.
In the last 10 years our trade in goods increased by 280 percent, our trade in services by 380 percent and our direct investment in China by 290 percent. The complementarities and synergies between our economies have been used to good effect.
The present European Union must evolve. Let's not be afraid of the word. We will need to move towards a federation of nation states. This is what we need. Not a superstate. A democratic federation of nation states that can tackle our common problems through the sharing of sovereignity in a way that each country and each citizen are better equipped to control their destiny.
Events in Romania have shaken our trust: challenging judicial decisions, undermining the Constitutional court, overturning established procedures and removing key checks and balances have called into question the government's commitment to respect the rule of law.
Green economy will enhance durability to manage natural resources sustainably and with lower environmental impacts.
(The) status quo is not an option, and together we'll make sure that we deliver reform. The centrepiece of the presidency will be to make progress on the Commission's proposal for a banking union, when we speak about the eurozone. Proper supervision of European banks, protection for citizens' bank deposits, a framework for dealing with banks in trouble have a direct impact on our citizens.
I expect the G20 leaders to support and express their confidence in the steps already taken by Europe and indeed for the steps that we are now ready to take very soon. – But the challenges are not only European, they are global.
That is why the Commission in this debate will be for a structured and ambitious approach that may include what we can call, a banking union. Some elements of this banking union will be more integrated financial supervision and also more integrated deposit guarantees.
While there is no quick fix, much more can be done to invest in training, better match skills to labour market needs and to shift the burden of taxation away from labour. These measures may not bring immediate results, but they will ensure that, when growth returns, it is job-rich growth that will reduce unemployment.
We must tell the Greek people that the programme for Greece is the least difficult of all the difficult alternatives.
If a member of a club, I am not now speaking about a specific country but if a member of a club does not respect the rules of the club, it's better not to remain in the club that is for any organization, any institution, in general any project.
We expect Argentinean authorities to uphold their international commitments and obligations, in particular those resulting from a bilateral agreement on the protection of investments with Spain.
The costs of a default by Greece and the costs of Greece possibly leaving the euro would be much greater than the costs of continuing to support Greece. Greece must also agree to undertake – in a clear way, without ambiguity – to make the necessary changes, which I accept are hard, but which will bear fruit in the medium term.
We will use all our powers to make sure that Hungary complies with the principles and values and the rules of the European Union.
We remain preoccupied that some of that legislation may indeed be in violation of European laws and principles.
We need more coordination in the euro aera, but we can do it without undermining the basic principles of solidarity and unity among all the member states.
We believe that if it properly drafted, that will increase what our goal was, increase the governance, increase the credibility, increase the rules we have today for the euro area. I have to be very open and honest with you as always, we would have preferred, of course, a unanimous agreement.
National unity is key… it's really needed to have a strong commitment of the main political forces to solve the current difficulties.
Greece is in one of the most economically critical situations a country can find itself in. They are on the brink of bankruptcy. If there is not an adequate response they won't have the money to pay for schools, for hospitals and for the basic functioning of the state.
Europe must help to build roads, railways, energy grids, pipelines and broadband networks that are so important to our citizens and businesses.
Banks should use private sources of capital first, if necessary the national governments should provide support as a next step, and a last resort (should be)drawing on a loan from the ESFS.
We must therefore urgently strengthen the banks, because, in fact, those two issues – the sovereign contagion and the banks – are now, whether we like it or not, linked. This must be coordinated through the member states, the European Banking Authority, the ECB and the Commission.
We need stronger governance, more discipline. We need integration and discipline.
For confidence to return we need to fix the sovereign debt problem.
Eurobonds are not a magic solution. I think they can only be put into practice when there is a degree of confidence, integration and sufficient discipline, because now the countries with smaller debts will not accept the risk of these bonds alongside countries with lax public accounts.
For the euro area to be credible – and this is not only the message of the federalists, this is the message of the markets – we need a truly community approach. We need to really integrate the euro area, we need to complete the monetary union with a real economic union.
In the last three years, member states – I should say, taxpayers – have granted aid and provided guarantees of 4.6 trillion euros to the financial sector. It is time for the financial sector to make a contribution back to society. That's why I'm very proud to say that today the Commission adopted a proposal for the 'Financial Transaction Tax' that, if implemented, may generate a revenue of about 55 billion euros per year.
This is a fight for the economic and political future of Europe. This is a fight for what Europe represents in the world. This is a fight for European integration itself.
Yesterday's decisions by one rating agency does not provide for more clarity. They rather add another speculative element to the situation.
We spent most of last night's session discussing the challenges member states and the European Union as a whole face. We did this with an openness and frankness that I have not seen before. I expect this shift to now be reflected in the national implementation. We conclude the European semester and now we enter in the implementation of guidelines that were commonly agreed.
We should concentrate these funds on where it matters… we should find ways to front-load and accelerate them, so that Greece gets the benefit now.
Our teams have agreed that the ban of vegetables from the European Union will be lifted. A system of certification of vegetable safety by the European Commission will be put in place without any delay and details of the certification will be finalised as soon as possible between the Federation of Russia and the European Commission's services.
But it's not just about the economy, it's about a bigger engagement with those societies, with those civil societies, and I think they are ready. Let's now do everything we can to support this Arab spring.
Now it's time to move ahead and implement these tests from June onwards. And when we talk nuclear, we talk global. We want nuclear stress-tests to go beyond Europe.
Kosovo can and must also help itself in order to make progress towards its goal of European Union membership.
Kosovo must press forward with its reforms with determination, political responsibility, and the spirit of compromise.
Frontex [the EU border agency] is developing contingency planning to handle a possible larger influx of migrants. We are ready to mobilise additional funds.
It is intolerable to see the army using force against civilians like we have been seeing the last days. This is simply intolerable and so I think we have to demand from the Libyan authorities very clearly that they stop violence.
Growth and jobs, that's what our citizens expect from us on both sides of the Atlantic. And I believe there is a great potential on issues like clean technologies and innovation, many areas where both the United States and the European Union can benefit from this increased cooperation.
This agreement is by far the most important trade deal ever concluded by the European Union with one country. And the first free trade agreement with an Asian country.
The Commission is fulfilling its role as guardian of the Treaties. Any kind of discrimination against ethnic minorities in Europe is unacceptable. It is true that in the heat of debate we did hear exaggerated remarks. The Vice-President of the Commission owned up to that yesterday. Others should think about doing the same; the Commission could also take umbrage at certain rhetoric.
Vice-President Reding took her position yesterday after consultations with me and with my full support.
Europe must show it is more than 27 different national solutions. We either swim together or sink separately. We'll only succeed if – whether acting nationally, regionally or locally – we think European.
You can trust the European Union to do what it takes to secure your future.
It confirms that the position of the European Commission was the right one. Except in very, very limited and exceptional cases, the golden shares are in fact against the internal market.
I have 100% trust in Belgium. Belgium is not the only country going through changes in government.
Frankly, I can work with this government as if it had just been sworn in.
I took this decision because of the importance I attach to the strategic partnership between the European Union and China.
I think this is the right decision at this time, to face what is an exceptional problem that we have in one of our member states, a member of the euro area, considering also the implications it could have for the stability of our economic and monetary union.
Reforms are necessary.
I will not hide my disappointment regarding the ambition in terms of the binding nature or non-binding nature of the future agreement. In this particular point, the text agreed today falls far short of our expectations.
While fully respecting their differential responsibilities and capabilities, I'd like to call on our partners, the United States and China to contribute further to a successful outcome to this conference.
Most people, when we speak about Copenhagen, most people speak about the US, China and Europe.
Some people tend to forget the poorest, the most vulnerable African countries and small island states. Without our support to those of our partners, there will not be an agreement in Copenhagen. So that is why tomorrow, if the European heads of state and government come with an important commitment in terms of fast- start financing, I think that can be a great contribution for the success of Copenhagen.
I looked to distribute the portfolios by expertise, to specific qualifications and I believe the team we have for the coming five years is a very good solution.
I didn't give the Ministries to countries, but people. The Commissioners aren't going to represent their country. . We make a vow of independence. Michel Barnier is a European, someone who has already worked in the Commision and I am absolutely sure he will give his best to Europe.
I'm especially pleased to welcome back 13 commissioners. This team is a perfect blend of experience and new thinking. We have European program, now we have European team.
With the Copenhagen conference starting in just over two weeks, I very much welcome the signal from president Medvedev today of their proposed emission reduction target of 25 per cent.
Regarding climate change, I would want to say that I am more confident now than I was some days ago. As I said earlier, President Obama changed the climate on the climate negotiations, because with the strong leadership of the United States, we can indeed make an agreement. We are working on a framework agreement in Copenhagen that will be an important agreement for the world.
We are ready, let's engage, let's make Copenhagen a success.
It is extremely important that the European Union keeps its leadership role.
We certainly hope that no artificial obstacles are raised at this time, bearing in mind that the democratic approval of the treaty by the Czech parliament has already taken place.
We should also think about those who were answering 'no' because it is our habit, our custom, to think about all Europeans. I can assure I will work very hard so you feel it is our common Europe. Let us write our common European history.
How can we be respected and how can our partners deal with us on a constant basis when we don't have a minimum of stability in some of our institutions? The Lisbon treaty is important for coherence for us to be respected.
To all members of this house: (it is) my sincere determination to work closely with you during the next 5 years so that we can build a stronger european parliamentary democracy.
My role here is not just to accommodate one political group but to try to bridge some differences and to build a strong European consensus.
I continue to hope that the Irish will say yes to the Lisbon Treaty, after all the concessions that the other member states have made in response to problem points which were raised when the last referendum was held. Ireland has greatly benefitted from European solidarity. It represents only 1% of Europe's GDP and it benefitted from 15% of the European Central Bank's reserves. If Ireland hadn't been in the euro, and an EU member, it would have gone bankrupt like Iceland.
I see my first mandate as an excellent platform which will let us go further now, with more ambition, to renew our social market economy, to shoulder a real role in global leadership, to refashion many relationships that are important in the 21st century, and to reinforce our Europe, the Europe to which I still attach the values of liberty and solidarity.
A key part of the solution wil be financing, fighting against climate change. We will come forward with proposals in good time on financing and we are ready to play our full part. As the largest contributors to past emissions, developed countries have a special responsibility to take the lead, but this is not going to be enough. Emerging economies, for example, where gross emissions is surging, must also join in the effort.
I've said many times that I am priviledged to be the President of the European Commission. I am therefore honoured that the President of the European Council has today asked me if he can put forward my name for a second mandate in view of the consultations he will be making in preparation at the next EU council. I have agreed to this request.
We understand clearly that Russia does not agree with Energy Charter in its present form, but at the same time we understand that Russia is ready to engage in a process of discussion of some proposals in this revision of the Energy charter treaty.
This year we are commemorating the fifth anniversary, just last week, the fifth anniversary of the enlargement, the big enlargement of 2004 and so it is important to tell our people, our young people, where we were and where we are now. We have problems in Europe everybody has problems – United States, Japan, Russia – but in fact we should be proud of the great progress that Europe has been doing in terms of peace, and freedom and solidarity.
It's in fact a very very important signal of confidence of the Czech Republic in our common project. I hope that all the other necessary requirements are completed in the Czech Republic and also in the countries that have not yet completed their ratification process.
There is much talk about EU's dependence on energy imports but in fact all of us consuming, producing and transitting countries alike are becoming more and more dependent on each other. Security of supply is important for all of us. But other countries seek security of demand. This is indeed the age of energy interdependence.
Among our 27 member states there are different situations. We cannot ask all the member states to do the same. In some cases because they are under programmes of balance of payments supporting, indeed we are asking them to reduce the spending. But generally speaking there is a very important fiscal effort around 400 billion €. It is a very important contribution for Europe and also for the world global demand.
One of the objectives, which was accepted in Washington, is that any institution or relevant entity cannot stay outside control or supervision. This is the principle I hope to see confirmed and consolidated in London.
Until recently, there was some cleavage in Europe about what is called the 'continental model' and the 'Anglo-Saxon model'. But now I think that, broadly speaking, everybody agrees that we need to do more in terms of regulation and supervision to avoid this kind of crisis happening again.
I would like to send a message to the Czech Republic. I would like to urge all political leaders not to use this political crisis in a way to put the Lisbon Treaty as hostage of domestic problems.
This was a summit of delivery, an important step forward on the road to recovery. More work to follow, but Europe – I think we can say it – is showing that it is up to the challenge and that we have been able to come with this coordinated response that we can now bring as a contribution to the global response that is so much needed.
There was a real willingness of solidarity, on concret aspects. One country said, I have not enough for this project!' And immediately, spontaneously (came): 'Ok, let's help this one.
We are all determined that this does not become an annual event.
I really believe that we have here a great field for cooperation between Turkey and the European Union. The EU has a very important market for energy, Turkey is a crucial country for transit, also because of its geography, and I think that there is a win-win situation here.
I would like to convey a very clear message to Moscow and Kiev. If the agreement sponsored by the EU is not honoured as a matter of urgency, the Commission will advise EU companies to take this matter to the courts, and call on members states to engage in a concerted action to find alternatives ways of energy supply and transit.
We are not at this stage jumping to conclusions as to why this is the case. But this situation is obviously very serious and needs to improve rapidly.
The situation today is totally unacceptable and we hope that after talks at the highest level, we will have a clearer picture about what's going on.
I hope that a full supply of gas from Russia to the European Union via Ukraine is restored as soon as possible.
When a country signs a Treaty it means that it is creating an obligation to ratify, that is what we expect from the Czech Republic that has signed the Lisbon Treaty.
Rarely has Europe been able to express its satisfaction at so many positive results.
What I'm asking for, from all the member states, is a spirit of compromise. It would be a collective defeat if we said, listen, no, we've talked a lot about climate change but now that it comes down to it, we're going to wait for a better time.' That would be a defeat for us all.
Some countries will have four percent growth this year whilst others are in recession. Co-ordination is needed to avoid negative effects and if possible to maximise the positive effects.
The Cold War is over. And so when there is no Cold War, there should not be spheres of influence. We are against the idea of spheres of influence.
We are also proposing a coordinated action between what is the fiscal stimulus at national level and what we can do through European Union funding. What we have to do for the car industry is to help it transform in a more modern industry, more friendly to the environment.
We believe that a stimulus package of 1.5% is just about right , less than 1% in our opinion would not be enough. Our proposal is a measured response because it is a realistic and can have positive knock on effects.
We need to use all means at our disposal, whether financial or legislative to make a coordinated effort at a European level as well as a national one. We are 27 countries in very different situations, so we must act in a co-ordinated way.
We are living in exceptional conditions. The threat today is not inflation, but deflation. The threat today is a recession.
We're all in one market, and for those in the euro zone all in one single currency, so we are under an obligation to cooperate on our economic policies. Our economies are effectively all linked up and where we can strengthen our cooperation, that's the path we want to take.
I think we now have the political conditions to advance a European agenda, again it is a non- intrusive agenda, we don't like interventionism, we are for the correct functioning of markets and we support the social market economy.
We must keep unemployment to the absolute minimum and support those who have lost their jobs. We will review how we can reinforce the effectiveness of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. We will encourage member states to reprogramme funds under the European social fund, to support measures to quickly get unemployed people back into work.
In this room we represent three-fifths of the world's population, and produce half of global GDP. Our combined action can and should make a difference.
ASEM provides the opportunity to enhance financial policy dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. The latest events have made clear that the current model of financial regulation and supervision needs to be revamped at international level.
We are living in unprecedented times and we need unprecedented levels of global coordination. It is very simple: we swim together or we sink together.
Day by day, the evidence builds that we are facing a serious economic slowdown.
This global reform is the best way to fight off protectionist tendencies which both President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have made clear is a threat which we must fight against.
Europe is leading the global response and must continue to do so. An urgent priority is to further and deepen coordination at international level and specifically with the US.
I hope that now the spirits are more open for the need of a coordinated approach. Of course, we can discuss how far can we go, but I think that it is important to understand, based on the lessons learnt from the recent developments, that only a coordinated approach will give our efforts the credibility that the citizens and markets expect.
It's not just a problem of injecting liquidity, we also need to inject credibility in the European response. That is why we are asking and urging member states for a closer cooperation.
For a long time now the Commission has been proposing that we should have a strong European approach to these problems, but we have to take the first steps towards that global approach.
I believe that if everything goes according to plan and if all the conditions are met it will be possible to give candidate status to Serbia in 2009. Yes, I think it will be possible. But this is not a commitment.
We would like to see cooperation on the Chinese side regarding the exchange rate of their currency, mainly against the euro.
Energy accounts for two thirds of our imports from Russia in value. Let me be very clear on one thing: Russia will remain a key energy supplier for the European Union and the European Union will remain Russia's most important export market.
We are going to put important matters regarding the most important concerns of our citizens and this is about energy prices, it is about the cost of living, and we believe we can do something together.
The 27 heads of state and government will meet now next week and should see how to proceed. I believe the treaty is alive and we should now try to find a solution.
It was a good idea to choose themes such as the fight against poverty and the fight for the environment and against climate change.
We are looking for having it ready, fully approved, before the Conference in Copenhagen, the global United Nations conference in 2009.
So the effort needed to realise the proposals would be less than 0.5 percent of GDP by 2020. This amounts to about three euros a week on average for each European citizen.
It's true, there are some costs. But we have to compare the costs of this package with the cost of inaction. Since the costs of inaction are much much higher, we can say there is a relative gain in having now this package.
We knew from the very beginning that transforming Europe in a low carbon economy is not an easy task but it is the moment to be serious, responsible and coherent with our commitments.
The Euro is not just a currency,it's a symbol, a very powerful symbol of our common heritage – our shared values and success of European integration in bringing the peoples and nations of Europe together and Europe is above all a process of values, common ends, values of freedom and solidarity.So I want to end by saying welcome to the Euro area, congratulations Malta.
We've made our worries very clear to President Bashir, and told him we expect him to cooperate with the United Nations. Sudan has agreed to cooperate in principle, but in reality that takes time, and delays are not acceptable to us.
In a space of freedom of circulation, it makes no sense to have 27 policies of immigration. It is absurd, because someone who comes to one of our countries can afterwards have a freedom of circulation, so it is much wiser, much more rational to have a common approach.
My congratulations to Donald Tusk, I know (him) well. I know well his European convictions and commitment. I'm sure that we will go (on) with a very good co-operation with the new government in Poland. I never had doubts about the commitment of Polish people to Europe and to democracy.
I hope the public deficit will be firmly below the 3% this year, as is expected, so that the Commission can close the excessive deficit procedure. I am confident that President Prodi's government will continue consolidating.
We're going to rigorously stick to the promises we made, as for the rest, my country's economic policy is decided by my government. That's all I'm going to say.
I believe that it is time to end energy prices by postcodes. If you look at the results of our investigation, then it shows the differences and how much the markets in Europe are now effectively protected. You find very, very astonishing results. That confirms that the current situation cannot stay as it is.
We need to place tough conditions on ownership of assets by non-European companies to make sure that we all play by the same rules. It is very important.
We need to place conditions on ownership of assets on non-European companies to make sure that we all play by the same rules. This is very imporant. We have to have the same rules. So, what we are proposing is to reinforce the internal market to keep it open, and to be sure that we keep the integrity of the internal market. And then we avoid national governments taking different measures that will represent a fragmentation of our internal market.
This is the culmination of a long process in which the European Commission, in particular our Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and our EU partners have never given up on finding a solution.
European leaders agreed a new mandate, and now some want to start again? No, that's unthinkable. I don't think anyone wants to reopen the debate.
We had the occasion to say to our Russian partners that a difficulty for a Member State is a difficulty for all of us in the European Union.
If Blair was successful in Europe, bringing Europe closer to Britain, he has not yet been able to change the mood completely in Britain.
The latest developments are positive, the indications we are receiving are positive, they go in the right direction but at this stage I can not yet give you a clear answer if we are going or not to start negotiations and when.
We understand perfectly well the good intention of President Platini trying to see in which way we can have a better coordination, a better cooperation of the national police, but it is not in the European Commission competences to act in that direction.
On the nuclear question, the Commission remains agnostic. What's important is to move towards weaning the economy off carbon fuels – to make it less and less dependent.
We need new policies to face a new reality: policies that maintain Europe's competitiveness, protect our environment, and make our energy supplies more secure. Europe must lead the world into a new, or maybe one should say post-industrial, revolution.
It is not acceptable we believe it is not acceptable for either supplier or transit countries to take measures that impact on their partners without consultation and this of course is a matter of concern for us.
I hope we'll have clarification soon on this step the Turkish government has announced. If this step is confirmed, it is obviously a very important step in the sense of full implementation of the Ankara Protocol. In that case, I salute the move.
It is true there were some problems, it is true in our assessment, there is no reason to keep that ban, we consider, and I said that to President Putin, we consider this as an over-reaction.
It will enable us to address one of the most urgent challenges facing mankind: finding clean and sustainable energy sources for tomorrow.
On the contrary, it is to encourage them to go ahead with their reforms.
Ukraine still has reforms to do … and today in the European Union, the member states are not ready to assume new membership obligations.
I think we should not allow energy to divide EU and Russia as communism once did.
We are the biggest buyers in the world of energy, the European Union. It can be a win-win situation, so to answer your question, our leverage is precisely our market, our market. And this is the message we are going to convey in a constructive but firm way to president Putin.
I don't think it would be wise to proceed with any enlargements before we have resolved the constitutional issue in Europe.
After the completion of this fifth enlargement with accession of Bulgaria and Romania, I believe that an institutional settlement should precede any future enlargement, this is the way to ensure that our enlarged Union will function in an efficient and harmonious way.
I don't want to anticipate anything at this stage. The report will be honest, very objective and rigorous.
The war against terrorism is far from being won. We have still a lot to do, in security terms, but also in political terms, so that we make it clear that it is not acceptable to invoke religion for political destructive ends, and that we should in a multilateral way join all efforts to tackle this global threat to our community and to our values.
I received a very dramatic phone call from the Prime Minister of Lebanon and we are already prepared to meet the most immediate humanitarian needs.
The Member States can not and should not proclaim some goals without giving us the means to achieve those goals.
Is not it strange that the United States or Canada or Australia and now Japan, they already have a strategy for the oceans and that we Europeans as such have not been able so far to establish a strategy for the oceans?
We, the EU, have made clear where we want to go in our bi-regional strategic partnership. We have explained our objectives we have identified what we believe to be the main challenges. But if we want to fully develop the potential of our partnership we also need to know what is your strategic vision.
An active policy agenda gives the confidence to citizens that Europe is united and focused on the acquis goals: that 's the way we can – through projects – create results.
I believe it is more important than ever that, through our regulatory dialogue, we remove all obstacles that can exist on foreign investments – on both sides.
Freedom of speech is part of Europe's values and traditions. Let me be clear: freedom of speech is not negotiable. Like all freedoms, it's preservation depends on responsible use by individuals.
Our ambition for Europe goes way beyond the budget. Having said that I recognise that in the current circumstances, especially with the pressure being applied on the budget by many member states, it will be difficult to obtain a better agreement, honestly.
We were prepared, as you know, to ensure that we made our fair share to the costs of enlargement, but we also were prepared to make sure that we did so on a basis that for the first time establishes rough parity between countries of a similar size within the EU.
Some move has to be made in the British abatement, and something has to be done in term of a comprehensive wide review clause. So I believe an agreement is possible, but it will require a great effort, a great sense of engagement and responsibility on all sides.
Does it not concern the British Presidency that the overwhelming majority of this house and the most relevant political groups unanimously reject your proposal?
We are asking now the British presidency to look at it again. We believe a small step from the British presidency can be a big step for our enlarged Europe and specifically for the new member states.
We have urged the member states to apply the maximum rigour, maximum objectiveness, to be open and transparent to the Commission.
We have problems because we have trade. If we had no trade there would be no problem about trade and today the European Union is the first partner of China in trade, and China exports a lot to the European Union.
Today the greatest unexploited (growth and employment) potential clearly lies in services. If we are not able to tap this potential, European workers and consumers will be the real losers.
I am leaving at a time of political stability for our country.
We should learn from the recent experience.
Some of you would have preferred a more radical response and a reshuffling of the team. But is this a real option at this stage? Changing portfolios at this stage would cause more political and institutional problems than it would solve.
When it comes to the individual commissioners, that is my responsibility. And, I, of course, am taking my responsibility. Now the parliament will take its responsibility about the vote, next week.
I'm optimistic that a balanced solution will be found and I'm optimistic and confident that my commission will get the support of the Parliament, as I got the support of European Parliament when I was confirmed some time ago.
As you all know, I hope the new Commission will be fully in power next November, and I am now meeting all the heads of state or heads of government – all the members of the European Council – so as I can get a first-hand direct contact about what their priorities are.