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Brussels, 3 September 2009

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso proposes a partnership for progress and ambition to the European Parliament

Today, President Barroso has sent his political guidelines for the mandate of the next European Commission to the President of the European Parliament.

The document sets out the objectives and ideas that President Barroso believes should inspire a political partnership between the Commission and the Parliament for the next five years.

President Barroso said: "Europe is facing stark choices in today's interdependent world. Either we work together to rise to the challenges. Or we condemn ourselves to irrelevance. I will redouble my efforts to make an ambitious Europe happen. A Europe that puts people at the heart of the policy agenda and projects European values and interests in the world. A Europe that nurtures new sources of growth and drives forward smart regulation of sound markets that work for people. A Europe of freedom and solidarity."

President Barroso added: "I want to work closely with the Parliament for a prosperous, secure and sustainable Europe, which builds on the strengths of the enlarged EU's internal market, the euro and our European model of society."


Extracts from the text of the political guidelines

- On the Europe President Barroso believes in

"These are no ordinary times. What Europe needs is a transformational agenda. Only by working together can Europe have the critical mass needed. We face a choice: either we collectively shape the new order, or Europe will become irrelevant."

- On the future perspective

"My first mandate was about consolidating Europe at 27. The enlarged EU now gives us a springboard to use our reach and strength to best effect. We are now in a position to move on with conviction and determination to a new phase of ambition."

- On setting priorities in a longer term perspective: A vision for EU 2020

"We need to revise the current Lisbon strategy to fit the post 2010 period, turning it into a strategy for convergence and coordination to deliver on this integrated vision of EU 2020. This will require both immediate and longer term action:

  • Making a successful exit from the crisis;

  • Leading on climate change;

  • Developing new sources of sustainable growth and social cohesion;

  • Advancing people's Europe;

  • Opening a new era for Global Europe."

- On making a successful exit from the crisis

"The priority now is to continue to sustain demand and stem the rise in unemployment. This means implementing the European Economic Recovery Programme with vigour, keeping interest rates low, and using our state aid rules to support governments in their efforts to revitalise the economy without adverse effects on other Member States. It is too early to withdraw these stimulus and support measures to the economy and the financial sector, but an exit strategy must be prepared."

"Under my leadership, the Commission will use the full range of possibilities in the Treaty to strengthen the convergence of objectives and the coherence of the effects of economic policy, particularly in the Euro area. Enhanced coordination will be central to a successful exit strategy."

"Europe must exit from the current crisis confident that it has a more ethical, robust and responsible financial system."

- On leading on climate change

"The economic and financial crisis and the scientific evidence of climate change have shown us that we need to invest more in sustainability. But this is not just about doing the right thing for the future of the planet – Europe stands to benefit enormously from investing in new low carbon technologies for future jobs and growth. Fighting climate change and the move towards a low carbon economy provide huge opportunities for business and people and will enhance our energy security."

"First-mover advantages can be gained by exploiting the potential of EU environmentally-friendly industries, services and technology through fostering their uptake by enterprises, especially SMEs, and designing the appropriate regulatory environment. An industrial base which is modernised to use and produce environmental-friendly technologies and which exploits the potential for energy efficiency is the key to sustainable growth in Europe."

"The next Commission needs to maintain the momentum towards a low emission economy, and in particular towards decarbonising our electricity supply and the transport sector – all transport, including maritime transport and aviation, as well as the development of clean and electric cars."

- On boosting the new sources of growth and social cohesion

"We cannot rely forever on short-term stimulus. New sources of growth will have to take up the baton – sources of growth that are sustainable."

"In order to ensure that the EU exploits this potential for change and remains an attractive industrial location in 2020, we need a fresh approach to industrial policy, supporting industry, putting the emphasis on sustainability, innovation and the human skills needed to keep EU industry competitive in world markets. I am committed to a policy that continues to remove unnecessary administrative burdens and provide the legal certainty companies need to make the long term investments."

"The next Commission must take EU research policy to a new level and make it one of the motors of our sustainable development."

- On an employment agenda for a changing workplace

"We need to make sure that our values of inclusion, equity and social justice are carried forward into a new approach. We will not allow basic social rights, such as the right of association or the right to strike, to be undermined. They are fundamental to the European model of society. And if globalisation puts pressure on our competitiveness, our response should never be to lower our standards. Rather we need to make the case to other partners to adopt similar standards, in the interest of their own wellbeing, and to continue to advocate decent work and other standards in all parts of the world."

- On global markets

"Openness is critical to Europe's future competitiveness. This is not just a question of political preference. It is in our self-interest as the world's leading exporter."

"We need to join up the different strands of our external policy much better to use our "soft power" leverage to deliver solid results for EU businesses and for citizens. The European interest has to be protected and promoted in a coherent and determined way."

- On the networks of the future

"The next Commission will develop a European Digital Agenda (accompanied by a targeted legislative programme) to tackle the main obstacles to a genuine digital single market, promote investment in high-speed Internet and avert an unacceptable digital divide."

"One of the next great European projects is to give Europe a new European super-grid for electricity and gas."

- On opening a new era for Global Europe

"The Lisbon Treaty, if ratified, will give us the tools to open up a new era in the projection of European interests worldwide."

"I am committed to ensuring that the Commission, as the driver of so many key external policies, plays its full part in seizing the moment to give Europe the weight it deserves on the global stage. We must not see external relations today as a separate 'box', but as part and parcel of how we achieve our internal policy goals."

- On the means to match these ambitions

"This will require a root and branch reform of the EU budget."

"We should work more closely and imaginatively with the European Investment Bank and the private sector."

"The Commission will also propose a new framework for public-private partnerships to help bring different sources of funding together to maximise investment in the coming years."


President José Manuel Barroso has been President of the European Commission since 2004. Following the elections of the European Parliament from 4 to 7 June 2009, the European Council unanimously nominated President Barroso for another five year mandate.

President José Manuel Barroso presents his political guidelines for the next mandate ahead of meetings with the different political groups of the Parliament which will take place between 7 and 9 September 2009.

These meetings are held with a view to a plenary debate and the parliamentary vote on the nomination of the President for the next mandate, presently foreseen by the Parliament for 15 and 16 September 2009 respectively.

The political guidelines can be found at:

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