Washington, 30 April 2014
President Barroso Receives Atlantic Council's Distinguished Leadership Award
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso was awarded the 2014 Atlantic Council Distinguished International Leadership Award at an event in Washington, D.C. tonight.
The Atlantic Council gave the award to President Barroso in recognition of his dedication to the cause of European integration and his role in ensuring that the benefits of that integration—stability, prosperity, and democracy—reach across an ever-widening vision of Europe.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a taped video message congratulated President Barroso on receiving the Distinguished International Leadership Award, noting that intensifying the diverse relations between the European Union and the United States of America has always been important to him.
For President Barroso, European integration and transatlantic partnership are two sides of the same coin, said Chancellor Merkel, highlighting his personal commitment to a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. "I share his firm conviction that such an agreement offers enormous opportunities for growth and employment on both side of the Atlantic," said Chancellor Merkel. "And not only that, it would help to set global standards and inject more momentum into the global economy as a whole."
In his acceptance speech, President Barroso stressed that the relationship "between Europe and the United States is without any doubt the most important and the closest one between major powers in the world. And from the very early days of the European project, it has played a key role in the development of what is today the European Union."
Addressing the ongoing EU-US trade talks, President Barroso said it is "an initiative that goes far beyond trade and investment. It is a platform to project our shared values worldwide with regard to open markets, democracy and rule of law."
Each year the Atlantic Council honors several distinguished leaders for their versatile contributions to the strengthening of the transatlantic relationship. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is also the recipient of this year's Distinguished International Leadership Award.