Brussels, 31 August 2011
Transcript of President Barroso's video message on the priorities for the autumn
"Good afternoon. It has been a busy summer. And the autumn that lies ahead will require further intense work.
The Commission has just held an extended session, to take stock of the economic and political challenges facing Europe – our citizens, our businesses – and define our policy responses accordingly.
The recent turbulence on the financial markets has inevitably had implications for the real economy. Though there is no magic bullet that can bring this crisis to an immediate close, I believe we have taken far-reaching measures which will have a major impact. We now need rapid and effective implementation of those measures. Implementation is key.
First, the economic governance package, which the Commission proposed almost one year ago, must be now concluded urgently. Let me once again call on the European Parliament and the Council to finalise an agreement which is – and let me stress this – within grasp.
Second, we must enact the agreement reached on 21 July at the euro area summit, particularly the reform of the European Financial Stability Facility, which increases its flexibility and its response capacity. That means that the necessary legislative procedures must be completed by the euro area Member States as soon as possible. We are also working on – and must continue to develop – ideas for further strengthening the governance of the euro area.
Third, we are working hard to have a new programme for Greece adopted on time including on the foreseen involvement of the private sector. In this context, we are currently reviewing, together with the ECB and the IMF, the implementation of the country's financial assistance programme. It is of the utmost importance that Greece implements the reforms that have been agreed. The task force I created in July is now fully focused on finding ways to boost investment in Greece through a better use of the EU's cohesion funding, in order to contribute to a return to growth and job creation.
Fourth, we must complete the strengthening of financial regulation, to ensure greater accountability and responsibility, and also the repair of our banking sector. In the coming months we will put forward additional proposals to complete the financial sector's regulatory overhaul. These will include improving the oversight of markets in instruments such as derivatives; tightening rules on insider trading and market manipulation; and presenting a framework for the resolution of failing banks.
When it comes to recapitalising our banks, Europe has been acting decisively. Our banks are significantly better capitalised now than they were six months ago and further measures are being taken following last July's stress tests. We are committed to seeing the process through.
At the G20 summit in Cannes on 3-4 November, Europe will actively drive forward coordinated global action to cope with common economic challenges and bring the world economy back to sustainable growth. Because global responses are also needed.
Ahead of the Cannes summit, we will come forward with a proposal for a European financial transaction tax, and we are committed to explore this further also at G20 level. I will be discussing this and other key issues with our G20 partners, such as Australia, where I will travel next week. This visit will also take me to Singapore and New Zealand, two other important partners in the region.
The proceeds from this financial transaction tax would help to fund the EU's new multiannual financial framework, which is geared towards investing for growth and jobs across our Union. We will make detailed proposals on this over the course of the autumn.
Yesterday I received European Parliament President Buzek and Prime Minister Tusk of Poland, currently holding the Council Presidency. They both conveyed to me the positive reactions that the Commission's proposals on the future financial framework have received so far.
And finally: on 1 September I will participate in the international conference in Paris on the future of Libya – a country emerging from 42 years of dictatorship into what we must all ensure is a bright, democratic future.
The Commission is playing a central role in supporting the Libyan people, whose astonishing bravery has made this moment possible.
First and foremost by providing essential humanitarian aid, in close cooperation with the rest of the international community.
And secondly, by doing all we can to support the emergence of a new Libya based on social justice, inclusiveness and territorial integrity.
The challenges we face are great. But so is our determination to rise to them.
Our interdependence – which is most obvious within our Union, but certainly does not stop at Europe's borders – is not a weakness. It is simply a fact.
If our action is guided by solidarity and responsibility –– then we can ensure that it is also a strength. The European Commission is determined to provide this kind of leadership with solidarity and responsibility."