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José Manuel Durão Barroso President of the European Commission Joint Press conference with Prime Minister Reinfeldt before the G20 Summit Pittsburgh, 24 September 2009

European Commission - SPEECH/09/412   24/09/2009

Other available languages: none

SPEECH/ 09/412

José Manuel Dur ã o Barroso

P resident of the European Commission

Remar ks of President Barroso at the joint Press Conference with Prime Minister Reinfeldt before the G20 Summit

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


Joint Press conference with Prime Minister Reinfeldt before the G20 Summit

Pittsburgh , 24 September 2009

This crisis is much more than an economic or financial crisis. It is also a crisis of the way we deal with our societies. It is a crisis about the values that we should respect. And I think we have to draw all the lessons from this crisis.

We need global rules based on universal values and reflecting the reality of economic interdependence.

The G20 is making a huge difference in tackling this crisis. Where previous crises have brought conflict, the G20 summit has delivered cooperation. Where previous crises have seen chaos, the G20 has achieved a good level of coordination. So I am very happy at the prospect of a recognition of the G20 process, because it is important for global governance, this idea of increased economic cooperation that the G20 brings.

And as you know the European Union has from the beginning supported this G20 Summit process. This is the first point, in drawing the lessons from this crisis. This crisis has shown above all how far our interdependence goes. We need to achieve global responses to global problems.

Precisely because of the huge potential the G20 brings, we must keep up the momentum here in Pittsburgh. We are the first generation of world leaders to have such an opportunity. We must seize it. It is important that we don't return to business as usual, to everything else that went before. We must not repeat some mistakes.

I think there is a global consensus that:

The huge global imbalances have to be addressed;

That this crisis has also brought very important social problems, namely rising unemployment and we have to put the fight against unemployment at the centre of our concerns;

We cannot allow financial markets to return to the kind of behaviour that we have seen, completely unethical and irresponsible;

We cannot continue indefinitely with deficit financing and huge debts;

We cannot keep delaying action on climate change;

We need a serious road map towards a Doha deal if we are really serious about fighting protectionism.

So that's what we expect from today's and tomorrow's meeting and it is with this spirit that the European Union comes to this summit.

I particularly want to underline the importance we give to the principle of a Charter for Sustainable Economic Activity. It is a way of providing the economic and ethic al basis for global governance.

I think it is also important to take specific action to rein in exorbitant bonuses. It is important for the reasons I have given before, in terms of ethical principle and also the legitimacy of our financial systems and the way they are seen by our citizens. And we should not forget that, as Prime Minister Reinfeldt underlined so clearly, we need to look at the financing of the fight against c limate change.

Europe has much to offer to this global governance. In fact we are, and I am proud to say this, we are the first to take concrete legislative decisions based on agreements in London at the last G20. Just this week – after achieving the unanimous backing of the Member States based on the analysis of the de Larosière Group, the European Commission adopted detailed legislative proposals to create a European system of financial supervision. So we are indeed doing our part of the job because it is important to understand one thing.

The G20 is a forum but afterwards those political decisions have to be followed up, have to be implemented, at national or regional level. It is not just a talking shop. We need afterwards to implement what we have agreed.

For instance we have agreed in London that no financial entity should escape financial regulation or supervision and we have now to translate this in practice. We have agreed that we should reinforce our mechanisms of regulation and supervision. Yes, in Europe we are doing it. After this summit there is work to deliver. That's why I would like to underline this word: delivery, and I think it is fair to say the European Union is doing its best to keep its promises and its commitments to these principles of global governance.


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