José Manuel Dur ã o Barroso
P resident of the European Commission
S tatement of President Barroso at the European Council press conference
Brussels, 11 December 2009
Let me begin with a word on Fredrik Reinfeldt and his team. Tack s å mycket Fredrik !!! Thank you very much for a superb job. You have delivered every one of your objectives and ensured a smooth transition to the Lisbon Treaty. I know that at times you were running what appears to be a "recruitment agency for top jobs". But it was much more than that: it was about inaugurating a new face in the EU. But I have to say that Fredrik Reinfeldt leadership and the Swedish Presidency has been decisive for Europe over the last six months.
This is very well illustrated by the great results we have achieved today. I am delighted we have achieved an ambitious figure on fast start financing that exceeds what could be expected from the EU. At least clearly above the initial assessments we had some months ago; you remember that when the Commission came with that reference value of 5 to 7 billion Euros, that was considered excessive, but now the European Union is ready to pay its fair share.
This is so important for developing countries, especially the poorest, the most vulnerable – I think about African countries and small island states, whose future depends on immediate action. We hope others will now match our figures and our ambition.
Finance is key to getting this deal done. I'm especially pleased that we have also re-iterated our commitment on longer term finance for developing countries.
As I have said very often climate change is not just the Copenhagen Conference, it is not just an issue very important on environment, it is also the extremely important development agenda.
I'm confident that this latest commitment can kick-start the end-game of these negotiations . In Copenhagen negotiations are moving into a new phase, with the tabling today of first draft texts. Copenhagen must light the road to a legal agreement that will respect the 2 degrees limit.
I am also very pleased that during this European Council there was a discussion on the future economic strategy. I can say that generally speaking all leaders backed my idea of having the EU 2020 strategy.
We will discuss this further at the informal European Council in February. I think I can say that there was an endorsement of the idea to come with this post-Lisbon strategy and new EU 2020 strategy that basically keeps the commitments for global competitiveness of Europe.
The European Council has also fully supported the Stockholm programme for an area of freedom, security and justice. This is extremely important and has a direct impact on people's lives. As the Conclusions themselves say, the challenge is to ensure respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and integrity while guaranteeing security in Europe. As you know, with the Lisbon Treaty, there are now much more competences at the European level on this matter so I am extremely pleased that the European Council unanimously endorsed the proposals of the Stockholm programme.
So very good results and thanks again to Fredrik and the Swedish Presidency team.