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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement following the meeting with the Prime Minister of Belgium Yves Leterme

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Joint press point

Brussels, 26 May 2010

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome back Prime Minister Yves Leterme to the Commission for another of the many meetings we have been keeping during the last years on European issues.

In about a month Belgium will take over the European Union rotating Presidency. I am convinced that it will be a very successful Presidency which will give impetus to our European agenda.

It is the twelfth time that Belgium has the Presidency of the Council of the European Union or the European Community so I really want to say how much I trust Belgium with its well know commitment to the European union, to the community matters, to our common values, to put a new impetus in our common future.

In today's meeting we have discussed the priorities for the months ahead: what is already in the pipeline of legislation and of initiatives. I very much welcome the views expressed by Prime Minister Leterme. I very much support his commitments to Community matters and the broad support he has given to the proposals that the Commission has been putting forward, namely on supervisory matters, also the idea of a stronger economic coordination in Europe, stronger economic governance in the euro area and in the European union.

I am sure that the Commission and the Belgian presidency will work very closely together on all these issues.

The challenges we face are not only about governance. They are about fiscal consolidation; they are about making structural efforts so that we can increase competitiveness in all the European Union. This is why we need to have a holistic approach to the economic challenges of Europe. That is why we have proposed some time ago the Europe 2020 agenda. It is a way of looking in a holistic manner to the European challenges of the economy - not only the Stability and Growth Pact that we need to reinforce; I have been speaking about a Consolidation pact, but also the structural reforms that are more necessary than ever. And, of course, the roadmap on financial regulations and supervision that the European Union is now developing and that we hope also to pursue in the context of the G20 with our international partners.

So there will be very challenging times these next months when Belgium will have the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in the European Union. I am very much looking forward to that period working hand in hand with the Belgium authorities whose dedication to the European project is very well known and recognised by all the institutions and all citizens in Europe.

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