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SPEECH/10/384

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Iveta Radičová, Prime Minister of Slovakia

Joint press point

Brussels, 13 July 2010

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome Prime Minister Iveta Radičová who has chosen to visit the European Commission right after taking up office last week. I want to see this as a clear signal of the commitment of Prime Minister and Slovak government with Europe and the European Union. It is quite significant that so shortly after the election and even before the first formal meeting of the new cabinet, the Prime Minister has chosen to come to Brussels

Let me say to you once again, Mrs Prime Minister, that I wish you and Slovakia all the best. You may count on the Commission to support the objectives of Slovakia for next years. You are taking responsibility for your country after the recent wave of severe flooding. I wish to express my personal sympathy to all those that are suffering the consequences of the disaster.

Today Prime Minister Radičová and I have discussed the priorities of the new Slovak government and the perspectives of our future cooperation. I welcome the new government's ambitious plans to reduce budget deficits and, in parallel, to carry out necessary structural reforms to sustain growth and competitiveness in Slovakia.

I am also confident that Slovakia, a Eurozone member, will work successfully to keep its finances under control and manage to correct its excessive deficit by 2013 as has been recommended by the Council, through a medium-term budgetary strategy.

We are facing very challenging times in the history of European integration. It is essential that all countries of the European Union work together. In times of crisis, defending stability and showing solidarity and responsibility are paramount to our EU citizens, for all Members States, for the EU as a whole and for the credibility of the Eurozone.

The Eurozone membership is more than just sharing a common currency. As a Eurozone member, Slovakia carries an important responsibility, along with the other members of the Eurozone. Today Prime Minister confirmed to me that Slovakia is a very responsible member of our common European project.

I expect that Slovakia will very shortly sign the Framework Agreement on the European Financial Stabilisation Facility to implement the commitment made by the previous government.

Regarding the support of the Eurozone Member States to Greece, the Commission is also confident that each Eurozone member will honour its commitments.

We also discussed the importance of reinforcing the economic governance. The Commission presented concrete proposals in this area on 30 June and I believe that we will be able to start implementing them already as of 2011.

Our economic interdependence makes it imperative for Member States to work closely together. It is clear that we need a stronger surveillance regime that is both stricter, and broader, covering budgetary, macro-economic and structural policies – in full respect of national constitutional requirements. And one that ensures better enforcement of the rules with refined incentives and sanctions. Only in that way will our system be credible. I am happy to see that Slovakia and the new Slovak government support stricter and stronger economic governance for Europe.

Once again, dear Prime Minister my congratulations on your election. We will succeed as long as we build our common future together.


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