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SPEECH/11/279

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark

Press point

Århus, 15 April 2011

Thank you very much.

As Prime Minister Rasmussen just said, it was indeed a very fruitful and friendly meeting. Let me state to you how pleased I am to be back in Denmark and to be back in Århus. In fact I came here in 1982 to the Århus University precisely for a congress on political science and I am really impressed by the progress here in Århus and in Denmark. Today I also visited Vestas. It is a good example of Danish and European leadership in terms of energy and renewables. And so this is exactly what our agenda is about. It is about the future - how we can promote sustainable growth in Europe; how we can promote growth in an environmentally friendly way; how we can invest in research, innovation; what we can do for our future.

And I think Denmark is indeed a good example of this. I congratulated the Prime Minister for the decision of Denmark to joint the Euro plus pact. I think it is very important to have this opportunity to share the experiences in terms of governance at the European level. We have seen that we are more interdependent than ever and so I think the contribution of this new mechanism of economic coordination is important. Certainly we have a lot to learn from the Danish experience. I know that now we are embarking on a very ambitious set of reforms and this is important for Europe's competitiveness naturally.

We have presented the Single Market Act just on Wednesday and this is not only to commemorate the 20 years of the launching of the single market in Europe. We will do that next year in fact during the Danish presidency and I think it could not be a better Presidency to commemorate the Single Market Act than the Danish one, but also to prepare for the future.

I think the single market, in times of financial constraints like the ones we are living today, all our budgets are under very heavy pressure, the single market is the most economic way of promoting growth, new sources of growth. There are still a lot of obstacles in our single market. That is why we have presented the set of measures, namely twelve key initiatives that will remove some obstacles, deepen the single market, make the life easier for companies, for consumers, for citizens, and I very much welcome the support that Denmark is giving to this agenda.

These were the most important issues that we have discussed today, of course we also looked at the debate that will come in the future about the future budget of the European Union, the multi-annual financial framework. We will come with a proposal in the end of this semester and I think it is an important debate for the future to see how we can find the best way to invest in our future. What are the sectors where Europe can bring some value-added and I think that the contribution of Demark in that debate is certainly a very important one.

These were the basic points, but of course we have touched also on many others. Let me tell you that I will still today go with the Prime Minister to the European University Association. I think it is important that this meeting takes place here in Århus because its university has made such a great progress that in fact it is one of the leading universities in Europe, one of the best in Europe. So this shows exactly the importance of the points that I have made earlier – education, innovation, research, trying to get also from science, from universities a contribution to the future of Europe, so that Europe remains competitive. And I believe Europe can and will win the battle of globalization.


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