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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk
Brussels, 30 August 2011
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning,
Prime Minister Tusk and I have had a very useful and constructive meeting to discuss the most pressing issues on the EU agenda. We have a very close coordination between the Presidency of the Council and the Commission.
Work on major political and economic issues continued at the Commission over the Summer, after the important decisions taken at the July 21 euro area summit.
Let me once again, as I wrote in my letter to Member States of the euro area early this month, urge governments and national parliaments to complete the work as swiftly as possible. The implementation of these decisions is crucial for the EU as a whole.
While we have to find solutions recognising the specificity of the euro area, the Commission will always be mindful of the overall EU interest. The crisis has reminded us how close we are connected in Europe, and in fact how inter-dependent we are. That is why we have to find solutions for the euro area and for the European Union of 27. That is why rapid agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on the economic governance package is essential. This will be crucial step forward for strengthening surveillance of both fiscal policies and macro-economic imbalances.
I welcome that the Polish Presidency gives high priority to finding an agreement very soon. I am confident in the capacity of the Polish Presidency of the Council to rise to this challenge. The European Commission will do everything possible to assist it in this process.
The final agreement on the whole legislative package is now blocked mainly by the issue of the so called reverse Qualified Majority Voting. During July the Commission contributed to the future agreement in developing some possible compromises on the issue. I hope that shortly all parties will be able to find the best solution.
This package is decisive in allowing us to pursue an European approach reconciling fiscal consolidation, structural reform and growth. Growth is essential.
Other ongoing work includes our forthcoming proposal on a financial transaction tax which will be a key instrument to ensure that the financial sector makes a fairer contribution to public accounts.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In addition to our bilateral meeting – the meeting between Prime Minister Tusk and myself, we have just come out of this trilateral meeting between the Rotating Presidency of the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament, with President Buzek, on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020. This is very important, because in fact we believe that in times of difficulty like the one we are now experiencing, we have to send a clear message to the citizens of Europe that the European budget can also be a contribution to growth in Europe. During this meeting, we also discussed about the preparations for a High Level Conference on 20 October, here in Brussels, which will be devoted to the next financial perspectives. I welcome the political will of the Polish Presidency to involve directly national parliaments in this challenging debate about a new financial framework designed to create growth and jobs.
A number of the issues that I discussed with Prime Minister Tusk will of course equally feature on the agenda of the seminar the Commission will be holding later today and tomorrow morning. In fact we are meeting informally to prepare our working programme for next year.
But the EU not only focused on internal matters, as important as these may be. On Thursday, I will participate in the Paris international conference in support to Libya. I will be there together with the President of European Council and the High Representative. The Commission will continue to play a central role in the EU's support to Libya, and, together with the international community, we are dealing with the humanitarian impact of the conflict, and we stand ready to support its democratic transition and economic reconstruction based on social justice and territorial integrity. The way is now open in Libya for freedom and self-determination thanks to the courage of the Libyans themselves who have proven once again that human dignity is stronger than the chains of repression.
Thank you for your attention.