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European Commission

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso ahead of the G20 Summit

Joint EU press conference of President Barroso and President Van Rompuy ahead of the G20 Summit/Los Cabos, Mexico

18 June 2012

Buenas días. Quisiera felicitar al Presidente Calderón por el liderazgo del que ha dado muestra hasta la fecha y le deseo todo el éxito a México en la celebración de este evento: el éxito de México será un éxito para la comunidad internacional. Nosotros en la Unión Europea estamos aquí precisamente para contribuir a este éxito y además quisiera decir mi placer de estar aquí en Los Cabos.

The European Union will contribute to make this G20 Los Cabos summit a success!

Yesterday, the world's waiting for the results of the Greek elections came to an end! It is now crucial that a stable and cohesive Greek government be formed quickly. The new government needs to get to work swiftly to implement the economic reforms which are needed to bring Greece back on its feet again. This was also my message yesterday, when I personally congratulated the leader of New Democracy, Mr Samaras, who has now the responsibility to form a government in Greece.

I want, once again, to pay tribute to the courage and exceptional resilience of the Greek people. A lot of sacrifices are being demanded from them to redress their economy and move into a prosperous future.

The second economic adjustment programme agreed between Greece and the Eurogroup is the foundation to achieve this goal. We stand ready to continue to support Greece in its endeavour.

We have come a long way in Europe, learning the lessons from the crisis. But recent developments demonstrate we must go further to complete the architecture of our economic and monetary union. We are taking immediate steps to boost growth through targeted investment and we are pursuing important structural reforms. At the same time we are also advancing with work to build a banking union and deepen fiscal integration, while enhancing euro governance.

This is what it will take to match our monetary union with a real economic union. This is what it will make possible to achieve lasting confidence and truly sustainable growth. These steps will show the world that the euro and the European project are irreversible.

We can and should now move further towards banking union: the Commission will be ready this autumn to make proposals that complement and deepen what we have already put on the table for more effective and integrated banking supervision, a common deposit guarantee system and an integrated banking resolution scheme.

Further ahead, we should deepen our fiscal union, notably by refining our financial backstops and achieving a more integrated budgetary coordination. Under strict conditions some forms of debt mutualisation will be considered. But let me be very clear: any future Eurobonds or Stability Bonds will not be a license to spend! On the contrary they will become a powerful tool for increased discipline and stability. I expect the G20 leaders to support and to express their confidence in the steps already taken by Europe, and indeed for the steps we are now ready to take very soon.

But the challenges are not only European, they are global. As G20 leaders we all need to make ambitious and responsible contributions to remove obstacles to growth and tackle the unacceptable high levels of unemployment. They are hurting our social fabric and people's sense of dignity and purpose, as well as the livelihoods of our people.

The EU has been a pioneer in delivering on the G20 financial regulation agenda. With our recent proposal on banking resolution we have fulfilled our G20 commitments to build a more responsible and solid financial sector. We need to shield our citizens from future crises and make financial markets serve the economy, not just themselves.

The EU is also on track for the timely implementation of the 2010 IMF quota and governance reforms by this Autumn's deadline. This is crucial for the legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness of the IMF.

Here in Los Cabos we will also discuss trade as an important source of growth and jobs. The European Union is sounding the alarm regarding the worrisome rise in protectionism. Restrictions to trade and investment create more global risks and damage the business climate in countries taking such actions. The G20 must live up to previous commitments, step up the fight against protectionism by extending the deadline of the Toronto standstill commitment. We must also further strengthen the multilateral trading system.

We will also call on our G20 partners to give a strong impulse for trade facilitation in order to secure a successful outcome of one part of the Doha development agenda which is particularly helpful for least developed countries.

Finally, although it is not formally on our agenda here in Los Cabos, let me very briefly touch upon an issue of a which I think it is extremely important also because we need to look beyond the G20 countries, we need to think about developing countries and about global justice. I mean the global financial transaction tax.

As I have said before, we want a Financial Transaction Tax to become a reality, in Europe and if possible at global level. It is a question of fairness and it would enable us to help more of the world's poor. A Financial Transaction Tax with other innovative ways of financing development can be a contribution to global solidarity.

I expect the European Union to reach a conclusion soon that would allow an FTT to move closer to realisation in Europe and inspire a global solution.

I will make this point also at the Rio+20 conference which I will attend in the coming days. I hope this G20 will give also a political impulse that will contribute to success in Rio for sustainable development and not forgetting the poorest of the world in this particular moment in our economic situation.

I thank you for your attention!

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