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European Commission

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Plenary Debate with the Chancellor of Austria, Werner Faymann: "The Future of the European Union"

European Parliament plenary session/Strasbourg

15 January 2013

Mr. President,

Mr Chancellor,

Honourable members,

Let me very briefly use the opportunity to congratulate the European Parliament and Chancellor Faymann for holding this debate.

Cooperation and engagement between the European and national level is indispensable if we want to overcome the crisis.

Chancellor Faymann, with your visit to the European Parliament you recognise that democracy in the European Union needs to take place at national as well as at European level.

I want to thank the Austrian Chancellor for his personal commitment to the European Union. Your strong statement today is another proof of that commitment. I thank you and I want to extend this gratitude to your government and your country.

In fact, Austria has been leading in promoting very important policies at European level. Let me highlight in particular the open dialogue between the social partners which in Austria is an important condition for growth and solidarity. Austria, as we know, is the country with the lowest youth unemployment in all Europe. And let me also thank you for your strong support for the Youth Guarantee. Let me mention, in the same context, the strong Austrian support for a Financial Transaction Tax at European level. Let me mention the constructive position Austria as a net contributor is taking in the negotiations on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework. And let me mention, in another area, the Austrian commitment to clean and renewable energies as a key contribution to fight climate change and strengthen our economies.

Last but not least, I'd like to mention Austria's strong support for a European agenda for nuclear safety.

These are just a few examples of Chancellor Faymann's and Austria's contributions to Europe. In my capacity as President of the European Commission, I am looking forward to continuing my close cooperation with you and your government. And I want to thank Austria for its commitment to our Union.

Thank you for your attention.


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