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European Commission

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with US Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry

Press point/Brussels

22 April 2013

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am delighted to welcome Secretary of State John Kerry in his first visit to the European Commission. We just had a very good meeting, and I think it's great that at the end of this meeting we have the opportunity to meet with these trainees of the European Commission. I understand that not all of you come all from Europe, but also from other parts.

We have offered State Secretary Kerry our deep felt condolences for the loss of lives in the terrible Boston attacks. As former Senator of Massachusetts I know Secretary Kerry was particularly touched by this. Our thoughts in Europe are all with the families of the Boston victims and with the American people in these very difficult times.

We are - the European Union and the United States - closest allies. Our relation is rock solid and today we have exchanged our views on many issues, starting with the economic situation. We also discussed trade, the very promising Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement, and how we can make this move forward. I informed the Secretary of State that I believe we can get a mandate from our Member States before summer, that we can keep the momentum and have this historic game changer agreement ready as soon as possible. It think it will be good for Europe and for the United States, and certainly also for the world economy, because Europe and the US are also key drivers for global stability.

We have shared our information and analysis on other issues, namely on Syria, a situation that is in fact staying in the world's conscience. I have informed the Secretary of State Kerry that the European Union is preparing a very comprehensive package of support in the humanitarian field, because of the refugees that we have seen increasing to unbearable numbers with unbearable suffering. But of course, I think we can say that we all agree that the solution, apart from this humanitarian support, is a political solution. And also make it clear that the current situation, with the regime of Assad, is simply not acceptable.

So we have discussed this issue and some other matters as well. I really welcome the commitment we have seen from the United States administration in terms of climate protection, to tackle climate change. US leadership in this issue is essential to have a global agreement, to have a global effort to fight this very important existential threat to our climate that is climate change.

I really believe it was a good meeting and I'm now ready also to listen to some of your concerns or questions.

Once again, Secretary Kerry, thank you for a very good meeting and I hope that your visit to the European Commission was a good one, and that we keep also in close contact over so many important issues for our transatlantic partnership and friendship.

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