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European Commission

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with the OECD Secretary General, José Ángel Gurría

Press point/Brussels

13 June 2013

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I am very happy to welcome OECD Secretary General José Ángel Gurría to Brussels.

During our meeting today, I discussed with Mr Gurría the outlook for the European economy and also for the global economy.

The European Union has taken major steps to overcome the crisis and we are now focused on restoring growth and competitiveness through ambitious structural reforms, as outlined in the Commission's recent Country-Specific Recommendations.

Our recommendations cover a broad range of issues, from taxation, pensions and healthcare to education, labour and product and service markets, which reflect the priorities we share with the OECD.

We also discussed the work we are doing in the short term to address youth unemployment. The OECD has important expertise and input to make on this subject, and I welcome the OECD's recent Action Plan for Youth.

I also discussed with Secretary General Gurría the subject of tax fraud and evasion, where, as you know, the OECD has a major role to play as a global standard-setter. I really want to welcome the commitment of Secretary General Gurría to this extremely important issue and I am looking forward to his contribution to the next G8 and G20 meetings.

The Commission has been a driving force behind the idea of the automatic exchange of information and I see the OECD as a key partner on this issue. As you know yesterday the Commission adopted a proposal to widen the scope of the savings directive. I welcome the OECD's work on establishing a global standard on the automatic exchange of information, an issue which we will discuss with our global partners at the G8 summit next week in Northern Ireland and at the G20 in September in Saint Petersburg. I will fully engage on behalf of the European Union to make sure that further progress is made in this important area at the global level. I really believe that we have now a momentum that frankly we did not have before to achieve concrete results in this matter.

I am also very happy to see the progress made regarding OECD enlargement, particularly on the decisions now taken with regard to Latvia and in the future Lithuania, and I look forward to working with Mr Gurría on this and many other issues in the weeks and months to come.

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