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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following the second day of the European Council, 28 June 2013
28 June 2013
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
This was indeed a good Summit for Europe.
Decisions have been made that will make a difference for our economy and the job prospects of our citizens, especially the young.
At the same time, we need to avoid any form of complacency. Tensions still persist, credit is too tight, growth is too low. The situation is much better than one year ago, but we must keep up the pace of reform if we want to keep our social market economy, our European social model.
The points that we have discussed this morning, first of all the EMU and especially the Banking Union. The President of the European Council has updated the European Council on the efforts to further deepen our Economic and Monetary Union. I believe we need to maintain the momentum to enhance confidence. As you know, the Commission has presented a comprehensive vision for the future – the blueprint for the EMU and we have today also discussed some of these ideas, including ex ante policy coordination and the competitiveness and convergence instrument. We will soon present proposals on these matters and also on the social dimension of the EMU. We have been pushing full steam ahead on the banking union. And this week we saw an important step forward with the Council's agreement on a common approach to dealing with failing banks without relying on the taxpayer. We need this finalised by the end of the year at the latest, so a full agreement between the Council and Parliament. The European Commission will present its proposal for a Single Resolution Mechanism in the next two weeks. This will ensure effective European decision-making on banks in difficulties within the Single Supervisory Mechanism. This is about making sure that it is the banks who pay for their own mistakes and not the citizens.
Of course there were the important decisions regarding enlargement and regarding the euro area, Latvia. Not long ago, many people were talking about the euro area breaking up. What we are seeing is exactly the opposite. We will have another member of the euro area from next year, Latvia. We all very warmly congratulated Latvia for its impressive achievements.
And we have of course taken important decisions today on the future enlargement of the European Union. I especially welcome the decision to set a date for the start of negotiations with Serbia. This is indeed historic, we very often use the word historic in an abusive manner, but this is historic. Let's not forget what happened not so long ago in that part of Europe with one of the most violent wars we saw and now we will start negotiations with Serbia. At the same time, opening of negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo. This is also a recognition of the process of dialogue in which the two parties have engaged. This is also a demonstration of the power of attraction the European Union has. So, I think we should really commemorate this moment and together with the President of the European Council, I will this weekend travel to Zagreb to welcome Croatia to the European Union family. Croatia has always been European, but now it will be a full member of our union.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This Summit marks the end of the Irish Presidency. I want to pay very sincere tribute to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his dedicated and highly competent team. It is really impressive the amount of work and the results are indeed impressive. For the very focused Presidency, as I was expecting from the beginning from Ireland and the results speak for themselves. The MFF deal, the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the reform of CAP and fisheries policy, horizon 2020, the youth guarantee, the mandate for negotiations of Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States, and I could continue. So, Enda, congratulations, and congratulations to all your team, the political colleagues, the civil servants, I mean it was really impressive your work and what a pleasure to work with this dedicated and competent Presidency of the Council. I thank you.