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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland
11 July 2013
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
It was indeed a pleasure to come again to Warsaw and to meet Prime Minister Tusk. In fact, we met only two weeks ago in Brussels, in the European Council, a very important European Council. But it was good to have this opportunity now to go more into detail on some very important issues that are a priority for Poland and for the European Union.
First of all, let me tell you that I was very happy with the conclusions of the last European Council. We confirmed the agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework with the Council and Parliament. This is going to be the biggest ever growth fund for Poland and for other countries in the European Union. I believe that in Europe we need investment at the same time as we are correcting some problems in our public finances, at the same time as we are pursuing structural reforms for competiveness.
Investment is key for our regions, for our farmers, for our scientists, for our students also for the people that are suffering from the crisis, namely in terms of unemployment – investment from the European Social Fund, for instance. And so I was happy with the conclusions of negotiations at political level between the Parliament and the Council so that now we are going to have, on 1 January 2014, this very important instrument for growth and investment, the most important instrument at European level - the Multiannual Financial Framework, the multiannual budget.
And I believe that the discussion was also important in terms of more instruments to finance the economy, namely SMEs, small and medium enterprises, for instance, by putting together the possibility of having structural funds and loans from the European Investment Bank and other financing instruments. This is important. I repeat: investment is key for growth at European level.
And in today's meeting, as the Prime Minister just said, we discussed the Banking Union, the proposal that the Commission put forward just yesterday on the Single Resolution Mechanism. We are, of course, open to considering all the ways to ensure the proper relationship between home and host countries. I know this is a matter of concern to Poland, and we are, of course, willing to discuss this matter with you and find an acceptable solution for all Member States of the European Union, namely those who want to join the Banking Union.
On the issue of climate and energy, this is important because we believe that investors need certainty and, in fact, we are preparing, for the end of the year, some proposals regarding what can be the future of our climate and energy policy. At the same time that we try to protect our environment, our health, Europe must remain competitive, and this is a discussion that is going on, where I very much appreciate the contributions that Poland can bring to this discussion.
Poland, in fact - and that is a point I am going to make in my speech in the Copernicus Centre, so I will not repeat it - but Poland, from a new member of the European Union, has been transformed into a key player and a key shaper of decisions at European level. I want to tell you this, very frankly and very honestly, that it is to a large extent because of the role of Prime Minister Tusk.
Poland is a very important partner in the European Union. I think no major decision in Europe today can be taken without the important contribution of Poland, and certainly, I am grateful that Prime Minister Tusk has agreed to open with me this General Assembly on forms of imagination and thinking on Europe that is taking place today here in Warsaw. It is the first General Assembly on the process we have called the "New Narrative for Europe", where we are trying to engage with people from different sectors, from culture to science, to inspire a debate about what we want for the future in Europe.
We need Europe more than ever in the globalisation age, and the first General Assembly about this is here in Warsaw. It will be followed in other European cities and, in fact, in the afternoon I am also going to open a citizens' dialogue with my colleague from the European Commission, Vice-President Reding.
So, I am very happy to be in Warsaw once again and I am looking forward to the rest of a very, very full day. It started very well with the meeting with the Prime Minister, my friend Donald Tusk.