Nieuws-items bij J.M. (José) Barroso
22-05Commissievoorzitter Barroso over ontmoeting Europese Raad (en)
21-05Barroso betuigt medeleven aan slachtoffers tornado Oklahoma (en)
21-05Speech by President Barroso on the preparations of the European Council of 22 May
16-05Speech by President Barroso: "An EU strategy for industrial competitiveness"
15-05Discours du Président Barroso à la conférence internationale des donateurs pour le développement du Mali
15-05Speech - Déclaration du Président Barroso à la conférence des donateurs "Ensemble pour le renouveau du Mali"
15-05Speech - Déclaration du Président Barroso pour la visite du Président Hollande
15-05Speech by President Barroso at opening of the European Emergency Response Centre
14-05Verklaring van commissievoorzitter Barroso na zijn ontmoeting met de president van Mali (fr)
09-05Speech by President Barroso at the State of the Union conference: Restoring confidence
07-05Commissie komt met verbeteringen voor eurozone: 'sommige zullen als science fiction klinken' (en)
07-05Opening keynote speech at the Conference on the Blueprint for a deep and genuine EMU
26-04Opening speech by President Barroso at the 6th College-to-College Meeting of the African Union Commission and the European Commission
25-04Speech by President Barroso at the Global Vaccine Summit
25-04Videoboodschap van commissievoorzitter Barroso over gebruik voedseloverschotten om armen te voeden (en)
24-04Verklaring Barroso over bijeenkomst EC met minister-president van Litouwen (en)
23-04Duitse minister van Buitenlandse zaken Westerwelle berispt Barroso over diens uitspraken aangaande het EU-bezuinigingsbeleid (en)
23-04Video viEUws.eu: Woordvoerder Barroso over ontmoeting met minister Buitenlandse Zaken VS (en)
23-04Speech by President Barroso: "A new narrative for Europe"
23-04Debat over bezuiniging en groei: uitspraken Barroso tijdens Denk Tank Dialoog in Brussel (en)
It is a great pleasure to speak here today in the United Nations, amongst such distinguished speakers and before this audience.
These last months I have frequently been speaking about the global economy. I have been doing so out of necessity but also out of choice, because I feel that these issues need to be discussed and debated at length.
We in the European Union have been keeping a close and frank debate on these issues both internally and with our international partners. Tomorrow, I will be attending the G8 meeting in Camp David where the state of the economy will be central in our discussions, and next month I will be attending the G20 in Mexico where the economy and the action plan for growth and jobs will feature prominently.
However no grouping or organisation is so widely represented as the United Nations. And even if the bulk of the United Nations’ work is on matters of peace, human rights and international security, we should not forget that the Chapters IX and X of the Charter of the United Nations concern the international economic and social cooperation. This is precisely why I have gladly accepted the invitation from the United Nations Secretary General and of the President of the General Assembly to address all of you today.
The economic crisis has a global nature, its impact has been global and the remedies must also have a global dimension.
Since its beginning back in 2008, the financial crisis has both highlighted and deepened weaknesses in national economic systems.
In fact if the irresponsible behaviour by some in the financial sector, coupled by lax regulatory oversight, was the spark that ignited the problem; its massive spread and global scale impact was the result of deep-seated economic imbalances that build up before the crisis started and need to be corrected if we want growth to resume in a more solid and sound basis.
There is a tendency to view the ongoing crisis in the eurozone as distinct from the financial crisis that struck the United States in 2007. But in fact, their causes are the same. In the years up to 2007, investors underpriced risk and misallocated capital on a massive scale: treating risky assets as if they were safe and inflating huge housing bubbles financed by reckless lending by both domestic and foreign banks.
And when the bubble burst, a banking crisis ensued, and economies plunged into recession. In both the United States and Europe, the natural counterpart to a collapse in private-sector spending was an increase in public-sector borrowing - and high deficits since then have in turn pushed sovereign debts up dramatically.
But while investors have so far been willing to finance at low rates large deficits in many major economies with high debts, they have taken fright in some cases at the ability of individual eurozone governments to repay their debts and in other cases at their ability to refinance them at reasonable rates.
Suddenly the European Union had to face a financial crisis which spread into an economic crisis and at the same time it had to fix its internal economic and financial governance structures.
However much has been done in these last 2 years to overcome the problems. In Europe we are delivering a robust response to the crisis by repairing our banking system; strengthening our economic governance; setting up credible financial firewalls and providing unprecedented solidarity to Member States in difficulty.
At the heart of our response has been a twin track approach of stability and growth. That means restoring sustainability to our public finances - because the crisis has shown that debt fuelled growth is unsustainable. And it means creating the conditions for growth and jobs, through structural reform and targeted investment.
Firstly, there must be no let-up in our focus on stability. We need to stay the course, without being blind to an evolving economic situation. Fortunately, the rulebook allows for adaptability while remaining firmly focussed on sustainability and ensuring sound public finances.
Reducing debt and deficits is essential to build confidence and cut borrowing costs. Every Euro spent on interest payments is a Euro less for jobs and investment. In terms of firewalls our permanent defence mechanism the European Stability Mechanism has alone, a firepower of 500 bn euros (some 650 billion dollars), based on paid-in capital of 80 bn euros, higher than other international financial institution.
Secondly, to regain competitiveness there must be acceleration in structural reforms. There is work to do at both national and EU level. At the level of the European Union we have made proposals to deepen the Single Market, the largest market in the world and to create a genuine European labour market.
Thirdly, to accompany stability measures and structural reforms, we need to step up investment. We will move forward with project bonds these will attract funding of up to €4.6 billion over the next two years for key infrastructure projects in transport, in energy and in the digital area. We have also proposed boosting the paid in capital of the European investment bank by at least €10 billion which would make available much needed funding in support of job creation. This could make possible around €180bn in increased investment, which is equivalent to 1.5% of EU GDP.
The European Commission has also proposed an EU budget for the next seven years that shifts the focus of spending to growth enhancing measures, and focus also in competitiveness.
As far as Greece is concerned I would like to reaffirm very clearly that we want Greece to stay in the Euro area. And the European Union will do all it takes to ensure it. We will honour our commitments towards Greece and we expect the Greek government - current and future - to fulfil the jointly agreed conditions for financial assistance. We fully respect the will of the Greek people but also the will of the 16 Euro area countries which, through their Parliaments, have agreed on the conditions of financial assistance.
Given this list of actions, I believe that, in spite of all the difficulties, we are on the right track. We are doing a root-and-branch reform of our budgetary and economic policies. And, beyond “the sound and the fury”, we are making good progress in laying firm foundations for strong economic recovery and sustainable growth.
Of course I have to tell you very openly that the European Commission would have preferred the response to be quicker, and to be sometimes bolder. That is our role as the Commission.
But at the same time, and I am sure that you will understand, the European Union by definition is a Union of independent, sovereign Member States - 27 Member States, 17 in the Euro area - so of course we have to work on the basis of compromise. And this is a price we are ready to pay because we believe that democracy is at the root of our societies.
The important thing to understand in Europe’s response and that commentators often underestimate is that the Euro is much more than a mere monetary construction, it is the product of a project of peace and reconciliation which was at the origins of the European integration. This project of peace still is what unites us beyond the momentary difficulties.
The lessons of the financial crisis must be absorbed by us all. Our institutions, our surveillance mechanisms and our defences all need to be strengthened. The European Union is working towards this, at all levels it is important that others follow suit.
In the G20 Europe will push for the implementation and enhanced monitoring of the Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs. Tackling global macroeconomic imbalances and promote growth should remain at the core of the G20 agenda. But not growth driven by unsustainable borrowing. Growth must be inclusive and environmentally sustainable. We must strive for solidarity not just within but across the generations.
In the context of the G20 we have secured agreement on a substantial increase of the IMF’s resources by over $430 billion, to which the European countries have contributed massively (more than half $250 bn). This decision was important for us all, not only Europe, but all IMF members.
Mr Secretary General,
The work inside the European Union has not distracted us from our broader world vision, or led us to reduce our efforts to promote economic development. Indeed the opposite is the case.
Let me give one clear example. Last month in Brussels in the presence of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the European Commission launched its "Energise Development" initiative. Our key objective is to help developing countries provide access to sustainable energy services to 500 million people by 2030.
To this end, and together with our Member States, we are seeking to mobilise hundreds of millions of Euros in additional funds to reach this ambitious objective. And if we work together, and have the courage to implement change, it can be done.
In fact Europe is facing up to both its internal needs and its international obligation. We remain, as the European Union and our member states, the largest provider of overseas development assistance, with 53 billion Euro per year - more than half of global aid. And through our "Everything but arms" policy we have the most open trading regime with the developing world, giving free access to the world's largest single market.
Today, before you, at the United Nations, I would like to affirm that this global commitment has not and will not be changed.
The striking lesson from this crisis is that we are all interdependent. No country can prosper on the debris of its partners’ economies. In today’s world, no country is an economic island.
Indeed in a world which is rapidly evolving, we need even more solidarity at the global level, not just to deal with the current crisis but to ensure that the opportunities offered in this age of globalisation do not just benefit some countries or some sectors but bring benefits to us all.
This is what we want for Europe, a more sustainable and inclusive economy; and this is also what we believe is important to achieve globally: sustainable and inclusive growth at the service of our citizens.
Thank you for your attention.