Sunday

28th May 2017

Ambassadors to tell the world EU is not falling apart

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso has said EU ambassadors need "economic briefings" to help tell the outside world what the bloc is doing to fight the crisis.

Speaking at a yearly heads of delegation meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (4 September), Barroso noted: "I know that you are increasingly asked by our partners to explain all these steps and the latest measures taken by the European Union, so I will make sure that the EEAS [the EU foreign service] and our delegations get more regular economic briefings, in particular after important decisions are taken."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • 'The Ambassadors' - by Hans Holbein, d. 1543 (Photo: National Art Gallery, London)

He added that the envoys, from the EU's 136 outposts worldwide, should "make the case for Europe" on three points.

Firstly, that EU integration is going forward not backward: "The debate now in Europe is how far and how fast are we going for the next steps but no one really, at least in the governments that are in Europe, is proposing to undo European integration."

Second, that EU national leaders believe in the Union.

Barroso said that many non-EU countries have a "sovereign-ist" mentality and "cynicism" about EU countries' political will.

But he added on a personal note that: "After eight years in this position, and the last three years in crisis mode day and night ... I am fully confident about the willingness of our member states and their leaders to integrate further."

Thirdly, he told EU envoys to explain that the main job of the European Central Bank (ECB) is to save the euro, not to fight inflation.

"The first mandate of the ECB is the very existence of the euro, it is not only price stability. So when there are threats to the integrity of the monetary union the ECB has of course the right to intervene and re-intervene," he said, amid speculation that Frankfurt will resume buying Italian and Spanish bonds this week despite German concerns.

The commission chief again hinted that he is in favour of EU Treaty change in the "medium or long term" to create a fiscal and political union.

He also said that EU countries need "shared sovereignty" in order to have weight in world affairs, despite the fears of what he called "nationalists" and "populists."

"The first question that people in our delegations around the world are getting is the outlook for the euro - 'What's happening? What's the plan?' It's perfectly natural that we would like to increase the amount of information that our heads of delegation get [on this topic]," a Barroso spokesman told this website.

Focus

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

Portugal held up as symbol of EU recovery

Portugal to sail out of troubled waters after eight years of financial crisis, EU commission predicted, amid broad but "fragile" recovery in European economy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms