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Press Release
Jean-Claude Juncker presents a review of the results of the European Council meeting on 22 and 23 March 2005 before the European Parliament

Date of release : 13-04-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : Plenary session of the European Parliament

On the occasion of the plenary session of the European Parliament, the Prime Minister and the current President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, took the floor on 13 April 2005 to present the results of the Conseil européen, qui a eu lieu à Bruxelles les 22 et 23 mars 2005 to the Members of the European Parliament (MEP).

The Prime Minister first highlighted the "balanced result" of the agreement on the Stability and Growth Pact. According to Jean-Claude Juncker, "this result reflects the true importance of stability and does everything conceivable so as not to hinder possibilities for growth in Europe." Emphasising that "we have not altered the fundamental principles of the Pact", the Prime Minister declared that the latter has thus been given "a more complete grasp and will henceforth apply, in a differentiated way, to all the stages of the economic cycle."

In response to certain remarks suggesting that the reform of the Pact would open the way for a policy of excessive deficits, Jean-Claude Juncker immediately replied that "neither the basic rules of the treaty, nor those of the Pact, have been altered." We are maintaining the criteria of 3% and 60% that are the cornerstone of a system that will continue to be based on clear rules and evident rules of law. (…) If we see that the benchmark of 3% is being exceeded, the European Commission will draft a report and the concerned Member State will be placed under close supervision. As has always been the case, exceeding the 3% reference value will not automatically entail the launching of the breach procedure."

As regards the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy, Prime Minister Juncker reaffirmed that the social and environmental dimensions of the strategy had not been abandoned. Jean-Claude Juncker reminded MEP's that "what Europeans want is work; to be able to set up a company, find the appropriate fundings, have access to open markets and to high-performance information and transport systems. They want to able to reconcile their family- and professional life and keep up with new technologies and the world of the Internet. They want their children to receive a good education and they want to have access to services of general interest and to efficient public services. They aspire to a decent pension and to a healthy environment."

The Prime Minister repeated that "this is the aim of the Lisbon Strategy. The governments of the Member States and the European Commission must henceforward be more proactive and consistent in the way that they apply the decisions arising from the Lisbon Strategy", and he added that "national governments, which are accountable to their national Parliament and to European public opinion, must do all they can to ensure that full importance is given to the various elements of the Lisbon Strategy."

Jean-Claude Juncker finally reported that "the European Council meeting of March 2005 invited the Council and the European Parliament to make significant amendments to the draft directive relating to services in the internal market, so that all the requirements of the European social model can be respected."

Concluding his speech on sustainable development," an horizontal concept that affects all other European policies", the Prime Minister informed MEPs that "the Presidency will take the initiative of asking the European Council, in June, to adopt a declaration on the guiding principles of sustainable development, which will serve as a basis for a renewal of the sustainable development strategy adopted by the European Council at Göteborg in 2001. (…) Now we have to adopt a medium and long-term strategy to enable the Union to combat climate changes, a strategy that will have to be compatible with the objective of an increase in annual global temperature of no more than 2°C in comparison with levels in the pre-industrial period. The EU thinks that it would be appropriate to envisage reductions in the order of 15% to 30% for developed countries by 2020, as compared with the reference values set out in the Kyoto Protocol and, beyond that, in the spirit of the conclusions of the Ministers for the Environment, reductions in the order of 60% to 80% by 2050."

This page was last modified on : 13-04-2005

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