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EU NEWSBRIEF: President Barroso at Princeton: The World Needs an Active & Influential Europe

“In the midst of the deepest crisis in its short history, the European Union is still alive and better than many seem to think,” European Commission President José Manuel Barroso told his audience at Princeton University today.

“The reality is that we have enjoyed peace and stability for over 60 years and we are not only one of the most prosperous regions in the world, but with some of the highest levels of social justice,” he said.

President Barroso pointed out that the crisis has pushed the EU to move forward more quickly with necessary reforms, stressing that there is a now a strong political will in Europe to do whatever it takes to exit this crisis stronger and more united. “And it is important not just for us but also for the rest of the world that we succeed. The European Union remains more than ever an indispensable partner for the world economy, its stability and prosperity.”

He also suggested that there are more opportunities to deepen and broaden transatlantic ties. “The United States and Europe are now working on a bold initiative to expand trade and investment that could make a significant contribution to our strategy to strengthen growth and create jobs.”

Moreover, President Barroso called for a collective effort to address the deep-seated imbalances that have been building on the global stage and that have contributed to the current crisis. “Restoring growth in Europe is as important for the world as the U.S. actions to prevent a fiscal cliff or the rebalancing of the growth model of some emerging economies. We are all in this together and only together we will be able to overcome this crisis, which is a global one.”