European Commission President José Manuel Barroso was awarded the 2014 Atlantic Council Distinguished International Leadership Award in Washington, D.C. last night. The Atlantic Council recognized his dedication to the cause of European integration and his role in ensuring that the benefits of that integration – stability, prosperity, and democracy – reach across an ever-widening vision of Europe.
Atlantic Council Chairman Jon Huntsman highlighted that throughout his political career, President Barroso has worked tirelessly to push policies that would bring stability and prosperity to Europe and its partners.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video message that European integration and transatlantic partnership are two sides of the same coin for President Barroso. She recognized his personal commitment to a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, noting that she shares “his firm conviction that such an agreement offers enormous opportunities for growth and employment on both side of the Atlantic.” And not only that, it would help to set global standards and inject more momentum into the global economy as a whole.”
In his acceptance speech, President Barroso stressed that the relationship “between Europe and the United States is without any doubt the most important and the closest one between major powers in the world. And from the very early days of the European project, it has played a key role in the development of what is today the European Union.” Addressing the ongoing EU-U.S. trade talks, he said it is “an initiative that goes far beyond trade and investment.
It is a platform to project our shared values worldwide with regard to open markets, democracy and rule of law.”Following up on his remarks during a visit to Stanford University today, President Barroso said that when Europe and the U.S. stand together “the chances for a more prosperous, fairer and safer world are greater. This is what history taught us. This is what current events demonstrate.”