Brussels, 5 June 2014 | José Manuel Durão Barroso | President of the European Commission | SPEECH/14/432 05/06/2014
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
Some time ago we were not expecting to be meeting here in Brussels for this G7, but it was well worth it. It was a very successful summit with very good conversations and with a very remarkable level of convergence.
On a range of geo-strategic issues we have a unity and common determination to lead the global response.
I am particularly pleased that the G7 has formally endorsed many of the key initiatives that the European Union has tabled: from our intention to organise a donors’ conference, to our approach on energy security. We will keep driving policies and progress in all these areas. The G7 also confirmed the intention to reach an ambitious and binding climate agreement by 2015 as we have repeatedly called for, and on development, the G7 takes action in areas in which we have led by example, such as food security, health and vaccination.
But as you know, we have organised this G7 here in Brussels because of Ukraine.
The most important message clearly is: the G7 stands united behind Ukraine. We have made clear that we stand behind its new leadership, politically and economically. We have made clear that we stand by the citizens of Ukraine who want to live in a sovereign, free, democratic and hopefully prosperous country.
As this is our immediate neighbourhood the European Union has a special responsibility. That’s why we have mobilised fast and are deploying financial and technical assistance already to Ukraine.
And that’s why we aim to sign the remaining parts of the association agreement as quickly as possible. Both sides are committed to this.
As a next concrete step, the G7 has agreed that the European Commission will host a high-level donor coordination meeting next month, here in Brussels.
Our group of like-minded members of the international community is also united in sending a resolute message to Russia that it should recognize and fully engage with the Ukrainian authorities, namely with the recently newly elected President of Ukraine, Mr Poroshenko. And that Russia should also take concrete and credible measures to de-escalate the situation in the Eastern part of Ukraine.
We stand ready to take further action if that’s necessary.
President Van Rompuy has outlined our positions on the other key foreign policy issues we have discussed, which I fully share. I won’t repeat what President Van Rompuy just said.
Let me briefly address other points on the G7 agenda that are also very important:
On trade, we have re-committed to exploit to the full the enormous growth and jobs potential of keeping markets open and liberalising global trade. That’s why we will aim for a rapid conclusion of ongoing trade negotiations, implement our multilateral commitments stemming from Bali, and fully support the efforts in the WTO for completing the Doha Round.
We have also agreed that as G7 leaders, we have to come out stronger in public on explaining the advantages of trade opening in terms of concrete consequences on growth and jobs, addressing especially the concerns of those most vulnerable and those who feel sometimes alienated from the advantages of trade liberalisation.
On energy, I am very glad to see that this summit endorsed the principles and actions of the Rome G7 Energy Initiative. This will ensure that our citizens and businesses benefit from energy that is cleaner, safer and more secure than in the past. We have agreed that in fact energy security is a geopolitical issue of the highest importance.
The Commission has just presented a proposal for the European Union for an Energy Security Strategy that we will discuss on the 27th of this month at the European Council. I hope that it will be agreed. I think that if it is not now, when can you really agree on that very important piece of work? And I also believe that this issue is also related to climate change. Because the less dependant we are on fossil fuels, that sometimes are in problematic areas of the world, and the more we rely on renewables and on indigenous resources, the better our security of supply will be. So, both for the sake of environmental protection and also energy security, it is very important that we step up our efforts to fight climate change. 2015 will be a crucial year and I am confident that the world can count on our ambitious contributions in the run-up to the UN climate conference in Paris. We have all agreed at the G7 table that this is the key date. We are hoping to have a multilateral agreement and this besides the national commitments that are already being put in place. On that point, I have specifically welcomed and congratulated President Obama on the recent measures he announced domestically.
Finally, on development, this G7 has shown again that fairness and solidarity towards the world’s poorest is one of our most important concerns. We have agreed that all of us work for an ambitious outcome of the discussions on a universal post-2015 development agenda. And we had the time to discuss some concrete initiatives that are important not least from a health point of view.
To conclude, in this meeting we have agreed a strong and clear stance on Ukraine and we have also given further proof of our commitment and action on trade, energy, climate change and development. But this meeting was much more than agreeing a piece of paper, a communiqué. Because the multitude of serious challenges we are all facing has once again demonstrated the importance of close cooperation between like-minded partners that share the values of freedom and democracy.
Here in Brussels, at this very important G7 Summit, we have reaffirmed with force and conviction our commitment to these values and to an international order based on the rule of law.
I thank you for your attention!
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