Jean-Claude Juncker


Last quote by Jean-Claude Juncker

You can't have one foot in and one foot out.
NEW Mar 28 2017
Jean-Claude Juncker has been quoted 305 times. The one recent article where Jean-Claude Juncker has been quoted is EU leaders mark 60th anniversary of founding treaty. Most recently, Jean-Claude Juncker was quoted as having said, “I will sign my dear friends the declaration of Rome with a pen, I should say the pen used in 1957 by Luxembourg to sign the Treaty of Rome. These are the signatures that last.”.
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Jean-Claude Juncker quotes

As we mark the 60th anniversary of that fateful date, we are also marking the birth of the European project anew. It's around that but that's not the main story. We have to calculate scientifically what the British commitments were and then the bill has to be paid. Pollution, terrorism and organised crime, to give just three examples, do not stop at national borders. So without collective policymaking there can be no effective policy on those matters.

We should not pretend that Europe alone can solve all problems. Brussels' should not have been constantly blamed in British political discourse for things for which the EU is not responsible: we now know the result of such rhetoric. For example, the EU has few powers in three of the four areas of policy that are usually most controversial in UK elections: healthcare, education and welfare.

It will be a bill reflecting former commitments by the British government and by the British parliament. There will be no sanctions, no punishment, nothing of that kind. I am anything but in a hostile mood when it comes to Britain. We will negotiate in a friendly way, a fair way, and we are not naive.

I am strongly committed to preserving the rights of Europeans living in Britain and British people living on the European continent. This is not about bargaining. This is about respecting human dignity.

It is a failure and a tragedy. I will be sad, as I was sad when the vote in the referendum took place in Britain. For me, it is a tragedy.

I reiterated the commitment to Prime Minister Abe, notably following North Korea's violations of UN Security Council resolutions. We will continue implementing UN resolutions and consider further restrictive measures needed to keep up the pressure.

They will all see from the UK's example that leaving the EU is a bad idea. On the contrary, the remaining member states will fall in love with each other again and renew their vows with the EU.

My home country, Luxembourg, was occupied by the Nazis. Our people were suffering. My father was forced into the German army together with his three brothers. If you are establishing a comparison of that period with our times, this is totally unacceptable. And the one who is doing this is taking distance from Europe and not trying to enter the European Union.

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.

For some of our colleagues this [multi-speed Europe] is seen as introducing a new dividing line, a new kind of iron curtain between east and west, that is not the intention of this.

The Western Balkan countries have an unequivocal European perspective. We are not stepping away, but stepping in.

Don't believe those who are saying that we have to spend more and more and more on defense. There are other means to safeguard the stability.

Europe is more than power, goods and money. The internal market and the euro are not goals in themselves, they have to serve the individual and the community. But there are governments that want to reduce the role of the European Union and the EU Commission towards the internal market management. I am strictly against it.

It is the start of a process, not the end, and I hope that now an honest and wide-ranging debate will take place. We shouldn't (try to) persuade people that we can simply conjure up the sun and the moon. We cannot produce miracles if national measures do not do enough.

This is no longer a time when we can imagine everyone doing the same thing together.

This is no longer a time when we can imagine everyone doing the same thing together. Should it not be that those who want to go forward more rapidly can do so without bothering the others by putting in place a more structured framework that is open to everyone. I will argue for this in the coming days.

We don't want to have hard borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic. We want to have the Good Friday Agreement not to be put under risk and we want land borders be as open as possible. Because the Irish challenges in this very contexts are not only Irish challenges, they are European challenges.

It has been the American message for many, many years. I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this. Modern politics cannot just be about raising defense spending. If you look at what Europe is doing in defense, plus development aid, plus humanitarian aid, the comparison with the United States looks rather different.

To put it brutally, we don't need the United Kingdom Government to organise our relations with the US.

Trade deals are the remit of the EU... Britain cannot complete trade deals with half the world - although it is doing the opposite.

No country has managed bigger steps to improve competitiveness than Greece.

The other EU 27 don't know it yet, but the Brits know very well how they can tackle this. They could promise country A this, country B that and country C something else and the end game is that there is not a united European front. I wish it will be like this, but will it happen? I have some doubt. Because the Brits will manage without big effort to divide the remaining 27 member states. It would be a change that we have to use. And we should not allow the Brits to pursue trade deals now with others because they are not allowed to do so.

Now everyone is saying in relation to Trump and Brexit: 'Now is Europe's big chance. Now is the time to close ranks and march together.

Yes, it is on a shaky ground in the sense that we don't see how the International Monetary Fund could manage this problem.

Sometimes I have an impression that the new administration does not know the EU in detail.

Our basic position is the same: we will start to negotiate after the triggering of article 50, and then we will see. It will be a very, very, very difficult negotiation, because Britain has to be considered as a third country.

Normally it takes between five, six, 10 years. I think two or three years would be enough because we have very similar situations. We are friends, we are allies.

If are considering the Brexit case as the beginning of the end, we would make a major mistake.

Proudly Portuguese, proudly European, with his passing both Portugal and Europe lose a part of what made them all they are today.

The President is always ready to cooperate with Parliament... He has nothing to hide.

We have fought hard for an ambitious deal that reduces the risk of shootings in schools, summer camps or terrorist attacks with legally held firearms. Of course we would have liked to go further.

The EU has links with regimes, some of which are loathsome. However, no one raises the question. We talk about Turkey, and we're right to, but we never talk about Saudi Arabia.

Italy is an essential part of Europe, should we lose it as Europe's architect, inspirer and artisan, it would not be the same.

Italy is a great nation and Renzi has contributed to this, we have to admit this.

According to legal texts, I am in charge until the first of November 2019.

This has contributed to the fact that the relationship between the European Parliament and European Commission has been more harmonious than it had been in the past.

In the light of recent experience made with members of the previous Commission, I feel that our Code of Conduct should be tightened in order to set the highest ethical standard possible for possible cases of conflict of interest.

I think that we'll waste time for two years while Mr. Trump tours a world that he is completely unaware of.

We would like to know what intentions he has regarding the (NATO) alliance. We must know what climate policies he intends to pursue. This must be cleared up in the next few months.

The trade deal with the United States, I do not view that as something that would happen in the next two years.

Those who are willing to drown the rest of the world in blood to preserve the sense of security and peace inside their own borders move further from humanity each day.

I note with bitterness that Turkey is day by day distancing itself further from Europe ... All that the Turkish authorities are doing today leads me to believe that in the end Turkey does not want to ... meet European standards.

I take issue with the attempts in some countries, especially in industrial circles, to reach an agreement with the British for their sector before the other 27 (member states) have spoken.

Maybe I waited too long before saying my thoughts on the ethics. The important thing is that I have drawn lessons from it for myself.

A Commissioner cannot hold such views. I told him he had to apologize to those who could have felt targeted.

I sincerely think these comments did not convey his thoughts. He is a liberal man on social issues, and so I was surprised.

We have 20 ongoing negotiations and today we are fixing the global standards the European Union and the European Commission want others to accept.

I don't see any relation between what we are signing today and the Brexit issue.

There are too many areas where the scope in which we cooperate together is too small and national interests are brought to the fore. European integration cannot be left or bow to the interests of individual member states.

When it happens is less important than that it happens.

Instead they've come up with timid, cosmetic changes.

Concerning the freedom of movement of workers and of persons ... we are sticking to that position and this is not a game between prime ministers leaving and prime ministers remaining, this is about people in Europe. So I cannot see any possibility of compromising on that very issue.

Today, we have lost a great Italian and a great European.

Very often, bank robbers and poachers are amongst the best police forces.

Goldman Sachs was one of the organizations that knowingly or unknowingly contributed to the enormous financial crisis between 2007 and 2009.

Relations with the UK… must remain on a friendly basis.

Let me tell you that around the European Council table, that is an issue that will not be given in on.

The European Union is currently not in top condition. Many things did not change for the better. Some developments suggest that in some areas we are being faced with an existential crisis of the European Union.

Europeans are tired of the endless disputes, quarrels and bickering.

Today we are launching an ambitious investment plan for Africa and the neighbourhood which has the potential to raise 44 billion euros in investment. It can go up to 88 billion if member states contribute.

From an economic point of view, bringing together our military resources could be clearly justified. The lack of cooperation is something that is costing Europe 20 to 100 billion euros a year.

Our European investment fund will provide a total of at least 500 billion of investment by 2020, and will work to reach 630 billion by 2022. If with member states contribute we can get there even faster.

The European Union doesn't have enough union. There are splits out there and often fragmentation exists ... That is leaving scope for galloping populism.

We propose today to equip every European city with wireless internet.

What are we instilling in terms of values in our children. Is this a union that has forgotten its past, has forgotten its past? Our children deserve better.

Solidarity must come from the heart. It cannot be forced.

(A) question that is ... critical if we want to restore our citizens' trust in the global economy is fair taxation.

All companies must pay their fair shares of taxes in the countries where they make their profits.

Overcapacity is a global problem but there is a particular Chinese element.

This is not a decision against the United States of America. We are basing our decisions on facts.

This is a global problem, but with a specific Chinese dimension we have to address. We are really insisting on the need to take this seriously.

This is not a decision against the United States of American. We are basing our decisions on facts.

That's the kind of idea that says the only way we're going to keep people together is not through the benefits we give, but through the fear of leaving. That's not a healthy attitude, and that will speed the breakup.

The large and barbaric terrorist act that hit Nice overnight has shocked, saddened and afflicted me profoundly. Once more, so many dreams shattered, so many life plans aborted, so many broken biographies. We are now asking when will this end? We feel united and sympathise with the people of Nice, with the city of Nice which is visited by a lot of Europeans to rest and live their lives. We express our profound sympathy for the people of France and from Mongolia I say long live France and long live its republic which is also ours today.

The outcome of the United Kingdom's referendum has created a new situation which the United Kingdom and the European Union will have to address soon. I look forward to working closely with you on this and to learn about your intentions in this regard.

There is a clear link between steel overcapacity in China and the market economy status for China.

Europe won't kneel down before the Americans. We won't surrender the principle which have made Europe successful, but I want to say here that on the other hand we won't cut ourselves off from the rest of the world.

I refuse to allow the commission to be blamed for the outcome of the British referendum. We will not bare that responsibility. I haven't said that we want a 'United States' of Europe.

The Brexit heroes of yesterday are the sad Brexit heroes of today.

We must change all yes, but it must not change the essential and the essential is that Europe remains a peace project and a project for the future. This is what I pledge to this Assembly.

You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favor of the exit. Why are you here?

What i don't understand is that those who wanted to leave are totally unable to tell us what they want. But i hope that the notification by the next British government will arrive as soon as possible.

We don't have months to meditate, we have to act.

I would call on the UK government and I will be speaking to the Prime Minister (David Cameron) later, who is still a friend, because despite the vote, the British remain our friends. In any case I will ask the Prime Minister to clarify the situation as soon as possible. We cannot be embroiled in lasting uncertainty.

We now expect the United Kingdom government will give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.

You left your national 'hats' at the door when you joined this institution and that door is not closing on you now.

It should show quickly that Great Britain did better in the EU – economically, socially and when it comes to foreign politics.

I'm very sad about this decision, but of course we have to respect it. We now expect the United Kingdom government to give the fact to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. As agreed, the new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union reached at European Council in February this year will now not take effect and ceases to exist. There will be no renegotiation.

We now expect the UK government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. [...] we stand ready to launch negotiations swiftly, swiftly with the UK.

As European civil servants you have always been loyal to our union, contributing tremendously to our common European project. And so it will be in this spirit of reciprocal loyalty that I will work together with the presidents of the other European institutions to ensure that we can all continue counting on your outstanding talent, experience and commitment.

There will be no kind of… any renegotiation. We have concluded the deal with the prime minister. He got the maximum he could receive and we gave the maximum we could give, so there will be no kind of renegotiation. Out is out.

I'm absolutely content. Greece is on the right path and I would like it to have national ownership of the programs which are currently being implemented.

I take the view that we must talk with Russia, the leadership, its people: for some it must be a radical idea; for me it's common sense.

Russia is party to the Minsk agreement. The next step is clear: the full implementation of the agreement, no more, not less. This is the only way to lift the economic sanctions.

If the British should say No – which I hope they don't – then life in the EU will not go on as before. The United Kingdom will have to accept being regarded as a third country, which won't be handled with kid gloves.

If the British leave Europe, people will have to face the consequences – we will have to, just as they will. It's not a threat but our relations will no longer be what they are today.

Turkey must fulfill all remaining conditions so that the Commission can adopt its proposal in the coming months. The criteria will not be watered down.

I simply cannot understand that a German ambassador should be summoned over an admittedly outrageous satirical song.

I don't think it would be helpful if we were to unilaterally tell Turkey that the negotiations are over.

We also think we need to work together towards unified security. The Commission has proposed all the constituent elements for such a union of security. I would ask the Council of Ministers not to yield to the mounting pressure of lobbyists and instead to keep in mind the essential – what must be done.

That has nothing to do with protection of external borders. Restoring borders between two Schengen countries will destroy the common market.

Political responsibilities need to be assumed at highest level in all Member States to ensure that the agreed coordinated European response can address the refugee crisis swiftly and efficiently on the ground by national and local authorities with the EU support and assistance that has been made available over the past months.

The decision to relocate 160,000 people from the most affected Member States is a historic first and a genuine, laudable expression of European solidarity. It cannot be the end of the story, however. It is time for further, bold, determined and concerted action by the European Union, by its institutions and by all its Member States.

Today's agreement guarantees the mutual respect between all our member states whether they have the euro or not. One of our greatest achievements – the single market that services half a billion people – remains intact.

As far as Austria is concerned, I have to say that I don't like the decision and we are questioning if this decision is in line with European law. This is under exam for the time being.

Before the meeting, there were those who doubted that a European approach was needed to resolve the refugee problem. We unanimously said this evening that the procedure must be European and that solo, national approaches are undesirable.

The settlement that has been proposed is fair for the UK and fair for the other 27 member states. If the UK considers it is now at the limit of its integration, than that is fine.

If people are sitting at home for months and years, idle and not working, they are never going to be able to become a fully valued member of Europe society. That is important if we want to protect ourselves from all sorts of unpleasant things.

The single market is beginning to suffer consequences that are not being managed – because they are not manageable – of the re-introduction of borders.

The result of a referendum on a future initiative or decision of the European Parliament, the Council or the Commission held in a member state is as such neither binding for the EU institutions nor can it affect the obligations of that member state under Union law.

The Commission recommends visa liberalisation for Georgia, Kosovo and Ukraine. I call on on EU governments in the Council to take a speedy decision for these three countries.

We put great value in the conditions being met. Otherwise this deal, the agreement between the EU and Turkey, won't happen. If Mr. Erdogan decides to deny Turks the right to free travel to Europe, then he must explain this to the Turkish people. It will not be my problem, it will be his problem.

We fixed criteria for visa liberalisation, there are 72 of them and number 65 says that the Turkish government must review the anti-terror law.

We are counting on this, we agreed this with the Turkish government and it can't be that the exit of the prime minister leads to agreements between the EU and Turkey being ignored.

We have made very clear that the policy of simply waving people through must be stopped. And that will be the case.

I will, today, as i did yesterday in the (European)parliament, insist on member states to deliver on what they promised on the 23rd September here in Brussels. on the side of the member states we lack 2.2 billion euros, and i will ask very clearly for those 2.2 billion euros.

Peace and stability in Ukraine must come through the implementation of the Minsk accords.

The message of today's Eurogroup is loud and clear: on this basis, Greece is and will irreversibly remain a member of the euro area.

We have to engage in negotiations and I'm not doing this – how can I say – in a hostile mood. I think that even after the referendum, the European Union and the United Kingdom share a community of interest, not only in defence and the military sector but in all relevant sectors.

For example, private investment in Germany fell by 52 percent between 1991-2013.

The agreement we have reached with Greece will lead to the expected results, under the assumption that the whole program we agreed upon will be implemented.

The Commission has always insisted on the fact we could not accept any form of Grexit. There will not be a Grexit. As regards the substance we are satisfied with the result that we have been able to reach.

The ball lies in the court of the Greek government and the Greek government must explain in Brussels today, how they want to proceed. The President of the European Commission and the European Commission are ready to do whatever necessary within a reasonable time frame to reach an agreement.

Our sole concern has been to make a fair and balanced deal. This is certainly a demanding and comprehensive package, but it is a fair one… This is not a stupid austerity package.

I will say to the Greeks who I love deeply: you mustn't commit suicide because you are afraid of death…. You must vote yes, independently of the question asked.

Playing off one democracy against 18 others is not an attitude which is fitting for the great Greek nation.

When you take in 12 refugees – in proportion to the population of the Vatican, that is more than any EU member state – you fill our hearts with new courage.

I was sleeping three hours after having had a long and sportive discussion and negotiation with the Greek PM and the reason why I have to leave at 11:00 is immediately and, related to that, because we have to prepare the next round of negotiations.

When one mentions the end of the free circulation of workers, there can be no debate, dialogue or compromise.

I'm strongly in favour of seeing the visa issue moving forward, being accelerated. Turkey has to be on the list of safe countries.

Mr. Orban must immediately make clear that this is not his intention. If it would be his intention it would be a fight.

We should have indicated our collective will to share refugees geographically across the EU. This is something that has to be done.

Those prime-ministers who are telling the domestic public that this plan is not ambitious enough, should try to find some money in their pocket.

I remain worried about Greece. I am not satisfied with the progress that we could have achieved in the past few days and I want all parties to get their wits together.

Rather than trying to fix a problem we are trying to impose a solution and (hoping) that's how the problem will be fixed.

As you have heard, the Greek government has said they can agree to seventy percent of the existing programme. We have to see which seventy percent the new Greek government agrees with. And for the thirty percent where there is no agreement we shall have to see what can be done.

It may be that we'll have to adapt a certain number of our policies. But we won't change all of them, just because one election result pleases some, but doesn't please others.

I am profoundly shocked by this brutal and inhuman attack.

We wanted to limit the number of new initiatives that we will undertake. At one time the Commission was advancing 130 new initiatives per year – we have planned just 23 new initiatives for 2015.

What we need is a smart use of public money, geared to unlocking investment. Public expenditure could be used for what it is best at doing: funding our schools and welfare systems, not servicing our debt.

The commission will do its job. I won't intervene on this dossier because the competition commissioner is responsible for it.

All countries in the European Union, we set in place a minimum social wage, a minimum income, a guaranteed minimum income.

I know Mr. Moscovici very well. We were on the Eurogroup together and he knows Europe well, good knowledge of France. He'll have a lot of work in France with regards to France.

I think he is the man for the job. What's more I wanted to give the UK an important position, as I didn't want to seen to be settling scores with Britain over the inelegant way the British PM opposed my appointment at the head of the Commission.

We are not at the end of the crisis. I just want to emphasise that – we need to continue wanting to save money, every government needs this, not just the ones in the south of Europe.

As we did win these elections, I feel fully entitled to become the next president of the European Commission.

I'm not on my knees, I won the elections. The position of Mrs Merkel is crystal clear. You don't believe it, but it's the case.

I do think that in the next coming days and weeks we have to discuss not only posts and appointments but that we have to discuss in depth substance, and I'm prepared to discuss substance mainly with the Socialist party, because there is no majority outside the so-called 'great coalition.

I suppose I will be chosen because the EPP clearly won, in double digits, these election so I will have to negotiate with other political forces in order to organise the majority.

If we conclude a free trade agreement with the United States, every European household is going to earn 545 euros extra.

Those who are criticising Europe for having a too weak reaction, they do want to go for a war because that's the alternative to sanctions… We have as a soft power to dialogue, and to put pressure on Russia.

Anything else would make a mockery of the democratic process that is now explicitly foreseen in the Treaty.

We'll see after negotiating with Switzerland and other third countries to what extent to which we can expand the application of the EU Savings Directives. We've already agreed to extend it in principle, now we need to wait for what comes out of the negotiations.

This has been a week of tangible decisions. We've been able to agree on a solution for banking supervision and we made the final decision on the aid package for Greece. These are two decisions that the media predicted we would not be able to achieve successfully.

This is not just about money. This is the promise of a better future for the Greek people and for the EU area as a whole. I admit however that it has been a very difficult deal. It required very significant efforts by each and every stake holder.

It's clear that Greece has delivered. We'll need to agree on some details, but i think chances are high that we come to an unanimous final solution this evening.

Eurogroup expect that by that time, the necessary elements will be in place for member states to launch the relevant national procedures required for the approval of the next EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) disbursement, subject to the Troika's final positive assessment of all prior action by the Greek authorities.

We are confident in the ability of Portugal to deliver strongly under the program and to return to the market next year. I am deeply impressed by what the Portuguese government and the Portuguese people are undertaking for the time being.

From today's point of view, a Greek exit would be controllable, but, nonetheless, it is not a desired action. It would be aligned with serious risks, particularly, for the ordinary people in Greece. One could say, it doesn't matter what happens to ordinary Greeks – the small people -and many of them exist in Greece. But for me it matters – I care about them.

In this context we would expect the Spanish authorities to put forward the formal request for financial assistance by next Monday. Following that request we'll give a mandate to the Commission in liaison with the ECB (European Central Bank) and the EBA (European Banking Authority) to negotiate the memorandum of understanding related to the financial assistance.

Spain's macro-economic and budgetary policy is going in the right direction, and if and when Spain asks us to help its banking sector, it will obviously be done.

The euro group assesses that the timely correction of the excessive deficit should be ensured by an additional front loaded effort of the order of 0.5 per cent of GDP, beyond what has already been announced by the Spanish authorities so far.

We cannot live with a system where promises are made and repeated and repeated and where the implementation measures are from time to time too weak.

Let me make it crystal clear: there are absolutely no divergences of view on this matter around this table. For everyone of us, the future of Greece is clearly within the euro area.

Important progress has been made to deliver the package agreed at the Eurosummit on the 26th of October and build more effective firewalls against the crisis. This shows are common commitment and our common determination to do whatever it takes to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area.

I'm allergic to such stupidities that are conveyed by some and that aim to put divisions within the euro. The euro is a solid group.

We will speak about Greece and also about Italy and we will come closer to defining the details on leveraging the EFSF. That is a highly complicated judicial process. I don't think we'll have any real decisions today.

We plan to negotiate with the private sector, it's not useful to publish the targeted goal of these negotiations right now. But everybody knows that this area is the one we are going to fix.

It is very important that the Greek parliament votes for the necessary legislation in the recommended time so that we can reach good decisions [on providing more financial support].

The question is how far can private creditors' go in participating, given the fact, that this could very quickly lead to a decision by the rating agencies that is neither in the interest of Greece nor the whole of the euro zone.

I expect the Eurogroup to agree to additional financing to be provided to Greece, under, of course, strict conditions. This will include private sector involvement on a voluntary basis.

To see the IMF Director General leave the police office in New York handcuffed has profoundly saddened me, I do not understand what has happened, so I am very sad, so very sad.

We cannot force the Irish government to ask for something which Ireland does not want.

We do think that the success of European recovery is in the best interests of China. We expressed our concerns as regards recent declarations about the speculations concerning the possibility of a currency war. This would be destructive as would be any form of trade protectionism.

We think that the measures taken by the Spanish and Portuguese governments are courageous and show a certain amount of adjustment that satisfies us.

We are considering that the whole euro area in under attack, and we have to formulate from now until Sunday night a coherent answer of the euro area and the whole European Union to these attacks against the Euro area, which are not justified.

We have agreed on the need to put in place – and we will work on it – a permanent crisis mechanism. Not a mechanism of permanent crisis, but a permanent mechanism for the crisis because we have detected weaknesses in our surveillance system and in our arsenal of tools and therefore we will work on eliminating this weakness.

I would like to add that one should not see the European Monetary Fund we've discussed as an opportunity for countries who have not been disciplined in managing their budgets.

As I said publicly as the chairman of the Eurogroup I'd like to exclude any further involvement of the IMF. What we need is technical assistance from the IMF, but I don't think that the IMF should take a lead, this is a problem of the euro area.

Personally I think Greece will do all that is necessary. I think the markets are completely wrong to continue to attack Greece since it has engaged itself to take all the measures necessary.

We will check in March if Greece is on track, and if Greece is not on track, additional measures will be requested.

It's difficult to communicate to our general public that the fastest growing economy in the world that's the Chinese one, producing huge surplusses, is depreciating against the currencies of the major powerhouses.

I've taken note of this list, and I noted, as did my Austrian and Belgian colleagues that we appear in it. It describes what we have done and what we are doing, but not what we've not yet been able to implement.

The recent US calls for Europeans to make an additional budgetary effort to counter the effects of the crisis are not appropriate for us.

We note that the economic situation has got worse since our meeting in February. There are no economic indicators that the situation will turn itself in the right direction. We are all agreed, the 16 ministers of the euro zone, that recent appeals from the Americans for budgetary measures to battle against the effects of the crisis are not right for us.

The financial crisis is not over yet and the economic crisis is getting worse. So European action is required. We can only be effective if we coordinate action among ourselves.

We still think that in spite of some improvements there is not enough credit flowing and we are still keeping a close eye on that aspect of the matter.

We will do everything possible to prevent the big companies falling one after the other. The states will stand as guarantors to prevent this happening.

We cannot go on with a kind of 'ad hoc' approach. We need a more systematic approach at the level of the euro-zone and at the level of the European Union.

We cannot go on with a kind of ad hoc approach, we need a more systematic approach at the level of the Eurozone and at the level of the European Union.

First of all, one mustn't say Europe is on the brink of recession; it's not true. We distinguish between recession and technical recession.

The independence of the ECB is an important pillar in terms of the European Economic and Monetary Union and this has been upheld in the draft Constitutional Treaty, the Lisbon Treaty, not even minor changes have been made to the mandate of the ECB.

We believe that the excessive levels of bosses' pay that we've seen in a number of euro zone countries and sectors are absolutely scandalous and we will continue to look at ways to fight these excesses through taxes and other ethical approaches.

When financial markets act irrationally, and are driven by herd behaviour; when stock-markets demonstrate short-termism, there is no reason for finance ministers to do the same.

In emerging economies, with large and growing current account surpluses, especially China, it is desirable that their effective exchange rates move so that necessary adjustments will occur.

We have assembled in the following order: first point China, second point dollar, third point yen.

What is important is that France is embarking on a programme of reform which will benefit not only the French themselves but also Europe as a whole. So, tonight's message is 'yes' to the reforms, and 'yes' to the president's plan because it corresponds in a broad sense to our midterm objectives.

We wanted to draw attention to the need for Europe first to put its house in order, before expanding further, and we would like to remind our colleagues of the necessity to at least rearrange the institutional machinery.

Russia is a strategic partner for the European Union which will not prevent us from making remarks and observations that we would like to make, but this will develop during the meeting. It is always difficult to foresee how a meeting with Mr Putin will exactly develop.

We think the conditions to join should be interpreted strictly, in the way we have always done, since the beginning. It has not escaped our notice there are specific questions of difficulty surrounding inflation, but tomorrow other criteria may have equal importance.

The strategy of Lisbon, which talks about growth, jobs and competitiveness means we have to open up the services sector. But the current draft of the services directive will undergo substantial changes, so that we can allow for the serious, often laudable concerns that have been expressed.

We have decided there will be an opening up of the services market and this will be done in such a way as to avoid any social dumping. France's concerns are largely shared by Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium, to name just a few. It is not true that the European Council has decided to make substantial changes to the directive solely because of strong shifts in France.

We think Europe needs to liberalise the services sector but also that the directive currently on the table before Council and Parliament must be purged of all risks of social dumping; they are many, and multiple.

We want the US to APPLY the policy of the strong dollar.

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