Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council
Opening Friends of Europe’s annual State of Europe summit, Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that after the actions member states have taken to defend the euro and the European Union, it is time for them to move out of survival mode and focus on more forward-looking measures to stimulate innovation, enhance competitiveness and deepen market integration.
However, for the EU to make progress, particularly on reinvigorating the single market, it must bring its citizens with it and ensure it has democratic legitimacy, added Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier. To do this, the EU must answer the question “What does Europe do for me?” said Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive of Vodafone Group. At the same time, the financial markets must return to their traditional role of serving the real economy rather than the other way round, Barnier added.