visit to the EU institutions
The Basque Premier rounded off his official visit to the European institutions with a meeting with the President of the European Council.
Urkullu finished his official tour with a meeting with Van Rompuy
The Lehendakari ended his two-day visit to the European institutions with a meeting with the President of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, who welcomed him at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers.
During the meeting, the Lehendakari went over his government's plans for this term of office with President Van Rompuy and pinpointed the main priorities: emerging from the economic crisis and the peace and coexistence plan.
The Lehendakari discussed the Basque institutional system with Van Rompuy, along with the main characteristics of the Economic Agreement. Among the other issues, he pointed out how the Economic Agreement, as a fiscal risk system that the Basque Country has entered into with the Spanish State without the support of third parties, has enabled a consolidated culture of fiscal responsibility to be implemented in the Basque Country.
Moving on to other issues, he stressed the Basque endeavours to meet the fiscal deficit targets and at the same time, the Lehendakari asked Van Rompuy for stimulus policies to be implemented by the Union. He also pointed out that an extension on the deadlines to meet the public deficit targets would enable the Basque Country to introduce growth measures that would help to consolidate the welfare state for which it is noted.
The Lehendakari assured Van Rompuy of the Basque Country's commitment to European integration and stressed the need for a greater role of the nations and regions with legislative competences in the European construction process. He therefore recalled the forums and institutions where the Basque Country is a member and stressed the Basque Country's inclusion in the Ecofin Council working groups since 2011.
He also outlined the Peace and Coexistence Plan and the hopeful future facing the Basque Country. The Lehendakari thus stressed the importance of taking sound and secure steps and assessed the involvement of the European Union, as has been the case of other countries such as Ireland as being key.
They also discussed the Basque Government's plans regarding employment, particularly youth employment, and the support for the SMEs.
Finally, the Lehendakari asked about the elections to the European Parliament in 2014 and about the possibility of institutional changes over the coming years to recover grassroots confidence and belief in Europe.