- He underlined that he thinks we need more regulation of the financial sector.
- He said he wouldn't report on the details of the Task Force meeting of EU finance ministers, the Eurogroup President and the European Central Bank President regarding measures to prevent future crises (they met for the first time last week), but in the next sentence he mentioned something like a "Crisis Cabinet".
- He told that he wouldn't be "in principle" against Treaty changes regarding the crisis prevention, but he made clear that he preferred informal mechanisms (like a "crisis cabinet"??) over legal changes.
- On the question whether the Lisbon Treaty didn't bring more external voices than limiting the number, he shared his view of the division of tasks: He and Barroso represent the EU in international fora on the Summit level (heads of state and government) including at the G20, where they speak with two voices when it comes to their respective responsibilities but where they speak with the same message (which the member states would also need to learn, he added). High Representative Ashton represents the Union on "her" level, that is during ministerial meetings.
- He explained that the advantage of being a European Council president would be the ability to build more permanent relations (although he made fun of the fact that "permanent" means 2 1/2 years), especially informally, and that he is glad that he doesn't need to consider a national constituency during his work (as previous European Council Presidencies had to do). Sounds logic.
Altogether, this was not a revolutionary speech (but he noted that he anyway prefers evolution over revolution), and there was probably nothing new, but it was still nice to see the president in person for the first time. I think he is okay...
Picture: © lucvanbraekel (flickr)
Update: The speech is now available on video.