© European Union, 2011he European Commission President JoséManuel Barroso discusses two of thepriority growth-enhancing sectors: energyand innovation. On both issues theCommission has put the main building blocks on thetable, says Mr Barroso. We have already adopted the Innovation Flagship, theenergy agenda 2020, our Communication on energyinfrastructure priorities and we will be soon adoptingthe Resources Efficiency Flagship. I see energy policyas the next great European integration project. I seethree priorities on which I would like the EuropeanCouncil to give a push to our proposals. We need toaccelerate the pace of implementation of the internalmarket. I would like the European Council to agree onthe key missing infrastructure links and on how toremove all barriers to a truly European energy market. Let me tell you very frankly that I am unhappy with theprogress made on energy efficiency. While on therenewables we are making a lot of progress and it isnow realistic to think that we are going to fulfil our 20per cent target by 2020, this is not the case for ourtarget on energy efficiency. Since our best source ofenergy is in fact energy efficiency, and also consideringthe prices of energy, I think it is important from allpoints of view to achieve real progress of energyefficiency very soon. I would like to see the EuropeanCouncil agree on concrete measures to reach the 20per cent target by 2020. So I think we should thereforedevelop our future work around five priorities that wehave put forward in our communication: n a strong energy policy as key to competitiveness,sustainable growth and security; n an internal market in energy as an asset; n building the European Union's energy infrastructuren making decisive progress on energy efficiency;n an effective and united European approach interms of external energy policy. Precisely on the external dimension I will be travellingnext week together with Commissioner Oettinger toAzerbaijan and Turkmenistan to push for the SouthernCorridor initiative. I believe that security anddiversification of our energy supplies are one ofEurope's strategic priorities. The other topic for thenext European Council is innovation policy. We allknow that innovation is essential to drive growth andemployment. We need this kind of innovation forEurope's competitiveness. If we really want to bringEurope to the cutting edge on innovation, we need todo much more together. We are either Open forBusiness or Out of Business, depending on the way wedeal with innovation.To make progress, we now need the endorsement of theEuropean Council on our Strategic Approach toInnovation. We particularly need Member State backingfor the "big ticket" items -completing the EuropeanResearch Area by 2014; launching and activating theEuropean Innovation Partnerships, and using PublicProcurement to boost innovation. The EuropeanInnovation Partnerships are one of our most ground-breaking initiatives. We are talking here about tackling amajor societal challenge which has significant marketpotential for European companies. I think it is importantnot only to work on some concrete measures, but todiscuss frankly at European level the best conditions thebest environment for innovation at societal level,because sometimes this is indeed a problem. A pilotPartnership on active and healthy ageing is already upand running, aiming to extend by two years by 2020 theproportion of our lives in which we enjoy good health.The Commission will take account of lessons drawnfrom the pilot project as we consider furtherENHANCING GROWTHTHROUGH ENERGY AND INNOVATION120GLOBAL VOICESTJOSÉ MANUEL DURÃO BARROSO, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC)
Below:José ManuelDurão Barrosopartnerships like water quality and use, resource-efficient use of raw materials and development ofsubstitutes, unleashing the bio-economy, andaccelerating the number of "smart" cities.Of course, innovation does not happen in a vacuumand at EU level we need to create the right frameworkconditions. I would just pick out a couple of exampleswhere we want a clear signal from the EuropeanCouncil. We believe the time has come forgovernments to set aside dedicated budgets fromexisting money for public procurement of innovativeproducts and services. This should create aprocurement market worth at least ?10 billion a yearfor innovations that improve public services. Secondly,we urgently need to improve access to finance. We arelooking to put in place an EU-wide venture capitalscheme and establish the conditions for an EU-wideknowledge market to be created. Here we are workingwith the European Investment Bank to scale up EUschemes like the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility, whichGLOBAL VOICES121has leveraged investments from the private sectorworth over 40 times what the EU budget has put in.The idea here is to create a fund of funds that caninject large amounts of funding for priority projects. Getting better value for money also means cutting red-tape, so that EU-funded scientists can spend more timein the lab and less time with red tape, because wecannot attract the most brilliant scientists and mostinnovative companies with an incoherent set of fundinginstruments, with complex and bureaucratic rules.Simplifying the Framework Programme is one of our toppriorities and we would like a good cooperation with the Council and the Parliament for that purpose. nThis is an edited version of the remarks delivered byJosé Manuel Barroso, President of the EuropeanCommission, during the orientation debate on energyand innovation in Brussels, on 5 January 2011. Formore information on President Barroso's engagementsvisit: www.europa.eu.