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EU Commissioner Michel Barnier debates future of Europe with HEC students

27 March 2012

In partnership with the student associations HEC Débats and Involv'EU, the HEC Europe Institute had the honor of welcoming Michel Barnier, European Commissioner in charge of Domestic Affairs, on campus on Monday 19 March 2012.
Noëlle Lenoir, President of the HEC Europe Institute and "Le Cercle des Européens" gave an opening speech at the conference, which was attended by over 200 students.

The former Minister -who is today one of the most influential members of the Barroso II Commission- defended his vision of a "powerful Europe" capable of gaining respect for its point of view on the international scene and source of growth for its citizens. In response to the students' questions, he shared his priorities: to build a truly industrial policy, to boost the domestic market and to increase the European budget by putting "project bonds" into place for example.
He offered a clear explanation of the workings of the Commission, too often accused of being at the bottom of all of Europe's failures. Although fragile and unfinished, "Europe is a beautiful political project," the Commissioner declared; for policy-makers "it is about making progress by working together."
When invited to comment on the French presidential campaign, Michel Barnier expressed his disappointment at the lack of environmental policies.

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