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EC President Barroso will meet Wolfwitz

President Barroso will meet with World Bank President Wolfowitz on Monday 14 November

The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso will meet with World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz in Brussels to discuss a wide range of global and regional issues as well as the overall relations of the European Commission with the World Bank. They will hold a brainstorming discussion involving the President of the European Investment Bank, Philip Maystadt, as well as Commissioners Almunia, Ferrero-Waldner, Mandelson, Michel and Rehn.

Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: "Both the World Bank and the European Commission are leading global players in the fight to decrease poverty and increase economic opportunity for all. We have to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our aid, and stimulate greater opportunity for the poorest countries through trade. This meeting will serve to strengthen the very important relationship we have with the World Bank and I look forward to improving our co-operation even further.”

The EU is the world’s biggest aid donor and trading bloc. It accounts for 55% of development assistance or €34.3 billion in 2004, 20% of which is managed by the Commission. The World Bank Group is also a leading global player, with an annual aid volume of $26 billion. Co-operation between the two institutions is complex and multiform. It takes place in support of the developing countries, in particular the low income countries. Besides, co-operation focuses on EU priority regions: South-Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Discussions on Monday 14 November will focus, among other things, on how best to reinforce co-ordination on policy development and execution in many parts of the world. Among the global issues to be discussed are the Doha Development Round and an increased attention to Trade Related Technical Assistance. .

A VIP corner press briefing with President Barroso and President Wolfowitz is foreseen for 16:15 pm at the VIP Corner in the Berlaymont.

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