Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, called on Europe to show leadership on enlargement, support to Ukraine and EU´s long-term budget at the European Council.
Addressing the December European Council in Brussels, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola raised e.g. the following topics in her speech:
“We find ourselves at the threshold of another historic moment for our Union. And it is on us to decide whether a historic opportunity is grabbed or whether it will go down as a historic failure.
The time is now to live up to our promise. To show unity and solidarity. To show courage and resolve. To show that this can be a win-win situation for all.
Opening EU accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova is the next step.”
“It is a decision based on merit, on respect for our criteria, on each nation having its own path towards the objective goals we set for them.”
“The global geo-political situation means that there is also a price of inaction.
A window of opportunity has opened for all of us. We should not slam it shut.”
“Enlargement is our strongest geopolitical, strategic and future-oriented investment. Its transformative ability is something we all know well. A merit-based enlargement strengthens our continent, our Union and our way of life.”
Support to Ukraine:
“We need to remain steadfast in our political, military, humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine, even as it becomes more difficult. As much as it is a moral obligation, it is a strategic one too. It is also strategic that we come to an agreement on the new 50 billion Ukraine Facility that the European Parliament voted on in October. Because this is about investments and growth. For Ukraine and for Europe.
The Ukraine facility will assist Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction and modernisation which will mean less budgetary support for the future.”
EU´s long-term budget (MFF):
“Our aim to become stronger, more united and more competitive in an increasingly changing and hostile world needs to be backed up by sufficient resources.
The pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, climate change, energy and the cost of living crises, have all had their impact. Rising interest rates have caused our NextGenerationEU borrowing expenses to rise. Our MFF is stretched to its limit, with the new tasks we have agreed together.
This European Council therefore needs to reach an agreement: One that respects the prerogatives of the European Parliament as budgetary authority as laid down in the Treaties. One that finds a structural solution for managing the borrowing costs – and progress on own resources are part of this solution. One that preserves the Union’s shared values and will not compromise on the rule of law. One that ensures the EU can respond effectively to crises and unforeseen circumstances. And one that does not further cut into flagship programmes that for many are the tangible face of the European Union.
That is why the European Parliament has repeated calls for a revision of the MFF and why we are ready to take this discussion forward.”
“We need to do more to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and the aftermath of the October 7th terror attack in Israel and in the wider Middle East. The European Union can take a leading role in plotting a way forward, in planning for the day after, in helping in reconstruction, in nation building and looking towards real, sustainable, lasting stability based on a two-State solution.
Even in the fog of war we need to talk about peace, about how to save innocent lives, stop terror, and respect international law – and about how we can offer respite to Palestinians and hope to Israelis – today. We also need to ensure that the West Bank does not become a new regional flashpoint.”
Migration and Asylum Pact:
“Allow me one last appeal on the Migration and Asylum pact. We are closer than we have been in a decade. I am hopeful. We need to seize the momentum. An agreement on this package before the end of the year will mean a decisive victory for the constructive pro-European centre ahead of the start of a European elections year. We can show that Europe has the solutions for the issues that our citizens care about.”
“The European Parliament’s contribution on reforms, which is detailed in our treaty change report, provides a good basis for this reflection and my hope is that it will be discussed at a future meeting.”
“Europe has shown that we can lead, that we can take the necessary decisions and today we can lead again.”