”Europe is about changing the course of history, we need a dose of that spirit again”, said European Parliament President Roberta Metsola addressing the informal European Council in Granada.
In her discussion with the leaders, she said:
”Where there is a political will, there is a way.
We saw that with the pandemic. With us standing up against Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Like we are addressing our climate challenges, disengaging from Russian energy, setting global standards in the digital sector and laying foundations for the years to come.
In the last years, we have done things that many thought impossible. We can do it again.
We came together in a manner that has seen our Union grow stronger, more autonomous and more impactful than it has ever been before.
Europe is about discovering the political will to overcome seemingly impossible odds and differences, about find ways forward that transform lives, about solving inter-generational geo-political issues and changing the course of history.
Whether it is on migration, on our MFF or on enlargement, we need a dose of that spirit again.
The European Parliament is ready. Ready to bring in the views of our citizens and to take the messages back home to them. Ready to play its part to bring EU citizens on board. Because that is the only way of ensuring that our reforms are ultimately successful.”
”Election after election, migration continues to rank as one of the top concerns for European citizens. What is on the table can deliver on people’s expectations without forcing them to retreat to the fringes or extremes.
One that protect our borders and that is fair with those in need of protection, that is firm with those who are not eligible, and that is strong with criminal networks preying on the most vulnerable.
We can find an agreement on the Asylum and Migration Pact before the end of term.
Compromise is what moves us forward.
The European Parliament’s commitment to finalising this package remains unwavering.”
”Enlargement is the Union’s strongest geopolitical tool. And especially in this new geostrategic environment, an enlarged EU that is based on clear objectives, criteria and merit, serves as an investment in peace, security, stability and prosperity on the European continent. It is a process with an outcome that benefits everyone involved.
That is why the European Parliament had called for Ukraine and Moldova to receive EU candidate status. This status gives a clear European perspective to these nations and serves as a powerful impetus for advancing democratic reforms. A quick look back at the last 20 years can illustrate the transformative power of enlargement. That is why we want to go the next step by the end of the year if those countries are ready.
Now we need to match our rhetoric with action. We must match their ambition with our ability and willingness to change. We need to start a genuine discussion on EU absorption capacity and internal reform. This is already long overdue. These states will be ready to join, and we must be ready too. Kicking the can further down the road will not solve anything.”
”Our funds are finite. The pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, natural disasters and the cost of living crisis has taken its toll. Rising interest rates have pushed up our NextGenerationEU borrowing costs. The combined effect of all this is that the EU’s budget is stretched to its limit.
We have a duty to react.
The world has changed beyond recognition in the last years, and so have our priorities.
We need more resources to:
– address migration,
– continue supporting Ukraine on a long-term and sustainable path,
– support Member States struck by natural disasters, quickly and effectively. When they look to Europe the most, we must be ready.
– And we need to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to our competitiveness – that is how we generate real, sustainable economic growth, which is necessary to sustain our ambitions.”
You can find the full speech of President Metsola here.