Remarks by President Charles Michel after his meeting with Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez

Dear Prime Minister, dear Pedro, it is a great pleasure, and a great honour to be tonight with you for the launch of the Spanish presidency. I’m extremely confident because I know that this presidency is very well prepared. Your visit to Kyiv yesterday sends a strong signal of support to the people of Ukraine. Support for our common values because today Ukraine is the frontline in the battle for our European principles and values. Our duty is to support the people of Ukraine as much as we can and for as long as it takes.

The European Union has recently confronted some of its biggest challenges: the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisisSpain has been at the forefront in addressing all these tests – constructive, focused on solutions and willing to forge powerful compromises. So it’s no coincidence that your slogan is ‘Europe, closer’. Bringing the EU closer to its citizens should be the focus for all of us in member states and in the EU institutions. I have no doubt that you will rise to the occasion. The priorities for your presidency are extremely clear and they are fully in line with what matters to European citizens across our continent – reindustrialising Europe, greening our societies, ensuring social and economic fairness, and reinforcing our European unity. And these priorities will also feature in the EU’s new strategic agenda for the next five years.

In a few weeks, the EU will have, as you have mentioned, its first summit with Latin America and the Caribbean in eight years. This is a great opportunity to re-energise the relationship between our continents in areas like the green transition, trade and economic cooperation.

We are also looking forward to the third meeting of the European political community in Grenada in October. We will prepare it very well because these are important moments for our union.

Thank you dear Prime Minister, thanks to you and to your team for your hard work to make them a success.I am looking forward to working together to make Europe fairer, greener, more prosperous and more united.

Spain can count on the EU, and we know that EU can count on Spain. We are in good hands.