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Monday, March 27, 2023

EP President Metsola to the European Council: Important day for European unity

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In her address, the European Parliament President Metsola called for European unity in support of Ukraine, in response to migration challenges and in rebuilding trust in the economy.

On Ukraine:

“Today is an important day for European unity. President Zelenskyy’s words reverberated throughout Europe with a strong message of unity and a reminder that the battle for Ukraine is not just one for territory – but also one in defence of our shared values.”

“Ukraine still needs more support. Ukraine needs weapons, more heavy armour. Tanks, jets and long-range defence systems must be considered. There is no time for complacency.”

“That is how we can help achieve peace. Peace with dignity. Peace with freedom. Peace with justice.“

“Ukraine is Europe. Last year, we took the historic decision to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. Ukraine’s place is within the European Union. We must be ready to follow through with our word. Ukraine has been making remarkable headway with the pace of its reforms. I am hopeful that accession negotiations could begin as soon as possible – provided that Ukraine fulfils all necessary criteria.”

On migration:

“Migration challenge necessitates a European response. With the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, we already have a plan:

  • On strengthening our external borders: we have started to address these issues, while preserving the integrity of the Schengen area, with an agreement on the Asylum Procedures Regulation and Screening.
  • On secondary movements and effective solidarity: answers can come with agreements on Eurodac and the Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management.
  • On the external dimension and our efforts with key third countries: Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management is the key, along with increased safe returns.
  • On crises and other unforeseen circumstances: the Migration Pact has the answers.”

“Our focus needs to be on finalising the reform of the Asylum and Migration legislative framework before the end of this legislative period. This is the commitment the European Parliament and the five rotating Presidencies in the Council made to European citizens back in September of last year.”

On economy, energy and climate:

“In this time of global instability: high inflation, costly energy prices, struggling industries and painful household bills, we need to build on our biggest asset, the Single Market.”

“The world’s largest single democratic market has strengthened our place in the world. We are still setting global standards. Our way of open societies and open markets works.”

“We can build on this. Let us speed up investment in Europe, to put the European economy back on a stable path of growth and to make us even more competitive.“

“The EU should try to gain a competitive edge globally by sticking to its democratic values and by pursuing our climate agenda with our tailor-made regulatory framework. We must avoid the slippery slope of who reaches the bottom of the protectionist race first. We do not need to fence ourselves in. Our economy has grown over the years precisely because we stood for the opposite. Our way of doing things works.”

“Energy and electricity firms have made record-breaking profits in 2022. Now is the time to double down on the idea of a windfall tax, with around 40 billion Euro worth of additional revenues for one energy firm alone.”

“The latest forecasts show that the European Union will be able to deploy more renewable energy in the next 5 years than it has in the past 20. The need for this transition is not threat, but an opportunity.”

You can find her full speech here.

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