Fri. Jul 12th, 2024
Brussels, 15 December 2022

Speaking to European Council, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola focused on the way forward for the EU on competitiveness, energy, fighting inflation and helping Ukraine.

In her remarks to the December European Council, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola focused on rebuilding trust and working together to lead the European Union forward, especially in the fields of competitiveness, energy, fighting inflation and supporting Ukraine.

Specifically, she said the following:


On Schengen


“It was so disappointing to see that last week, Council again dashed the hopes of millions of 
Europeans by choosing to delay, yet again, the accession of Romania and Bulgaria. Like the Schengen Member States, they bear full responsibility for the security and stability of external Schengen borders without enjoying its benefits. They successfully passed their Schengen evaluation processes more than 11 years ago. There is historic momentum to fix this – if we do this, now.”


“We are a Union with a proud history of tearing down walls and of bringing people together. We can do that again, if we have the courage to take political decisions that are the stamp of our generation to the construction of Europe.”


On growth, competitiveness and
 trade with the US


“To address the socio-economic fall out of war in Ukraine, we need to return to growth and focus on Europe’s competitiveness and our role as a global player.”


“My hope is that trade disputes can be avoided and that the protectionist US ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ act will instead provide a platform for further US-EU leadership in climate action, energy security and for cooperation on the definition of common standards. Fighting climate change should be done together and not at the expense of each other’s industrial base.”


“The EU should try to gain a competitive edge globally by sticking to its democratic values 
and pursuing its climate agenda. We should continue to insist on the fact that our way can work.”


“The EU should avoid the slippery slope of who reaches the bottom of the protectionist race 
first.”


On investments and the Single Market


“We must speed up public investment in Europe, to serve as a bridge for real European 
solutions in the medium-term. But we need to have a level-playing field in the Single Market and globally. Our Green Deal must be a growth strategy.”


On energy


“Growth will also come from reforming our energy market. We must make it future-proof together. Otherwise we will continue to outbid each other. We will continue to support measures that facilitate gas storage filling for the next winter, and joint purchases of supplies. We must diversify our energy sources.”


“We must put in place a robust regulatory framework for the future. The ongoing 
revision of the EU Gas regulation will align our rules with trade demand and green hydrogen transmission. The European Parliament must be involved in the revision of our electricity market expected for early next year. The European Parliament has shown that it will act fast when needed, as it did e.g. on RePowerEU plan on which a deal was reached yesterday.”


On inflation and economic governance


“We must refrain from fiscal policies that fuel inflation and hit the vulnerable hardest. That is not to say, that there is no room for greater flexibility in some areas but it has to be balanced.”


“There is a need to review the EU economic governance framework. A proper and credible 
framework is necessary for sustainable fiscal policies. I am glad that the Commission is launching a debate with Member States and the European Parliament about this. This must be done in 2023.”


On Ukraine


“In 2023 we will need to stand ever stronger with Ukraine, that looks to us for political, humanitarian, military, energy and financial support. We cannot allow fatigue to set in – that is what Russia is hoping for. They want to exhaust our systems and our patience. We must show the same resilience that we have asked of Ukrainians.”


“We need to finalise our next round of sanctions and ensure that the loopholes that still exist are closed. Yesterday, we awarded our Sakharov Prize to the people of Ukraine – who were represented by President Zelenskyy. His words convinced us – as if we needed more proof – of the determination of Ukraine’s bravery. I praised the progress Ukraine is making in 
implementing the European Commission’s seven recommendations for your country’s application for European Union membership. We can and we will keep supporting the people of Ukraine.”


Conclusion


“I am convinced that together, we have what it takes to overcome our differences and lead the European Union forward.”

Source – EU Parliament

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