News

2018: It is now or never

Manfred WEBER
16.01.2018 - 10:30
Mediterranean

It's now or never. The formula seems worn out it has been heard so much, but it is nevertheless my deep conviction: the future of the European Union will be played out this year.

In March 2018, the electoral sequence which started in May 2017 with the elections in France, was followed by Germany, but also the Czech Republic and Austria, will end with the Italian elections.

Germany will, at last, have a government.

We will have barely twelve months ahead of us before the start of the European elections campaign to complete major projects. In a word, to convince European citizens to continue to support an ambitious European political project.

Solving the migration crisis

It is our duty to solve the migration crisis. If Member State governments insist on rejecting their own responsibilities, if we don't reach a balanced solution for the distribution of refugees, then it would be an immense admission of failure.

The migration crisis requires creativity, including in defining how solidarity can be expressed. But the Southern European countries cannot be the only ones in the front row.

It requires creativity, including in defining how solidarity can be expressed. But the Southern European countries cannot be the only ones in the front row.

We must also find a balance between welcoming refugees fleeing conflict zones and strengthening the fight against illegal immigration.

Making our Economy and Currency crisis-proof

On the economic front, the indicators are formal: 2018 should be a good year for the European economy. In both the euro area and the European Union as a whole, growth is picking up again, investments are also rising and jobs are growing. Winter is still here, but spring is coming.

We need to set up a European Monetary Fund and strengthen the banking union

These good results should not allow us to forget the need to make our currency and our economic and monetary union permanently crisis-proof. We need to set up a European Monetary Fund and strengthen the banking union.

Strengthening social Europe

2018 will also be an opportunity to strengthen social Europe - I hope that a balanced agreement can be found quickly between governments and European parliamentarians on the reform of the Posting of Workers Directive so that the harmful divisions which appeared between Western and Eastern Europe can be finally healed.

Closing Brexit negotiations

Michel Barnier has repeatedly reminded our British neighbours that "the clock is ticking": despite all the time lost, it is also this year that the negotiations on Brexit and on the terms of divorce and outlines of our future relationship must be closed. The European Parliament, which will have to validate the final agreement, will be particularly keen to defend the interests of European citizens residing in the United Kingdom.

New own resources

As a direct consequence of Brexit, the negotiations on the next long-term budget of the European Union for after 2020 will be even tougher than usual, since it will be necessary to fill the gap of 12 to 13 billion a year left by the departure of the United Kingdom.

Common European projects and policies should no longer be systematically dependent on the fluctuating goodwill of governments as elections go by

I hope that this first budget negotiation between 27 will be the occasion for general reflection on the objectives of the European Union budget and potentially a paradigm shift: common European projects and policies should no longer be systematically dependent on the fluctuating goodwill of governments as elections go by. We must absolutely think about new own resources.

The year promises to be busy.

I call on the governments of all Member States to take up their responsibilities.

In the European Parliament, the EPP Group is fully aware of what is at stake and intends to play its part in the crucial upcoming elections.

MEPs Involved
current_meps - 28229.jpg
Chairman of the EPP Group

Latest

Man voting on elections in Europe
23.02.2018 - 17:59

People should know who can become the Commission President

"Europe should not be an elite project. It must become more of a project for the people again. This is why we need more democracy and...
Enlargement
22.02.2018 - 11:39

End rebate logic - we all benefit from EU budget

“The EU budget must be strengthened without penalising taxpayers. Post-2020, we have to stop rebates, compensations and end the logic of...
Online shopping with digital tablet
22.02.2018 - 10:10

Shop like at home

Whether buying online or offline from another EU Member State, European consumers will in the future be entitled to a harmonised level oF protection...
Combines harvesting wheat
21.02.2018 - 18:14

Evaluation and authorisation of pesticides needs to hold up to scrutiny

After the controversy surrounding the renewal of the use of glyphosate in farming, the European Parliament has set up a Special Committee to...

Highlights of the week

26.02.2018 - 02.03.2018
Palm growing from pile of euros

New Tax Committee: artificial shifting around of companies' profits must end

Parliament is setting up a new special committee on Thursday to look further into the problem of the tax evasion and tax avoidance of multi-national...
Germany, Frankfurt, European Central Bank, low angle

EP hearing for ECB Vice-President candidate Luis De Guindos

The Ecofin Council, which gathers together the EU's 28 Finance Ministers, confirmed at its meeting on 20 February the nomination of Spanish...
A bee on a flower

Honey bees in trouble

The European Parliament will debate the future of beekeeping at its mini-Plenary on Wednesday. "We must keep an eye on our bees as their role in...