Bring Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia to Schengen
The EPP Group calls on Member States to finally bring Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia into the Schengen area, when Home Affairs Ministers meet on Thursday. "Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia have proven to be more than ready to fully join Schengen, having dealt with migration crises, pandemic restrictions and now the arrival of war refugees in an exemplary way under immense pressure. They fulfill all the requirements, it is time to deliver", urges Paulo Rangel MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chair, responsible for the functioning of the Schengen area in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
Freeze EU funds for Hungary over rule of law
Finance Ministers of the Member States will decide on Tuesday whether to uphold the European Commission's recommendations over Hungary. They should confirm the freezing of funds until remedial measures over the rule of law are fully in place. 'The Hungarian Government had a lot of time to implement the requested measures but it did not do enough. The Commission came to the same conclusion as we in the European Parliament did. Now, the onus is on the EU Member States to finally confirm the same. If EU citizens’ money cannot be protected against irregularities, then it cannot be disbursed”, said Petri Sarvamaa MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Budgetary Control.
EPP Group to debate migration in Vienna
The EPP Group Presidency and the Heads of National Delegations will hold a special meeting in the Austrian capital Vienna from Wednesday to Friday. Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP/EPP) will join the event, which will be chaired by EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP. Angelika Winzig MEP, Head of the Austrian Delegation of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, and Othmar Karas MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, will contribute to debates with Austrian and European politicians and experts about the big challenges of our times, like the role of Europe in a changing world, and migration. There will be a press point with Chairman Weber and Chancellor Nehammer on Wednesday 7 December at 17.30 hrs. It will be streamed in English here and in German here.
Interreligious dialogue on future of Europe and war
The EPP Group will hold its 24th Annual Intercultural Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions on Thursday and Friday in Vienna. The event will bring together leading MEPs, with high-ranking representatives from Abrahamic religions namely Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, and academics to debate on religion and the future of Europe, including the reaction of Churches and religious communities to the war in Ukraine and their contribution to the evolution of the European Union.
Western Balkans: Serbia must choose between Russia and the future
Leaders from EU Member States and Western Balkans partners will meet on Tuesday for a summit in Tirana, Albania. This will happen amid the war in Ukraine and in times when the influence and hybrid propaganda from Russia, China and other players flood the region. “We must not allow Russia to change the narrative with disinformation and fake news and push our partners in another direction. Our European project will not be complete without the Western Balkans and sooner or later they will become full members”, said the EPP Group Spokesman on the Western Balkans, Andrey Kovatchev MEP. The only EU candidate country which has still not aligned with the common EU policy on Russia is Serbia. “Now is the time for Belgrade to make a clear commitment to which side it supports - the EU or the terrorist Russian regime. The EPP Group recalls that a credible enlargement perspective requires political will, sustainable efforts and irreversible reforms in all areas”, added Kovatchev.
The role of young farmers in food security
More than 300 young farmers, stakeholders and policy-makers will meet next Wednesday in the European Parliament for the 8th European Congress of Young Farmers. Co-organised by EPP Group MEPs Nuno Melo (Portugal), Simone Schmiedtbauer (Austria), Herbert Dorfmann (Italy), Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (Spain) and Michaela Šojdrová (Czech Republic), the event will focus this year on the role of young farmers in food security. Highlights of the congress will be the annual awards in three categories: best digital project, most resilient project and the best project on improving rural areas.