EU: Juncker and Verhofstadt warn against nationalists and populists
Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at the European Parliament (EP), said yesterday that the solution to uncontrolled globalization and virulent nationalism and populism on the old continent is a new, reformed, stronger European Union. His remarks were made in response to the speech on the state of the union given by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Among other things, Juncker condemned rising populism in Europe. Verhofstadt, who heads the fourth-largest faction at the EP out of eight such factions total, said questions about the EU are answered differently depending on what generation Europeans belong to.
"Young people want a bright European future, they see the opportunities the EU offers. The immigration wave, the tax avoidance by big supranational corporations, terrorism, and international crime, however, make many older people feel the EU is no longer the solution. In this situation, it is no surprise that people are falling into the trap of nationalists and popultists who preach a false sense of security, a return to fences and walls," the former Belgian Prime Minister said.
Verhofstadt also agreed with Juncker's critique of nationalism and populism. "Problems are not solved by populism, which just creates new ones. We must defend ourselves against this," Juncker declared, going on to condemn, for example, recent assaults on Polish citizens in Britain.
"Under no circumstances can Europeans ever accept Polish workers being beaten, harassed, and even murdered in the streets of Essex," the European Commission head declared. Verhofstadt also supported Juncker's proposal that a common European defense system be created.
"The Americans want us to take more responsibility for our area," Verhofstadt noted. In his view, it is also necessary to reform EU currency and economic policy and to create a new, common asylum and immigration system that would be based on EU border and coast guards.
German MEP Manfred Weber, chair of the biggest group in the EP, the European People's Party (EPP) also said he believes European youth continue to see a better future in the EU. The nations of Europe, in his view, do not want a divided Europe, but they do want solutions to their concerns and problems.
Addressing the plenary session of the EP after Juncker, Weber declared that Turkey is a significant partner for the EU but cannot become a full-fledged member. British MEP Nigel Farage, the leader of the second-smallest faction at the EP, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), predicted in his own speech that opposition forces to the EU will grow rapidly.
Farage also believes there will be more referendums on EU membership. "You cannot stop the Eastern European countries who reject the immigration policy of [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel," said Farage, who led the successful campaign for Britain's departure from the EU.
- Council of Europe chief says discrimination against Romani people continues to be ignored
- European Court of Human Rights: Slovakia failed to investigate Roma youth's allegations of police brutality
- Europe: Anti-refugee initiatives spreading lies about German justice system after Munich shooting
- IN IMAGES: Romani people from all over Europe commemorate the Romani victims of the Holocaust
- Czech President rejects all migrants, EU Commissioner says he is mocking the law
- Council of Europe honours victims and survivors of Roma Holocaust
- EU Commissioners on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Too many Roma are victims of hate crime in Europe
- International Organization for Migration data shows how biased reporting is about migrants in Europe
- Czech Radio: Political scientist says Europe is not the epicenter of political violence, but anti-Muslim hate is spreading there
- Czech Republic: Record numbers of parents seek after-school tutoring for their children from Museum of Romani Culture
- Parliamentarians of Europe get involved to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to fight against genocide denial
- UK: Number of attacks on East European and Muslim immigrants grows by 42 % since the referendum
- Council of Europe demands proof of changed practice in the Czech schools when it comes to Roma discrimination
- Petr Uhl: British Tories and the Czech ODS are two Trojan horses inside the EU
- British educator, ashamed of his country's vote on remaining in EU, calls for referendum on exit terms
- Goal of his career! Romani footballer Ricardo Quaresma sends Portugal to EURO 2016 quarterfinals
- Czech PM says EU must become less bureaucratic, Slovak Govt tells its nationals in Britain not to worry yet
- European Commission President Juncker: EU countries must not reject refugees because of Paris attacks
- EU Commission: States have to show improvement for Roma if they expect to draw funding
- EU Commissioner for Values: EU money is meant to help the Roma too, data collection is important so we aren't flying blind
- Czech Govt to divert billions of crowns from the EU away from social services even as COVID-19 increases demand for debt counseling
- Czech Republic: Further action needed to integrate Roma children in schools and prevent discrimination against LGBTI persons
- Civil society skeptical as to whether EU Member States will align with European Commission's 10-year Roma Strategy
- Miroslav Klempár: I do not believe the European Commission's new 10-year plan to support Roma will apply to the Czech Republic!
- European Commission VP Věra Jourová: Not enough was done during the last decade for Roma, the EC is launching a new 10-year plan
- Bulgaria: Scandal over EU-financed training to detect alleged "radicalization" of Roma, activists say money was used to boost anti-Romani sentiment
- EP calls on EC to draft a law on the equality, inclusion and participation of Romani people and on combating antigypsyism
- European Commission acknowledges racism is structural and beefs up the fight against racial discrimination
- European Roma Rights Centre reports on human rights violations against Romani people during the pandemic this spring
- Analysis: European populists lose their charm to scandals, trials and unpaid debts