Official speeches and statements - May 31, 2019
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A lot of discussions have been conducted today. Personally, after several bilateral conversations in recent days, in Paris and on the telephone, I had the opportunity first of all to meet the two negotiators from the socialist and liberal-and-democrat groups, and so five of us had lunch together. I then had the chance to talk to the four members of the Visegrad group. I saw President Tusk and Chancellor Merkel, and we had an initial meeting of the 28, which gave us an opportunity to have a substantial discussion. I also want, before anything else, to pay tribute here to two colleagues. The first is the Prime Minister of Finland, who today completed his first Council and who has been a constructive colleague with whom we made a lot of progress on issues that weren’t necessarily of immediate concern between our two countries. I really want to pay tribute to him. I visited Finland a few months ago, and I really send him my best wishes. Obviously we also paid tribute to Theresa May, following the announcement she made recently.
This Council enabled us to identify a few key points. First of all, everyone acknowledged the importance of European citizens’ votes, their strong turnout all over Europe, which places an obligation on us, the mobilization of young people and the new scenario that emerges from it. The new scenario means one thing: we can’t replicate old habits. And the new scenario is simple: an actually unprecedented mobilization, the rising importance of the climate issue, which hangs over us all, and, for the first time since 1979, the impossibility of gaining a majority in the Parliament with only two parties, and hence the need to build a genuine coalition of progress between all pro-Europeans.
This evening we also endorsed the fact that there’s nothing automatic about the Spitzenkandidat and therefore that our institutions must be respected and everyone’s powers must be respected. A role is given to the Council, a role to the Parliament, and that’s how we’ll proceed. We decided to give Donald Tusk a mandate to work in the coming weeks to identify proposed names on the basis of our discussion, and we took the decision to endorse, by the June Council at the latest, the four main political nominations that emerge from this election.
We then talked at length about important fundamental issues, and I think these nominations must come from a policy platform and from what we want to do: the climate emergency and the climate decisions we must take at European level are the first priority; building a new model of growth and progress for Europe, based on investment in innovation and the new technological objectives, also based on a deepening of the single market and its competitiveness, but also on a social pillar essential for greater convergence in Europe. A third priority is protections, security. Our fellow citizens want to be protected, and whether it’s about immigration or defense we need a more sovereign Europe. And a fourth priority is deepening the Euro Area, as supported by many. We’re going to define and fine-tune this platform in the coming days and weeks. On this basis, Donald Tusk is going to lead consultations between the various heads of state and government and with the European Parliament, to make us proposals and identify a path.