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Pittella: from the highly symbolic island of Ventotene, a re-united EU must now concretely deliver


22 Aug 2016


Development Policy
EU Priorities 2020

Ahead of the meeting hosted today by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande on the island of Ventotene, the S&D Group president Gianni Pittella is calling for a new beginning in order for the EU to face global challenges.

"From the highly symbolic island of Ventotene, the heart of European values, the EU must be refounded on the basis of new investments in European values and a political project which enables it to sideline its nowadays common austerity approach and its selfish myopia. Emergencies must be turned into opportunities for Europe. This is the very time for change; on the verge of disintegration", warned Gianni Pittella.

He added:

"From Ventotene, from the deepest crisis Europe has ever gone through and in front of all global challenges, the EU must relaunch today its willingness to be together and react together.

"The Socialists and Democrats group urges a new beginning. It is imperative to start with new financial flexibility that finally overrides "fiscal compact" and enables investments, growth and the creation of new jobs. Juncker Plan 2 must be reinforced and relaunched, as well as prioritising the social pillar.

"A re-united Europe must definitely start from the full implementation of a common migration policy. It is high time all member states take a decisive step towards solidarity, thereby enabling the EU to be effective in welcoming migrants whilst fighting the root causes of migration.

"Enhanced cooperation must also be ensured in the security and common defence policies against terrorism and radicalization.

"All concrete ideas are on the table.

"There's no other way to fight back populists and save Europe other than delivering. The EU must ultimately deliver accurately and swiftly.

"We won't leave the momentum of the new beginning in the hands of a purely intergovernmental approach. Europe needs stronger and common European institutions: the Commission and European Parliament in primis."