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Iratxe García’s message to EUCO: "Faster reforms needed to bolster EU's ability to handle crises"


29 Jun 2023



Ahead of the European Council starting today in Brussels, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats Iratxe García sent a strong message on the need to increase the pace of reforms:

“I hope national leaders understand how urgent it is to reach an agreement on crucial pending reforms. Given the extraordinary situation, we need to avoid hesitation on important processes such as the revision of the EU budget and the reform of the fiscal rules. The European Union cannot face growing challenges with less funding, and our guiding principle must be solidarity and predictability.

“Europeans and markets saw a strong response of unity and solidarity both when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and when faced with the Russian war against Ukraine. This was the right response, but it cannot be a temporary solution. We need a more robust budget and a permanent instrument that gives the EU and its member states enough fiscal space to protect both people and the environment, one that enables them to invest in the future. A return to austerity is not an option.

“But there is life beyond the EU Budget and fiscal rules. We also need to finally reach an agreement on migration. By now, it is clear that we must move from crisis mode to a permanent and sustainable strategy to deal with migration flows according to our values. This can only be done by developing safe and legal alternative pathways, which would avoid migrant smuggling and deaths at sea. I expect member states to support the allocation of sufficient funding for a European system of cooperation on search and rescue among member states.

“Lastly, to advance in a collective response, it is of utmost importance that we deliver and find a compromise in the New Pact – an agreement that strikes a fair balance between solidarity and the fair sharing of responsibility, with those seeking protection and between member states.”


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