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Wtorek, 6 lutego 2018 r. - Strasburg Wersja poprawiona

3. Debata z premierem Chorwacji Andrejem Plenkoviciem na temat przyszłości Europy (debata)
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione con il Primo ministro della Croazia Andrej Plenković sul futuro dell'Europa (2018/2533(RSP)).

Prima di dare la parola al Primo ministro Plenković, che ringrazio per aver aderito al nostro invito – lo saluto anche perché è stato, all'inizio di questa legislatura, componente di questa Assemblea –, vi ricordo che è possibile richiedere il "catch the eye" usando l'apparecchio per il voto elettronico. Per introdurre la vostra richiesta, inserire la carta di voto e utilizzare uno qualsiasi dei bottoni per il voto elettronico. Procedo adesso all'apertura del sistema che resterà aperto durante l'intervento del Primo ministro Plenković.

Do adesso la parola al Primo ministro Plenković, perché possa illustrare all'Aula le sue idee e le idee del suo governo sul futuro dell'Europa.

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, hrvatski premijer. – Poštovani predsjedniče Europskog parlamenta, dragi Antonio, poštovani potpredsjednici, čelnici političkih skupina, zastupnici, poštovani predsjedniče Europske komisije, dragi Jean-Claude, poštovana ministrice bugarskoga predsjedanja Vijeća, dragi prijatelji.

It is good to be back. It takes leaving the Parliament to arrive at the podium.

Drago mi je vidjeti prijatelje i osjetiti pozitivnu atmosferu Strasbourga. Zadovoljstvo mi je kao predsjedniku Vlade Republike Hrvatske govoriti danas o budućnosti Europe.

Ove će godine Hrvatska obilježiti petu godinu članstva u Europskoj uniji. To je prigoda za prisjećanje na naš zahtjevan proces pristupanja, kao i činjenicu da je Europska zajednica 15. siječnja 1992. godine međunarodno priznala Hrvatsku. Ona se time nakon devet stoljeća kao neovisna država vratila na političku kartu svijeta, na raskrće srednje Europe i Sredozemlja. Hrvatski narod, taj dan, kao i dan pristupanja Europskoj uniji, i danas pamti s puno emocija.

Pad Berlinskog zida označio je odbacivanje komunizma i pobjedu demokracije u cijeloj srednjoj i istočnoj Europi. Premda smo i mi težili povratku u okrilje demokratske Europe, to razdoblje i događaji početkom devedestih bili su za Hrvatsku izrazito nepovoljni i teški. Na kraju dvadesetog stoljeća u srcu Europe bili smo nažalost prisiljeni braniti svoju slobodu od vojne agresije. Opsada i razaranje Vukovara, prvog europskog grada uništenog nakon drugog svjetskog rata. Bombardiranje srednjovjekovnog Dubrovnika. Tisuće ubijenih, ranjenih te stotine tisuća raseljenih trajno su obilježili to bolno razdoblje.

U ratu koji je završio 1995. Hrvatska je pretrpjela štete koje su dosegle 150 % od predratnoga BDP-a. Možete samo zamisliti koliko je to usporilo našu društvenu i gospodarsku preobrazbu. Premda smo prije rata bili među razvijenijim tranzicijskim gospodarstvima, tijekom devedesetih, zbog svega navedenog, izgubili smo korak u odnosu na druge i ušli u Europsku uniju 2013., umjesto, da nije bilo tog rata, vjerojatno 2004.

Trebalo je proći gotovo četvrt stoljeća da bi se Hrvatska oporavila, promijenila i razvila, obnovila se, izgradila i danas postala jedna od europskih najatraktivnijih turističkih destinacija koju je prošle godine posjetilo 18 milijuna gostiju. Turizam danas predstavlja skoro 20 % našega BDP-a i prvi smo u Europi po broju turista po stanovniku. Kao istaknute elemente naše kulturne baštine, izumiteljstva, inovacija podsjetit ću da Hrvatska ima 23 upisana dobra na popisu svjetske baštine UNESCO-a, na naš grad, Rijeku, koji će 2020. biti europska prijestolnica kulture, na hrvatsku kravatu, koja je kao što i ovdje vidimo, osvojila svijet još odavna, kao i na Nikolu Teslu, rodom iz Hrvatske, bez čijih izuma bismo danas ovdje sjedili u mraku. U Hrvatskoj se danas proizvodi jedan od najbržih električnih automobila na svijetu. Jedna hrvatska tvrtka omogućava da 4 milijarde ljudi u svijetu digitalno komunicira putem SMS-a.

Istodobno sam svjestan da su pred nama brojne zahtjevne strukturne reforme koje našim građanima trebaju omogućiti kvalitetniji život. Moja je Vlada odlučna u njihovoj provedbi. Imamo pozitivne makroekonomske pokazatelje. Bilježimo gospodarski rast od 3 %, rast industrijske proizvodnje, ulaganja, izvoza, kao i rast zaposlenosti, plaća i socijalnih naknada. Značajno smo smanjili javni dug, ostvarili proračunski višak te imamo najnižu nezaposlenost do sada.

Uz napore Vlade to odražava i pozitivne učinke hrvatskoga članstva u Europskoj uniji. Tim više, kao Vlada koja je izbore 2016. godine dobila na proeuropskom programu, aktivno promišljamo budućnost naše zajedničke Unije.

Mesdames et Messieurs, j’ai consacré 25 ans d’action politique et de travail professionnel afin que la Croatie moderne fasse siennes les valeurs européennes. Mes compatriotes qui ont, hélas, eu à connaître la guerre n’en apprécient aujourd’hui la paix que davantage.

Il n’y a pas si longtemps, la démocratie n’était qu’une aspiration lointaine, alors qu’aujourd’hui nous vivons les valeurs et les libertés européennes. Nous avons un souvenir très clair de ce que signifie ne pas pouvoir bénéficier des mêmes chances de développement économique et social, de liberté de circulation, d’échange d’étudiants ou d’innovation technologique, si bien qu’aujourd’hui nous mesurons parfaitement toute la valeur ajoutée et les avantages que nous procure l’appartenance à l’Union européenne.

Je le mesure d’autant mieux que j’ai moi-même activement œuvré aux négociations d’adhésion de la Croatie et conduit la campagne référendaire pour notre entrée dans l’Union. Durant un an, cela a été pour moi l’occasion d’aller au contact de mes concitoyens afin de leur expliquer les bénéfices de l’adhésion. Ainsi, avec ma double expérience de député croate et européen, mais aussi celle de premier ministre et de membre du Conseil européen, je mesure parfaitement les différents intérêts qui cherchent à affaiblir et à fragmenter le projet européen.

Sans perdre le sens des réalités politiques, je pense qu’il est essentiel de renouveler ensemble les idées européennes, en renforçant nos politiques communes et en faisant un usage intelligent de nos ressources budgétaires, le but étant que nos concitoyens ne soient pas indifférents à l’Europe, voire hostiles à son égard. Au contraire, ils doivent en ressentir tous les bénéfices, se l’approprier et prendre activement part à la poursuite de sa construction, car il y va avant tout de leur intérêt.

Nos concitoyens doivent percevoir plus clairement les bénéfices que l’appartenance à l’Union leur apporte au quotidien. Ils doivent mieux saisir l’enjeu de notre action, de quelle manière, et surtout à quelle fin, nous la conduisons au niveau européen. Enfin, ils doivent en réaliser la finalité, qui est de mieux servir l’intérêt général en joignant nos forces. Nous devons montrer par des actes concrets que les institutions européennes agissent pour chacun de nos concitoyens. Cela ne peut se faire qu’avec le soutien du Parlement européen.

Aussi, je vais tâcher de vous livrer ma vision pour l’avenir de notre Europe. J’aimerais aborder les défis auxquels nous devons faire face, la nécessité de renforcer notre légitimité démocratique, nos priorités extérieures ainsi que les politiques internes cruciales, qu’il nous faut soutenir par des moyens budgétaires appropriés.

Signore e signori, la riunione a Roma dello scorso 25 marzo, con la quale abbiamo celebrato il 60° anniversario dei trattati di Roma e adottato la dichiarazione che indica la via al nostro futuro comune, è stata un passaggio importante per la discussione che ci troviamo ad affrontare oggi sul futuro dell'Europa.

Quasi un anno fa, noi leader europei siamo stati invitati e incoraggiati dal Santo Padre a perseverare nel cercare di restituire la speranza ai nostri cittadini e a continuare ad adoperarci per il loro benessere. In quell'occasione, il Presidente Tajani ha tenuto un brillante discorso, per il quale vorrei ancora una volta congratularmi con lui.

Sicurezza, terrorismo, attacchi cibernetici, scontri nelle aree vicine, cambiamenti demografici e migrazioni in aumento, cambiamenti climatici, disuguaglianze sociali e gap digitale: queste sono le sfide che affrontiamo quotidianamente e che impongono la necessità di adeguarvi le principali decisioni strategiche. Al giorno d'oggi queste sfide acquistano una nuova dimensione e pongono davanti a noi un nuovo compito: essere uniti nel dare la risposta.

L'unità però non deve intendersi meramente come la somma numerica dei paesi membri, ma deve essere rafforzata dalle nostre particolarità nazionali e dai raggiungimenti individuali. La stessa unità deve rispecchiarsi nelle nostre politiche e bilancio comuni, nonché nelle attività e nell'operato sinergico tra le istituzioni europee e gli Stati membri.

Negli anni passati, i processi elettorali in varie parti d'Europa sono stati in buona parte contrassegnati dalla crescita del populismo e dell'euroscetticismo, come diretta conseguenza delle sfide di cui ho parlato.

Dopo aver dimostrato che siamo in grado di affrontale con successo, è importante proseguire sulla stessa strada per arrivare pronti alle elezioni del 2019 e per consolidare la fede nel progetto europeo.

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we must also work together to find answers to challenges posed by the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. As I have repeatedly said on many occasions since 2013, before the referendum, I see this as a bad decision. It was a lose-lose situation for the United Kingdom and for the European Union as a whole. As a European, I respect the decision but I regret it.

The UK’s exit is a result of populism and a campaign of disinformation, demonstrating the consequences that a lack of information about the EU has for its citizens.

I hope that the procedure in accordance with Article 50 will lead to an agreement on orderly withdrawal, ensuring legal security and clarity for citizens and business communities on both sides. It is particularly important to settle the rights of citizens on the basis of equal treatment. This means that Croatian citizens too must be treated equally when it comes to their access to the UK labour market. We must maintain unity in the process of negotiations, and our future relationship should be based on our mutual interests.

U daljnjoj izgradnji europskog projekta važno je osigurati demokratski legitimitet. Europski parlament predstavlja najsnažniju poveznicu između odluka na europskoj razini i naših građana, a tu poveznicu trebamo dodatno jačati. Stoga podržavam nastavak primjene koncepta spitzenkandidata kroz koji građani mogu lakše prepoznati lice i ideje budućeg predsjednika Europske komisije, kao što je to bio moj prijatelj Jean-Claude Juncker, kao spitzenkandidat na pobjedničkoj listi EPP-a 2014. godine.

U kontekstu rasprave o izmjeni izbornoga zakonodavstva, trebamo se zapitati jesmo li na razini država članica, s obzirom na vremensko ograničenje, dovoljno organizacijski, zakonski pa i financijski spremni za uspostavu transnacionalnih lista.

Pozdravljam prijedlog koji je Europski parlament pripremio o njegovom novom sastavu, prema kojem Hrvatska dobiva dodatnog zastupnika. U jačanju demokratskog legitimiteta Europske unije važno mjesto imaju i nacionalni parlamenti. Stoga sam, nakon povratka u Zagreb, u Hrvatskom saboru uveo praksu plenarne rasprave nakon svakog formalnog sastanka Europskog vijeća. To mi daje priliku da zastupnike i svoje sugrađane upoznam s najvažnijim europskim temama, pridonoseći na taj način europskom trendu dijaloga s građanima, koji izrazito podržavam.

U našem daljnjem radu, mislim da trebamo ojačati primjenu načela supsidijarnosti i proporcionalnosti i odluke donositi što bliže našim sugrađanima te stoga pozdravljam i uspostavu posebne radne skupine.

Nekoliko riječi o politici proširenja. Hrvatska je dokaz transformativne snage koju u sebi nosi perspektiva članstva u Europskoj uniji, ali i dokaz da je Unija mirovni projekt koji snažno pridonosi pomirenju i izgradnji povjerenja. Upravo tu privlačnu snagu trebamo iskoristiti kako bismo svoje okruženje učinili boljim i otpornijim, a time i sebe jačim, sigurnijim i prosperitetnijim.

Europska unija i dalje je zajednica kojoj se mnogi žele pridružiti, i to mojih šest susjednih država jugoistočne Europe, najbližih susjeda, ali i Turska, ali ne samo oni već i dio našeg šireg susjedstva. Znam za ambicije naših prijatelja u Ukrajini, zemlji koju sam svakodnevno pratio dok sam radio ovdje zajedno s vama. Obećanja kandidatima i potencijalnim kandidatima trebamo ispuniti jednako kao što te države trebaju ispuniti zadane uvjete i kriterije te provesti potrebne reforme, uvijek uz vrednovanje individualnih postignuća svake od tih država.

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren! Es freut mich, dass die Europäische Kommission gerade heute eine neue Erweiterungsstrategie für den Westbalkan vorstellen wird. In dieser Strategie gilt es vor allem, Bosnien-Herzegowina besondere Aufmerksamkeit zu widmen, das genauso wie Kroatien eine schwere Wegstrecke hinter sich gelassen hat. Es ist ein Staat mit einer spezifischen Staatsordnung, bestehend aus drei konstitutiven Völkern – Kroaten, Bosniaken und Serben –, deren gleichberechtigte Stellung zusammen mit den anderen Volksgruppen die Grundlage für die Zukunft ist.

Erst mit der festen Verankerung im europäischen Wertverständnis kann Bosnien-Herzegowina seinen Bürgern eine sichere und stabile Zukunft garantieren. Das wünscht sich auch der Großteil seiner Bürger, und zwar auf der Grundlage einer gleichberechtigten Wahlgesetzgebung.

In unserer europäischen Nachbarschaft, im östlichen und südlichen Teil Europas, stehen wir vor großen sicherheitspolitischen Herausforderungen. Deshalb ist es das strategische Interesse aller EU-Mitgliedstaaten, seinen Nachbarn bei der Festigung und dem Ausbau einer prosperierenden, friedensorientierten, stabilen und vor allem demokratischen Staatsordnung zu helfen. Das ist der Einsatz den wir alle geben müssen, um den Schutz und die Sicherheit der europäischen Bürger zu gewährleisten.

Dame i gospodo, brojni izazovi i prijetnje traže snažniju, angažiraniju i asertivniju ulogu Europske unije u globalnim odnosima. Predanost međunarodnom poretku temeljenom na poštovanju demokracije, međunarodog prava, vladavine prava i ljudskih prava ključna je investicija u jačanju uloge Unije kao globalnog čimbenika i promicatelja multilateralizma.

Za ostvarenje naših globalnih ambicija trebamo snažniju, djelotvorniju zajedničku vanjsku sigurnosnu i obrambenu politiku. Jednako važna je naša razvojna pomoć kojom kao globalnu lideri pridonosimo ispunjavanju UN-ovih ciljeva održivoga razvoja. Resurse za to imamo, a vjerujem i političku volju da to i ostvarimo.

Teroristički napadi na europskom tlu, ali i druge prijetnje, pokazuju da je Europa ranjiva te da se o svojoj sigurnosti treba brinuti unutar ali i izvan svojih granica. Tome će pridonijeti daljnje jačanje naših obrambenih sposobnosti i suradnje na sigurnosno-obrambenom polju. Stoga pozdravljam uspostavu stalne strukturirane suradnje u čijim će projektima, i to pet konkretnih, Hrvatska sudjelovati.

Jačanje suradnje i koordinacije sa Sjevernoatlantskim savezom ostaje ključno, uz osiguranje kompatibilnosti, sinergije i učinkovitosti zajedničkog djelovanja. Zaštita vanjskih granica Unije jedna je od naših najvažnijih zadaća. Mjere koje s tim ciljem donosimo na europskoj razini trebaju osigurati jednak tretman svih članica i svih građana. Puna provedba sustavnih provjera na granici između članica kada je samo jedna od njih u schengenskom prostoru, a to je primjer Hrvatske i Slovenije ili Hrvatske i Mađarske, pokazala je da može biti problem za slobodu kretanja unutar Europske unije, no otvorenom i iskrenom suradnjom i partnertstvom između ove tri zemlje te probleme smo uspješno riješili.

Hrvatska već sada daje svoj doprinos zaštiti granica, a naš sljedeći veliki ključni europski cilj je ulazak u schengenski prostor. Stoga u tome podržavamo i naše prijatelje iz Bugarske i Rumunjske. Naša je ambicija ispuniti schengenske kriterije što skorije i time otvoriti put za odluku Vijeća, a pritom očekujem i vašu podršku ovdje u Europskom parlamentu. To je važno za Hrvatsku, važno je za sigurnost cijele Europske unije i ta pitanja ne smiju biti povezivana s bilo kojim drugim nevezanim procesima ili temama.

Poseban izazov prošlih godina je onaj migracijski, koji nema samo sigurnosnu nego i humanitarnu dimenziju. Iako bilježimo smanjeni broj ulazaka na područje Europske unije, i dalje moramo biti na oprezu te nastaviti ulagati u vlastite kapacitete za nošenje s tim izazovom kao i pomagati državama izvora migracije. Za uspješan odgovor na ovaj izazov potrebno je završiti reformu europskog sustava azila. Solidarnost, po mojem dubokom mišljenju, treba ostati jedan od temelja našeg zajedničkog djelovanja. U tom duhu, u kojem je prije dvadeset pet godina svaki šesti stanovnik u mojoj zemlji bio prognanik ili izbjeglica, Hrvatska provodi svoj dio odgovornosti za politiku premještenja i preseljenja.

Gospodine predsjedniče, Europska unija je 2004. činila trećinu svjetskog BDP-a, a danas čini manje od njegove četvrtine. Stoga je potrebno nastaviti raditi na sklapanju trgovinskih ugovora s trećim zemljama jer je to ulog u daljnji gospodarski rast i prosperitet naših ljudi. Važno je jačati odnose s ključnim strateškim partnerima te dalje produbljivati transatlantske veze.

Jedno od naših najvećih postignuća je unutarnje tržište. Ono je u srcu europskog projekta i ključno je za konkurentnost našega gospodarstva. Nakon više godina zastoja zbog globalne financijske krize i recesije vratio se gospodarski rast. U Davosu prije dva tjedna konstatirali smo da raste svjetsko, raste europsko, ali drago mi je da raste i hrvatsko gospodarstvo i važno je zadržati taj trend. Mjere koje proizlaze iz strategije jedinstvenog tržišta naša su zajednička odgovornost, a na unutarnjem tržištu potrebno je zaustaviti diskriminatornu praksu standarda u kvaliteti hrane i ostalih proizvoda jer ne možemo imati unutar naše Unije dvije kategorije potrošača.

Uz intenziviranje mjera za produbljivanje unutarnjeg tržišta u svim aspektima potrebno ga je prilagođavati suvremenim izazovima, a posebno digitalnom dobu u kojem živimo. Stoga trebamo čim prije izgraditi funkcionalno, jedinstveno digitalno tržište, kako bismo dali poticaj novim poslovima, povećali konkurentnost ulaganja i inovacije. Hrvatska tome daje doprinos razvojem javnih elektroničkih usluga, imamo ih 685, a posebno smo ponosni na one poput e-recepta u zdravstvu, kojega su i druge države prepoznale, kao i uslugu e-novorođenče koja je od prošlog tjedna omogućila i prijave rođenja djeteta preko interneta.

Gospodine predsjedniče, 1960. svaki sedmi stanovnik svjeta živio je na području Europske unije dok danas u njoj živi tek svaki petnaesti stanovnik svijeta. Prema Eurostatu, 2060. na tom području živjet će tek svaki dvadesti stanovnik svijeta i dokaz je to sve lošije demografske slike Europe, što uzrokuje brojne izazove za naše države, uključivo na području rada i socijalne politike.

Jedno od naših postignuća je i naš socijalni model koji trebamo dodatno unaprijeđivati, njegujući pritom dijalog sa socijalnim partnerima i socijalnu koheziju. Pred nama je primjena načela europskog stupa socijalnih prava kao temelj uspostave pravednog tržišta rada i sustava socijalne sigurnosti, kao i brige o našim umirovljenicima.

Moramo nastaviti graditi europsku energetsku uniju i osigurati našim građanima pristup održivoj, sigurnoj i cjenovno dostupnoj energiji. Stoga nam je važno razvijati strateške energetske projekte usmjerene ka diversifikaciji i sigurnosti opskrbe. Za Hrvatsku posebno izdvajam projekt LNG terminala na Krku koji je strateški projekt i moje Vlade i koji je već dobio financijsku potporu Europske unije, čime se Hrvatska pozicionira na energetskoj karti Europe.

S druge strane, ispunjavat ćemo sve obveze iz Pariškoga sporazuma te nastojati nastaviti na našoj tradiciji zemlje koja je 1895. imala prvu hidroelektranu u Europi razvijati onu proizvodnju električne energije koja dolazi iz obnovljivih izvora, a u potrošnji u Hrvatskoj udio iz obnovljivih izvora već je na razini od 29 %, čime smo praktički deset godina ranije ispunili europske ciljeve od 2030.

Glede prometa samo ću izdvojiti za nas strateški projekt, najvidljiviji projekt financiran sredstvima Europske unije u ovom višegodišnjem financijskom okviru, a to je projekt Pelješkog mosta koji fizički povezuje južnu Hrvatsku, Dubrovnik za kojega svi znate, s ostatkom Hrvatske i Europske unije.

Dragi prijatelji, svi naši ciljevi, politike i ambicije odnosno sve ono što radimo zahtjeva odgovarajuća financijska sredstva. U planiranju sljedećeg višegodišnjeg financijskog okvira trebamo poći od toga kakvu Uniju želimo.

Za mene je to Unija koja osigurava gospodarski rast i razvoj svojih članica, koja je globalno konkurentna, u kojoj raste zaposlenost, a osobito perspektiva mladih. Unija koja potiče uravnotežen razvoj država članica, koja izgrađuje ekonomsku, socijalnu i teritorijalnu koheziju naših regija, Unija koja pruža sigurnost svojim građanima, štiti svoje vanjske granice i sposobna je odgovoriti na sve sigurnosne ugroze, Unija koja ulaže u obrazovanje, kulturu i stvaralaštvo, istraživanje i razvoj, koja se prilagođava suvremenim izazovima i digitalnoj ekonomiji, Unija koja je financijski stabilna, održiva i koja je sposobna građane zaštititi od mogućih financijskih kriza, vodeći se pritom načelom solidarnosti te konačno Unija koja je ključni politički akter u globalnom upravljanju, s obrambenim sposobnostima, promotor slobodne trgovine, lider u razvojnoj pomoći, zaštiti okoliša i borbi protiv klimatskih promjena.

U sljedećem višegodišnjem financijskom okviru temeljni princip financiranja treba biti europska dodana vrijednost. I stoga, elemente postojećeg sustava vlastitih sredstava koji dobro funkcioniraju i koji održavaju načela jednostavnosti i transparentnosti trebamo zadržati, a u kontekstu uvođenja novih vlastitih sredstava trebamo izbjeći stvaranje dodatnog poreznog opterećenja za građane.

Premda Hrvatska još nije članica europodručja, Hrvatska želi pridonositi daljnjem razvoju ekonomske i monetarne unije. U lipnju 2017. izašli smo iz procedure prekomjernog proračunskog manjka te nastavljamo provedbu nacionalnog programa reformi s ciljem ubrzanja realne konvergencije prema europodručju i uklanjanja prekomjernih makroekonomskih neravnoteža.

Pridruživanje europodručju strateški je cilj Hrvatske. Vlada i Hrvatska narodna banka prezentirali su strategiju uvođenja eura, čime je otvoren proces javnih konzultacija. Hrvatska već danas ispunjava skoro sve kriterije za uvođenje eura te je naš cilj najprije ući u tečajni mehanizam, takozvani Exchange Rate Mechanism 2 i to što prije. Hrvatski sabor je u siječnju ove godine ratificirao Ugovor o stabilnosti, koordinaciji i upravljanju u ekonomskoj i monetarnoj uniji, a ja sam imao čast u prosincu sudjelovati kao prvi predstavnik Hrvatske na Euro Summitu.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that our dialogue on the future of the European Union is as important as the outcome of this process. We saw the reflection documents produced by the Commission, we listened to our citizens, and we talked to each other at the levels of parliaments and governments. Many ideas are being discussed and different scenarios are being considered. Our path to the future should be a way forward and not backward.

Croatia joined the European Union to be an active and responsible member and to work with other partners to further build and develop the European project. Croatia, which longed so much to be again a part of Europe, today wants to be a part of its inner circle. This is why I place emphasise on Schengen and the eurozone. This is the reason behind our decision to participate in permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), and the reason why our next goals are, as I have said, Schengen and the euro. I work wholeheartedly towards achieving these goals every day, together with colleagues in my government, convinced that this is in the best interests of Croatian citizens.

In further building our future, equality is important to all of us: equality of states, citizens and opportunities. For the credibility of the European project and our reputation in the world, it is vital that we act as a family brought together by mutual trust. It is very important that Member States that have differences on bilateral issues approach them in good faith and constructively. Compromise is the building block on which the European Union was constructed.

Inclusiveness is also important for Croatia. No matter how fast or how much further we advance in these integration processes, each process should be open to all members on equal terms. Our achievements are our strongest tools in building our common future. They need to unite us because we can move forward only if we stand together. A strong Europe primarily also means strong Member States, but, at the same time, the pooling of sovereignty at the level of the EU makes our countries stronger, for their benefit and for the benefit of our fellow citizens across our Member States.

We also want strong European institutions which, on the basis of their Treaty powers, work for the benefit of every citizen of the Union. In that respect, Croatia is looking forward to its Presidency of the Council, in two years’ time in the first half of 2020, as an opportunity further to build and promote the European project. Our priorities will be growth, development, connectivity, security and enlargement.

I look forward to working with Romania and Finland – in the trio – and in intensive cooperation with Parliament. Croatia will be taking over the Presidency after the formation of new institutions and our task will be to bring forward new ideas in the period which lies ahead of us at the beginning of the next decade. With its values and freedoms, quality and way of life, and the highly competitive social market economy, Europe needs to reassert itself as a role model that will inspire people across the world to build a better future. Dear friends, it is up to us all to deliver.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie signor Primo ministro, grazie per aver sottolineato l'importanza della collaborazione tra il suo governo, la Croazia, e il Parlamento europeo, che vuole continuare ad essere centrale nel dibattito sul futuro dell'Europa.

Nel corso del suo intervento, il Primo ministro Plenković ha posto sul tavolo una serie di problemi che saranno poi al centro del dibattito che si svolgerà. Il primo commento è quello del Presidente della Commissione europea, Jean-Claude Juncker, al quale do volentieri la parola.

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, it is a great pleasure to welcome my good friend Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovič to the debate today. I knew him when he was an influential Member of this House and of his parliamentary group. Andrej, we miss you in this House, but we welcome you in your new function, which is not as new as it seems because you have established a Europe—wide reputation. Thank you for being here today.

Croatia is both an example and an inspiration for what our Union should aspire to be in the future. Croatia is a young member – not a new member but a young member – of the European Union, but a nation with a long and inspiring history; a nation which has shown courage in self—defence and shown conviction when it comes to Europe.

With growth now above 3% in 2017 and unemployment set to fall by six percentage points from 2016 to 2019, Croatia is a symbol of what can be achieved by working together in our Union. Working together in our Union is another way to address the budgetary problems we have to face.

J’aime bien la rhétorique enthousiaste de presque tous les gouvernements – il y a des exceptions tout de même – lorsqu’il s’agit de l’organisation de l’avenir de l’Europe. Or, il faut mettre en concordance les discours et les réalités budgétaires. L’Europe, telle qu’elle est, avec les aspirations qui sont les siennes, avec les ambitions qu’elle nourrit, avec les ambitions et les objectifs qu’elle proclame, ne peut pas vivre à l’intérieur du carcan actuel de l’organisation budgétaire.

J’ai été longtemps premier ministre et ministre des finances, donc je ne plaiderai pas pour une augmentation du budget sans bornes et sans limites. Tel n’est pas mon propos. Mais je voudrais que nous nous mettions d’accord au cours des onze mois à venir, sur les objectifs de l’Union. Il faut d’abord se mettre d’accord sur le contenu et ensuite sur les chiffres.

Je n’aime pas ce débat qui consiste à fixer des limites budgétaires sans avoir évacué – si j’ose dire entre nous –, le débat sur les ambitions futures de l’Europe. D’abord le contenu, puis les chiffres et non le contraire. Par conséquent, concentrons-nous sur le contenu de nos politiques.

(Applaudissements)

Évidemment, il y a unanimité au Conseil. Les uns disant qu’ils ne veulent pas payer plus et les autres disant qu’ils ne veulent pas recevoir moins. C’est une équation qui ne fonctionnera pas. Il faudra faire des économies réelles dans plusieurs domaines, mais des économies qui ont un sens. Il faudra traduire en chiffres les politiques de cohésion et la politique agricole commune.

Mais je m’inscris en faux contre cette volonté stupide, passagère, irréfléchie qui consiste à organiser un attentat sur les politiques de cohésion et sur la politique agricole commune. ça ne fonctionnera pas et la Commission ne suivra pas ce chemin. Mais là où des économies intelligentes peuvent et doivent être faites, nous ferons des propositions dans ce sens.

Andrej Plenković a cité plusieurs exemples de politiques de cohésion intelligentes. Évidemment, la Commission accompagnera favorablement, en mettant à disposition les fonds nécessaires, ce projet concernant le pont Pelješac.

something like that ... but we know where it is, and we will support this project, as we support everything which is being done in Dalmatia. These are important Croatian and European projects, and the review for the next budgetary period cannot have as an aim a reduction of the support we are providing for this important Croatian and European project.

(Applause from one person)

Is there only one Croatian in the room? We will do it, even without applause.

(Applause)

You are welcome.

Oui, si j’annonçais le financement d’un pont sur la Seine, tout le monde applaudirait, mais ce projet en Croatie est aussi important que ceux réalisés en Europe occidentale. Il ne faut pas oublier le développement des nouveaux pays membres.

Ich wollte einen Satz zu der Erweiterungspolitik der Europäischen Union sagen. Wir werden heute in der Kommissionssitzung, die um ein Uhr beginnt, darüber reden. Deshalb bin ich ein bisschen in Eile, weil ich das vorbereiten muss. Wir werden heute die Balkanstrategie festlegen. Ich würde in dem Zusammenhang gerne einige Worte sagen.

Es ist falsch, wenn behauptet wird, ich oder die Kommission hätten gesagt, bis 2025 müsse der Beitritt von Serbien und Montenegro unter Dach und Fach sein. Nein, dies ist ein indikatives Datum, ein Ermunterungsdatum, damit die Betroffenen sich konsequent auf den Weg machen. Ich habe bei Amtsantritt gesagt, es wird keine Erweiterungen vor 2019 geben. Das hat hier im Hause für Aufregung gesorgt, das hat in der gesamten Region für Aufregung gesorgt. Und jetzt sorgt für Aufregung, dass dieses indikative Datum für Serbien und Montenegro – das sind die beiden fortgeschrittensten Länder – in den Raum gestellt wird. Man muss sich entscheiden: entweder oder. Entweder man will die Erweiterung in den Westbalkan hinein und mit dem Westbalkan oder man will sie nicht.

Ich möchte, dass die Westbalkanstaaten der Europäischen Union beitreten können, wenn die Bedingungen erfüllt sind. Sie sind es zurzeit nicht, und alle sind noch weit davon entfernt, die Bedingungen zu erfüllen. Aber wir müssen unseren Partnern im Westbalkan handreichend entgegentreten, wir müssen ihnen helfen, diesen schwierigen Weg zu gehen.

Kroatien hat diesen schwierigen Weg erfolgreich beschreiten können. Aber ich füge auch hinzu, angesichts dieses Problems, des Grenzkonflikts zwischen Kroatien und Slowenien, das gelöst werden muss – und dies ist ein bilaterales Problem, ist aber auch ein europäisches Problem. Die Kommission hat ihre Mithilfe angeboten. Diese ausgestreckte Hand wird nur fingermäßig in Empfang genommen. Dieses Problem zwischen Slowenien und Kroatien muss dringend einer Lösung zugeführt werden.

(Beifall)

Und die Kommission wird – da bin ich mir mit Andrej und anderen hier einig – sich anbieten, um dieses Problem zu lösen. Aber ich füge hinzu, auch angesichts dieses Problems: Es wird zu keinem weiteren Beitritt der Westbalkanländer kommen, ohne dass die Grenzkonflikte vorher gelöst worden sind – vorher.

(Beifall)

Dieses Spielchen, das darin besteht, zu sagen: „Wir werden das Problem irgendwann nach unserem Beitritt lösen“, wird nicht ein zweites Mal stattfinden – mit mir nicht. Diese Probleme müssen gelöst sein, bevor es zu einem Beitritt kommt, oder es wird zu keinen weiteren Beitritten kommen. Und insofern tragen Kroatien und Slowenien hier Verantwortung. Das Problem muss gelöst werden, bevor es zu anderen Beitritten kommt. Ich wollte dies klar und deutlich hier formulieren.

Genauso klar und deutlich – und da bin ich Andrej dankbar, dass er dies gesagt hat – möchte ich mich zur Frage der Spitzenkandidaten äußern. Es besteht bei mir der inzwischen fast gefestigte Eindruck, als ob einige im Europäischen Rat diesen winzigen Demokratiefortschritt, den einige von uns gemeinsam, miteinander verantwortet haben, zurückführen auf das, was der Vertragszustand 1957 war. Wir sind im Jahr 2018, wir brauchen ein Mehr an Demokratie, und ich setze mich mit aller Energie und Kraft dafür ein, dass es auch bei der nächsten europäischen Wahl einen Spitzenkandidaten der großen politischen Parteienfamilien geben wird. Wer das zurückdreht …

(Beifall)

ich sage nur: Die Gefahr ist groß. Auch wenn wir hier im Hause – die meisten von uns – der Auffassung sind, dass wir diese Spitzenkandidaturen brauchen, gibt es im Europäischen Rat – so wie ich das fühle, voraussehe, spüre – fast eine Mehrheit dagegen. Dies ist ein Konflikt zwischen den politischen Parteien. Dies würde ein Konflikt werden zwischen diesem Haus und dem Europäischen Rat, und diesen Konflikt müssen wir so austragen, dass das 2014 Erreichte auch 2019 wieder stattfindet – unabhängig von der Bilanz dieser Kommission. Und es besteht kein Widerspruch zwischen der Idee, für die ich meine Sympathie ausgedrückt habe, der transnationalen Listen und der Spitzenkandidaturen. Wer hier Konfliktraum sieht, ist – ja – für transnationale Listen, aber eigentlich gegen die Neuerung der Spitzenkandidaten, die wir 2014 eingeführt haben. Und deshalb müssen wir in punkto Spitzenkandidatur engstens zusammenstehen. Wir müssen das tun, weil es hier um die demokratische Substanz der Europäischen Union geht.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie Presidente. Il Parlamento europeo condivide la posizione a favore dello Spitzenkandidat – lo ripeterò al Consiglio in occasione della prossima riunione del Consiglio europeo – come condividiamo la posizione su un bilancio politico dell'Unione europea.

Non è una questione di soldi, è una questione di priorità da scegliere. Ci sarà presto una serie di relazioni sulle risorse proprie, e per esempio noi vogliamo che tutte le imprese paghino nella stessa maniera. I giganti del web non possono essere privilegiati rispetto alle altre imprese.

Ora cominciamo ad ascoltare i rappresentanti dei gruppi politici. Il primo a parlare è l'on. Manfred Weber, a nome del gruppo del Partito popolare europeo.

(Il sistema per la registrazione elettronica delle richieste per il "catch the eye" è chiuso)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Plenković. It is a great thing for us to welcome him back again to this Chamber. And Prime Minister, I would like to thank you, first of all, for your commitment today to your and our vision of a democratic Europe. Your clear idea that Parliament is the place where we decide, especially on the Commission President, is absolutely crucial and clear, and I hope you can convince a lot of your friends and colleagues in the European Council, in a few weeks’ time.

Croatia is our newest Member State but Croatia is already a key driver for European integration. Croatia’s achievement proves to all in the region that, through hard work, persistence, political courage and determination, EU membership is not only within reach but also of great benefit to all of us. Croatia is a success story and a model for a lot of Balkan states, so congratulations on what you have achieved, Prime Minister.

Colleagues, the idea of today’s debate on the future of Europe with Andrej Plenković (last time it was with Leo Varadkar) is to talk more generally about the future of this continent, our continent, and I want to talk today about identity. I want to talk about nations. For the PPE Group, it is clear that the nation states are the fundament of Europe. Europe is not possible without national pride, the history of our countries and the cultural heritage of our nations, but I think there is more when we talk about identity. When we look at the people of Scotland, South Tyrol, Sicily, and the Basque region, they feel they are British, Italian or Spanish citizens but they are also rooted in their regions. There is a double identity on this continent, so why should there be only national pride? Why should it not be possible to combine this with regional and European pride?

Here, in this House, and all over Europe, many politicians from the extreme right are telling people that their nation is the only thing, and to hell with Europe and Brussels. Politically, this is one of the key questions we have to answer in the debate about the future of Europe. I give a clear and personal answer: Bavaria is my home – hundred and fifty years ago we were an independent kingdom as Bavarians. Germany is my nation, with all the beauty and richness of the German culture, but also the unthinkable barbarism of the Nazi time. And I am a European. With heart and mind I love and live the European way of life and I will not allow any extremist or nationalist to hold these identities in contradiction: they belong together.

(Applause)

Let us look at Croatia when we talk about this. Croatian history has proved over the last centuries that neither big trading powers, such as the Venetian Duchies, nor big empires, such as the Ottoman Empire or the Austro-Hungarian dynasty, nor deals between powerful states behind closed doors at the Vienna Congress, nor fascists nor communists have guaranteed Croatia’s independence and interests. Only a democratic Europe, acting together, has been able to protect self-determination, security, peace and prosperity for the Croatian people. Croatia is the best example when thinking of the future of Europe together as a national identity.

There is another important point. Let us imagine for a moment that the nationalists had won – Europe without a European Union, without Brussels or Strasbourg. Does anybody think that medium-sized and small Member States would then have any influence? Prime Minister Plenković has a say today in the European Council because a unanimous decision is necessary. Without such structures and without the European Union, I am sure that an intergovernmental Europe would be organised and led only by Germany, France and a few of the other nations. That is not the idea of Europe. We are equal, we are all Europe, and that is our future idea.

So the nationalists are stupid and naive. They have not learned from history and they weaken the power of their own people. Everybody who believes in strong nations must be in favour of a united and democratic Europe.

I spoke about identity and I want to add another aspect. When you fly from Lisbon to Tallinn, or when you fly from Helsinki to Sicily, you see a lot of diversity: food, music, languages and traditions. Our continent is so rich and so colourful, and I like it, but we have one thing in common: in the middle of every village, town and city, with only a few exceptions, there is a Christian church. Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are holidays we all share. We have to stick to our Christian heritage. Our democracies, welfare states and social market economies came into being only because of our Christian values of responsibility, solidarity and freedom. We have to protect our European way of life by preserving our Christian values.

It is clear that faith is a private thing, but for our societies, and for Europe, there will only be a Europe that sticks to its Christian heritage, or no Europe at all.

(Applause from the PPE Group)

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Plenković back to the European Parliament. Prime Minister, you came to discuss with us the future of Europe and to do this we must know where we come from.

Like many of us, you come from a region, the Balkans, which has been at the centre of European history. I would even say it has been its destiny region. Its history has taught that peace in Europe can never be taken for granted. The Balkans also tell us that history does not provide the answers. Moving forward means no longer being obsessed with the wars of the past. A European perspective for the Western Balkans is the right answer. Our Group is supporting this endeavour by the Commission.

From your government, Prime Minister, we expect a clear commitment to peace in the Balkans and respect for neighbouring countries’ borders and integrity. We also call on Croatia to respect arbitration decisions between Croatia and Slovenia.

History teaches us that a good future is not possible with extreme nationalism and racism. I am deeply worried by the recent racist attacks in Italy and I am sad to say that they could also have happened in other Member States. Our Union is not just a market: it is built on values, the rule of law and democracy, and it does not always deliver. A European democracy needs more open and inclusive institutions. We need bold decisions in order to overcome mistrust and apathy. Let us give our electorate the opportunity to choose a transnational list, giving people the right to choose this democracy.

We also support the idea of a Spitzenkandidat for the Commission Presidency, as it improves participation, but we should not be obsessed with institutional reforms. Sometimes it is hard for ordinary people to follow what we are discussing. Institutions must serve the people’s interests and not the other way around. Europe has to deliver by changing our lives for the better.

Too many people in Europe are unhappy with the status quo. They want decent jobs, safe pensions and fair treatment when they are sick. All of us want a good future for our children. It is time to engage for a more social Europe, with a European minimum wage, with no social dumping, and with better and longer maternity and paternity leave. This is why the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be crucial. Brexit cannot be an excuse to undermine the European budget. The Union must have more resources, its own resources, in particular to accompany the ecological transition towards a new, more sustainable development model.

There is no future for a continent when too many young people are stuck in precariousness and unemployment. We need to invest in the future. We need a strong initiative for public investment and we have to rethink the dogma of austerity. After Brexit, a new-found awareness of the importance of the European Union is growing. We cannot disappoint our citizens again: they will not give us a second chance. We must deliver now, but we can do so only if we are looking forward – not looking to the past – and in a courageous and inclusive way.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić, u ime kluba ECR. – Gospodine predsjedniče, poštovani predsjedniče hrvatske vlade, kolegice i kolege, posebna mi je čast i zadovoljstvo raspravljati o budućnosti Europe s premijerom države iz koje i sama dolazim. Ovo je prvi put da na ovaj način izmjenjujemo mišljenja s vodećim čovjekom hrvatske izvršne vlasti o izazovima s kojima se suočava Europska unija. Hrvatska je dugo bila stidljiva kad je riječ o europskim pitanjima. Iznimno mi je drago da je ova vlada to promijenila i da nastoji voditi proaktivnu politiku na europskoj razini.

Kao zastupnica mogu posvjedočiti o vrlo konstruktivnoj suradnji s državnim institucijama u mnogim pitanjima koja su važna za Hrvatsku i Europsku uniju, što prije često nije bio slučaj. Ova vlada konačno razmišlja u europskim okvirima, ali bojim se da građane još uvijek nije uspjela uvjeriti u važnost njihovog sudjelovanja u europskim politikama. Sukladno tome, Hrvati slabo iskorištavaju prednosti članstva u Uniji i to je izazov na kojem moramo poraditi.

Većini građana Hrvatske život se, nažalost, nije promijenio na bolje od 1. srpnja 2013. pa je razumljivo da oni članstvo u Uniji ne smatraju naročitim uspjehom. Od svih članica, iza Hrvatske je po razvijenosti samo Bugarska koja ju većom stopom rasta polako sustiže. MMF u svom Country Reportu piše kako je proces provedbe strukturnih reformi u Hrvatskoj usporen nakon ulaska u Uniju i da je investicijska klima loša u odnosu na usporedive ekonomije.

U takvim okolnostima ne treba nas čuditi što građani ne pokazuju veći interes za europske politike, institucije i izbore. Zato Vas, gospodine predsjedniče hrvatske Vlade, želim ohrabriti da nastavite mijenjati te nepovoljne okolnosti i ne posustanete u provedbi reformi.

Mnogima će to zvučati pomalo nevjerojatno, ali za budućnost Europske unije od iznimne je važnosti da njome budu zadovoljne i države poput Hrvatske. Države koje nemaju imperijalističkih ambicija, ali njihov glas u svijetu može biti pojačan članstvom u Uniji. Države koje nisu imale veliko i bogato tržište, a ulaskom u Uniju dobile su upravo to. Države čiji su građani na svojoj koži osjetili diktaturu i autoritarnu vladavinu i u Uniji još uvijek vide slobodu od represije i visoke demokratske standarde.

Ako Hrvatska i članice koje s njom dijele slične tegobe iz prošlosti i izazove sadašnjosti u Uniji ne budu vidjele dodanu vrijednost i utjelovljenje svojih višedesetljetnih težnji, onda ona nema budućnosti. Bude li Europska unija igralište samo za velike i moćne koji će nametati svoju volju manjima i slabijima, nikad neće ispuniti sav svoj potencijal.

Zato Vas, gospodine predsjedniče hrvatske Vlade, ovim putem pozivam da za briselskim stolom artikulirate autentičnu hrvatsku poziciju koja neće slijediti unaprijed zadane modele i tuđe ambicije. Neka sve Vaše inicijative budu plod volje hrvatskih građana koji žele snažnu Europu, ali ne bez prosperitetne, stabilne i suverene Hrvatske.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, Prime Minister, I will not go too far in history to praise the European vocation of Croatia like my dear friend Manfred Weber, but I have a few shorter sentences about that. I did campaign in Croatia in 2014 together with Nino Jakovčić, so I have seen in Istria in Croatia how all these new companies raise the growth that is there since the entry of Croatia into the European Union. I mostly visited wine estates with him, I have to tell you, but it is impressive what is happening economically in Croatia. I will pick and choose two points on the reform of the European Union. The first is on the new financial framework.

It is clear that it is a crucial thing and I ask one thing of the Council, to accept that in the future it cannot be as in the past. This Parliament will request a say on the expenditure and on the income. It has to be finished that this is the only parliament worldwide that has no say on the income of the European Union. That has to stop now. This is a full parliament and we will have a Multiannual Financial Framework in which both Council and Parliament, based on proposals from the Commission, will be responsible.

The second thing is the Spitzenkandidat. You were a Spitzenkandidat, Mr President, and I think you have said exactly what is at stake. The Spitzenkandidat is a gain in the democratic process and we cannot lose it. In my opinion, the best way not to lose it is to embed this system in a democratic process. Because Spitzenkandidaten where there is a backroom deal inside a political party or between political parties – I can tell you – people are not very involved in this. You need to involve the citizens. You need to give them the possibility to vote directly for a Spitzenkandidat, not only a Spitzenkandidat from their country, but the Spitzenkandidaten from other countries, so all Europeans have to have this possibility. Therefore, I think it is necessary to embed the Spitzenkandidaten in transnational lists, the first on the transnational list is the Spitzenkandidaten. That is the system and it gives the power to the citizens to vote for him. So there is no contradiction between both concepts. I think, Manfred, this Parliament has to unite between both concepts and if we do not do it, we risk losing everything in this fight and that we cannot afford in the European Union.

Finally, my third point on the Western Balkans. We are all in favour, my Group is in favour, of the entry of these countries under the conditions set by the Commission and, in that respect, I hope that Croatia can, again, with their Slovenian friends, give a good example, and find a fast—track solution for the border issue as fast as possible, based on the arbitrage that has been made.

 
  
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  Νεοκλής Συλικιώτης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Πρωθυπουργέ, καλωσορίσατε στο Κοινοβούλιο. Κύριε Juncker και αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, κανείς δεν μπορεί πια να συγκαλύψει τη θεσμική, κοινωνική και πολιτική κρίση που βιώνει η Ένωση. Αν η φτωχοποίηση των λαών, η υψηλή ανεργία -ιδιαίτερα στους νέους, η έλλειψη αλληλεγγύης, τα μεγάλα δημοκρατικά ελλείμματα, η ξενοφοβία και ο ρατσισμός μπορούσαν να συγκαλυφθούν, δεν θα είχαμε καν αυτή τη συζήτηση σήμερα. Χρειαζόμαστε άμεση αλλαγή πλεύσης από τις πολιτικές της λιτότητας και της αχαλίνωτης ελευθερίας της αγοράς, από τις πολιτικές στρατιωτικοποίησης και έλλειψης κοινωνικής αλληλεγγύης.

Οι πολιτικές λιτότητας, που επιβάλλονται στους λαούς μέσα από τον συντονισμό των οικονομικών πολιτικών των κρατών μελών και την πάση θυσία πειθαρχία σε οικονομικούς δείκτες, σπρώχνουν τα κράτη μέλη σε συνεχές «ξήλωμα» του κοινωνικού κράτους. Οι προτάσεις που κατατίθενται, όπως για παράδειγμα σχετικά με ένα οικονομικό υπερυπουργείο, θα οδηγήσουν δυστυχώς στην εμβάθυνση της αντιδημοκρατικής και αντιλαϊκής οικονομικής διακυβέρνησης για την ευρωζώνη και θα διαιωνίζουν τη διεύρυνση των κοινωνικών ανισοτήτων στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.

Οι μέχρι στιγμής διακηρύξεις για κοινωνικό πυλώνα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και για κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη εκ μέρους της Επιτροπής αποδείχθηκαν προπέτασμα καπνού. Τα πρόσφατα αποτελέσματα των συζητήσεων για τον ευρωπαϊκό κοινωνικό πυλώνα, μεταξύ των αρχηγών των κρατών μελών της Ένωσης στο Göteborg, είναι ένα κοινωνικό «placebo», όπως εύστοχα το χαρακτήρισε ο ευρωπαϊκός Τύπος. Δεν υπάρχει καμία νομική δέσμευση προς τα κράτη μέλη και ούτε λέξη για το ανθρώπινο δικαίωμα στην αξιοπρεπή εργασία. Αντιθέτως, προωθούνται μέτρα προς την κατεύθυνση της περαιτέρω φιλελευθεροποίησης και της απορρύθμισης των εργασιακών σχέσεων. Σε αυτό το νεοφιλελεύθερο και αντικοινωνικό πλαίσιο, τα ξενοφοβικά ρατσιστικά κινήματα αξιοποιούν την ανθρωπιστική κρίση που προκάλεσαν οι νεοφιλελεύθερες πολιτικές λιτότητας, μέσω μιας ρατσιστικής ρητορικής. Καπηλεύονται τη φτωχοποίηση των εργαζομένων, τη συρρίκνωση του κοινωνικού κράτους, τη συνεχιζόμενη μείωση μισθών, συντάξεων και εργασιακών δικαιωμάτων και πετυχαίνουν νέες εκλογικές νίκες ενισχύοντας τη δύναμή τους. Τα ρεύματα προσφύγων αντιμετωπίζονται με βία και απανθρωπιά. Χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες αφήνονται στην τύχη τους, αφήνονται να πνιγούν στη Μεσόγειο, ενώ η Ένωση υψώνει νέα τείχη δημιουργώντας την Ευρώπη-φρούριο. Την ίδια ώρα, οι πόλεμοι στην περιοχή μας εντείνονται, με πιο πρόσφατο παράδειγμα την επίθεση της Τουρκίας στην περιοχή Αφρίν στη Συρία.

Αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, απέναντι σε αυτή την ολομέτωπη επίθεση ενάντια στους λαούς και τους εργαζομένους, οι θέσεις της GUE/NGL παραμένουν θέσεις αρχών. Ζητούμε την άμεση άρση των νεοφιλελεύθερων πολιτικών λιτότητας. Οι λαοί χρειάζονται δημόσιες επενδύσεις που θα δημιουργήσουν νέες αξιοπρεπείς θέσεις εργασίας με πλήρη δικαιώματα των εργαζομένων, μέσω της επαναβιομηχανοποίησης και της στήριξης της πραγματικής οικονομίας. Μόνον τέτοιες πολιτικές θα δυναμώσουν το κοινωνικό κράτος και θα επιτρέψουν την κοινωνική ανάπτυξη. Παράλληλα, ζητούμε ένα κοινό, ανθρώπινο και μόνιμο σύστημα ασύλου που θα διασφαλίζει τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και την ανθρώπινη αξιοπρέπεια. Ένα σύστημα που θα εξασφαλίζει νόμιμες και ασφαλείς οδούς για τους πρόσφυγες, θεωρήσεις για ανθρωπιστικούς λόγους και ενίσχυση της επανένωσης οικογενειών, και θα κατανέμει δίκαια τα βάρη των προσφυγικών ροών. Η νέα αμυντική πολιτική που εξαγγέλθηκε το περασμένο καλοκαίρι για ενίσχυση της αμυντικής βιομηχανίας χρησιμεύει μόνο στην ενίσχυση της επιχειρησιακής δυνατότητας του ΝΑΤΟ και στη συμμετοχή σε νέες επεμβάσεις και πολεμικές συρράξεις. Το παράδειγμα της τουρκικής εισβολής στην Αφρίν της Συρίας ενάντια στους Κούρδους, όπου οι Τούρκοι πολεμούν και επιτίθενται με γερμανικά τανκς και οι Κούρδοι αμύνονται με γερμανικά αντιαρματικά, είναι χαρακτηριστικό. Εκεί οδηγεί η περαιτέρω στρατιωτικοποίηση και στήριξη της εξαγωγής όπλων· σε νέους πολέμους και σε νέες πολεμικές συρράξεις.

Αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, οι νεοφιλελεύθερες συνταγές της λιτότητας, των μνημονίων και της επικράτησης των νόμων της αγοράς και της στρατιωτικοποίησης δοκιμάστηκαν και απέτυχαν. Είναι οι πολιτικές που προκάλεσαν ανθρωπιστική κρίση. Το μέλλον της Ευρώπης βρίσκεται στην κοινωνική ανάπτυξη, την κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη και την αλληλεγγύη. Βρίσκεται στην περαιτέρω συμμετοχή των πολιτών, με ενίσχυση των εξουσιών του Ευρωκοινοβουλίου, καθώς και με ενίσχυση και διεύρυνση των πολιτικών ελευθεριών. Βρίσκεται στην ειρήνη και την ειρηνική συνύπαρξη, τόσο εντός της Ένωσης όσο και έξω από αυτήν.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I would like to welcome the Prime Minister to Parliament and to thank him very much for joining this debate about the future of Europe.

Prime Minister, I think it is particularly nice to have this debate with the Head of the newest of all the Member States, as one would think that the newest Member State would have the most to say about the future. But, unfortunately, it seems that many in your country – and also many in your party – are actually holding on to the past. While it is of course important to remember the past and to learn from it, it is also important to make peace with previous enemies. After all, this is what the European Union is all about. We have learned from the past, and we have decided never again to allow war to happen. We want to finally overcome nationalism, and we want to prosper together with our old enemies. I hope that Croatia will do the same, and that especially you – as the leader of the country – will do your utmost to overcome the shadows of the past.

The future of Europe, as I see it, lies in creating the future of the people who live in Europe. This means enhancing their quality of life, improving social policies, and guaranteeing human rights. When I say human rights, I mean the rights of all humans. I am sad to see that, despite the economic improvements in Croatia that have already been mentioned, social inequality seems to be increasing rather than decreasing. This is a trend that we see in many European countries, and it is a trend that we urgently need to address. Refugee rights are human rights too, and I hope that you, Prime Minister, will not allow push—backs to happen in the future and that you will investigate the push—backs that have already happened from Croatia.

Regarding women’s rights, it is 2018, and Croatia – together with other Member States – has unfortunately still not ratified the Istanbul Convention. How can it be that there is even a question about whether we should protect women from violence? How come this is still a debate? How come we are not moving on with this?

Finally, the future of all of us depends on how we treat our planet. Croatia is an example of a beautiful, resourceful country that can really show other European countries the way ahead. You said that you want to be on the energy map. I think Croatia has plenty of resources to be on the map of renewable energies and to be at the forefront. Therefore, I would urge you to reconsider your plans for those LNG terminals in the northern Adriatic, and also to reconsider some other huge development plans – like golf courses – because those would hurt not only the environment, but also local businesses. Be the example: show the way to do economy and ecology together. Europe can learn a lot from Croatia, but for that you need to be ambitious.

The future of Europe is built by Europeans. It is what we make of it. I believe that civil society is a very important partner in this aim and needs to be supported. We should strive to end hate in Europe, to overcome nationalism and to strive together for a better and a common future. Your country, with its history and its geographical position, can be a prime example for all of that. The future can be bright, but only if we make it so.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas, EFDD frakcijos vardu. – Gerai, kad pagaliau bent diskutuojama dėl Europos Sąjungos ateities. Tuo akivaizdžiai pagaliau pripažindami, kad dabartis nėra tokia gera ir ji mūsų netenkina. Problemos dėl migrantų, socialinė atskirtis, nedarbas, daugelis kitų, kuo daugiau mes diskutuojame, tuo daugiau šios problemos aiškėja, kartais aštrėja. Bet tik trys valandos kartą per mėnesį tokių diskusijų Europos Parlamente pristatant vienos šalies vyriausybės vadovo žvilgsnį yra, mano supratimu, per mažai. Tokiais tempais sukantis dvidešimt septintosios Europos Sąjungos šalies vyriausybės vadovo požiūris į problemas ir pasidalijimą siūlymais su Europos Parlamentu atsiras ne anksčiau kaip dvidešimtų metų pavasarį. Ar mes turime tiek laiko vien diskusijoms? Ir, nors buvo paminėta, kad Ministro Pirmininko požiūris būtų, vis tik labai įdomu išgirsti ką konkrečiai ponas Ministras Pirmininkas mano apie Europos saugumo ir gynybos sąjungos kūrimą. Aš supratau, kad Jūs pritariate nuostatai didinti gynybos išlaidų apimtį ir veiksmingumą. O gal geriau investuoti į švietimą, kultūrą, socialines veiklas, mokslą, sportą? O kaip su globalizacija, pone ministre pirmininke, Jūs ją vertinate teigiamai ar neigiamai? Ar Europos Sąjunga neturėtų ginti tokių mažų šalių, kaip Jūsų Kroatija ir mano Lietuva? Gal galėtumėte pristatyti savo konkretų požiūrį į Katalonijos nepriklausomybės siekį? Ar Europos Sąjungos poziciją matytumėte kaip tautų žandaro, ar pasisakytumėte už demokratinius procesus? Ar pritariate įvesti vieningą Europos valiutą visose Bendrijos šalyse? Būtų gerai, jeigu kartu pagalvotume kaip spręsti demografines problemas ir skatinti gimstamumą. Kaip ne kalbomis, o realiais sprendimai sumažinti jaunimo nedarbą? O migracijos sukeltų problemų kamuolys – koks sprendimas? Nereikėtų užmiršti ir demokratijos problemų. Bendrijos šalyse būtina surengti referendumus dėl Europos Sąjungos ateities, bent jau dėl krypties, ar žmonės pritaria savarankiškų valstybių sąjungos stiprinimui, išlaikant stiprias ir suverenias nacionalines valstybes? Ar nori naujos Europos federacijos be savarankiškų valstybių? Manau, kad artėjantys Europos Parlamento rinkimai kitais metais kaip tik yra puiki proga tokį referendumą surengti kiekvienoje valstybėje.

 
  
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  Matteo Salvini, a nome del gruppo ENF. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ho l'impressione – fra sorrisi, complimenti, applausi – che ci sia qualcuno che ricorda l'orchestra che suonava sul Titanic prima che la barca affondasse.

Io sono preoccupato, da papà prima che da cittadino italiano. Sento che qualcuno dice che bisogna accogliere più immigrati. La Croazia vuole entrare nell'euro ed entrare nel sistema Schengen. State attenti! In Italia, negli ultimi anni, sono sbarcati 600 000 finti profughi, non dalla guerra ma che la guerra ce la portano in casa. In un anno i reati compiuti da cittadini stranieri sono stati 250 000: 55 % di furti, 51 % sfruttamento della prostituzione, 45 % delle estorsioni, 40 % degli stupri, vale a dire 1 500 stupri in un anno. E l'Europa che fa? Niente, anzi riconosce la figura dell'immigrato climatico, come se non avessimo già abbastanza problemi.

Ho sentito l'ipocrisia dell'abuso delle parole "democrazia e diritti umani", mentre nelle scorse ore il dittatore turco Erdogan, dittatore di quel paese che qualcuno vorrebbe far entrare nell'Unione europea, era accolto con tutti gli onori a Roma. Io ricordo che questo paese non riconosce il genocidio di un milione e mezzo di cittadini armeni, il primo olocausto della storia, e quindi mi vergogno alla sola idea del fatto che un tale dittatore possa tranquillamente essere accolto con tutti gli onori in un paese come il mio e che qualcuno pensi che la Turchia possa entrare in Europa, a meno che non ci siano morti di serie A e morti di serie B, e fra i morti di serie B gli armeni e magari gli italiani infoibati dai comunisti e dai partigiani titini dimenticati da tutto e da tutti.

Sull'immigrazione siamo messi male e sul lavoro siamo messi peggio: 30 milioni di disoccupati in Europa, 3 milioni di disoccupati in Italia, 5 milioni di poveri in Italia, 3 milioni di lavoratori sfruttati in nero. E l'Europa, governata dalla Commissione Juncker, aiuta ovviamente i grandi e massacra i piccoli. Cosa ci si poteva aspettare di diverso da qualcuno che è stato per quasi vent'anni al governo di un paradiso fiscale come il Lussemburgo, che ha aiutato le multinazionali a eludere il pagamento delle tasse laddove le dovevano pagare, massacrando artigiani, commercianti, professionisti e piccoli imprenditori.

E poi arriva la direttiva sulle banche, che aiuta le banche tedesche, arriva la direttiva Bolkestein che aiuta le multinazionali. Noi stiamo con i piccoli, Presidente. Noi vorremmo difendere la nostra agricoltura, il nostro riso, il nostro olio, il nostro latte, il nostro grano, il nostro pesce e il nostro modo di vivere.

Ho sentito il capogruppo Weber, che ha fatto un bel discorso. Ci sono più patrie, ci sono più popoli, ci sono più sentimenti di appartenenza. Il problema non è il populismo, il nazionalismo, la xenofobia e il razzismo. Il problema numero uno in questo momento è il terrorismo islamico e la disoccupazione che sta portando i popoli a reagire.

Qualcuno ha paura delle elezioni. Qualcuno teme le elezioni. Qualcuno teme le elezioni e il voto degli italiani. Vuol dire che avete un problema. Se avete paura del libero voto dei cittadini, vuol dire che questa Unione europea è il Titanic che sta affondando. Noi ce la metteremo tutta: o l'Europa cambia o saranno i popoli a cambiarla, a partire dal 4 marzo in Italia. Per qualcuno vengono prima i banchieri, le multinazionali e gli immigrati, per me e per la Lega vengono prima gli italiani. Grazie e auguri a tutti, ne abbiamo bisogno.

 
  
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  Zoltán Balczó (NI). – Elnök Úr! Európa jövőjéről beszélve a fő kérdés: tovább haladjunk-e a lisszaboni úton, az egyre erőteljesebb integráció irányába, vagy a tagállamok önállóságát jobban megtartó együttműködésre van szükség? A választ a brexit fényénél kell meghoznunk. Syed Kamall, a brit konzervatívok európai parlamenti vezetője a következőt mondta: egy tagállam távozása elmélyült gondolkozásra kell késztessen mindenkit az Európai Unió állapotával kapcsolatban.

Problémát jelent a hatáskörök túlzott központosítása az intézmények javára, a tagállamok polgárai nem érzik sajátjuknak az Európai Uniót. Az utóbbi években népszavazások, választások bizonyították, hogy Európa népei elvetik egy szövetségi állam modelljét. Az Unió tartsa tiszteletben tagállamait, váljon együttműködő nemzetek közösségévé. Ezzel szemben Martin Schulz kijelentette, hogy 2025-ig meg kell teremteni az Európai Egyesült Államokat, azoknak az országoknak pedig, akik ezt nem akarják, ki kell lépniük. Néhány szót arról, kik az Európa-pártiak?

Azok, akik a lisszaboni utat járják, maguknak vindikálják a jogot, hogy Európa-pártiak, akik mást képviselnek Európa-ellenesek. Ennek elrettentő példáját mondta Manfred Weber a jelenlegi beszédében. Azok, akik a tagállamok nagyobb önállóságát akarják, úgy minősítette, hogy ők veszélyes nacionalisták, és a felfogásunkat a következő kijelentésben foglalta össze: mi azt mondjuk, hogy pokolba Európával.

Honnan veszi a bátorságot, hogy ezzel vádol minket, azért mert mi más úton haladunk? Tisztelt Tajani elnök úr, Ön elképzelhetőnek tartja, hogy ebben a Parlamentben egy konstruktív vita legyen az Európai Unió jövőjéről, ha a legnagyobb frakció vezetője ilyen kirekesztő módon minősíti azokat, akiknek más a véleményük?

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia. – Mr President, dear friends, thank you for the initial round of comments on the speech I delivered at the beginning of this great opportunity to discuss the future of Europe with you.

Several points on several questions and comments. First, on Jean-Claude’s comment on balancing the enthusiasm, ambition and the financial realism of what we would like to see implemented, what policies should be the guiding lines of our project and which budgetary means we have available. The fact that the UK is leaving is – as I know thanks to my earlier position as a Member of the Committee on Budgets here – not a positive thing. It is a downside. Let’s be very clear about it: we have a downside.

We all know that more or less 10 Member States finance around 80% of our budget. This is something we don’t widely publicise, but these are the facts, and the catch in the negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework will be how to fill in the void which will be there.

Can we have enough resources to implement all the objectives of our policies? Will this require more contributions from all Member States? Are some countries willing to increase it or to remain in the framework of what they are paying or contributing today?

The situation is not the same if you are looking at it from the optics of the countries which contribute with a substantial percentage, or coming from a country with more modest economic and financial abilities where the increase would not be so dramatic. So after the analysis which we have made in Croatia if there were an increased demand from our side we would be willing to do it, to be very clear at the beginning.

When it comes to issues of enlargement, something that several of you have mentioned, if ever there was a policy or a dossier that we know more than well it is enlargement. It is a very positive coincidence for me that the Commission will come up with a paper during the college a few hours later, bringing forward, as you said, the indicative timeline for the countries that remain within the group that we called the Western Balkans.

They are divided into three groups. Serbia and Montenegro as the countries that negotiate, Albania, our friends in Macedonia – who are now negotiating the issue of the name with Greece more intensively, and from what I understand, with a bit more optimism on finding a solution as the second group – and then Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, as the final two.

My country has no dilemma. First of all, we are helping all of them already. You are not aware of that, but so many Croatian experts are engaged in one way or another, transferring the freshest knowledge on the process of accession negotiations to all of our neighbours. We also know that, as Jean-Claude has said, the bilateral issues should not obstruct or slow down the process of any country’s accession to the EU.

We know it better than you, if I may be very clear. Having spent basically my entire life dedicated to the objective that one day my country would be around this table, I know what it means to lose a couple of years in the accession process. In my modest assessment around five years were lost, due to two main reasons. One relating to the bilateral issues, and the other to wider international conditionalities.

Five years from a historical perspective might not seem a lot, but it is an awful lot when you consider what it means to invest or lose in your economic, social development and take the benefits of EU membership. This is something I know well. That is why I see the role of my country as a bridge, as a facilitator and as someone who will advocate further enlargement.

There is no dilemma for us: we want to follow up on what the Bulgarian Presidency is doing in Sofia in May and that is the EU-Western Balkans summit after 15 years when it was last held in Thessaloniki. The first one was held in Zagreb. I was one of the organisers of it. My ambition is to have one in 2020, twenty years later, and we are trying to give a push because having the future of our neighbours anchored in the EU is positive for Croatia.

It will help us to address all the residual and open issues which stem from the times when Croatia, as I said at the beginning, was a victim of aggression. That’s why we will do our utmost to help all of our neighbours, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here we all have a historical responsibility, and that is why I mentioned it at the beginning, to safeguard the full equality of all the three constituent peoples and all other groups in the country.

When it comes to the issue of Slovenia, which you have raised, Slovenia is a friend of Croatia. It is the only country in our history, over many centuries, with which we have never had any conflict, which is rare in our part of the world, almost an exception. This is not perhaps the best forum or the place to go into details of our border issue, but what I would like to stress here is my government’s readiness and openness to solve this issue in a manner which would be acceptable for both countries, taking into account the interests of both Slovenia and Croatia. That is what I proposed to Miro Cerar about a month and a half ago, because at this a moment we have a good opportunity to do it.

At the same time, those of you who are following this in a little more detail will know that Croatia’s Parliament has withdrawn from the arbitration process that was facilitated by the EU in 2009 in order to unblock 14 chapters of the accession negotiations at a time stalled by Slovenia because of the fact that it was unfortunately the Slovenian representatives who violated the arbitration rules and violated in international law. We were there in good faith and we were investing all our efforts in this.

So what we need to do now is find a compromise where both Slovenia and Croatia can be happy. I am willing to do that. I have the courage to do it, but the only thing I cannot do is close my eyes and say ‘no, everything was okay’. This is something I cannot do. But what I can do is to refrain from any unilateral actions, refrain from making this state-to-state problem into a citizens’ problem. This is what I can do, and some of you know what I mean, and that includes fishermen. Because I do not think that is smart and that is useful. On the contrary, it can create an environment where it will be more difficult to achieve an agreement.

So from my point of view, with a bit of patience, with a bit of a sense and sensibility we can make progress, while refraining from unilateral actions, because even if arbitration was to be considered under international law both countries have to agree for it be implemented. Things are relatively clear to all of those who know a bit more detail. I will do everything in my power to eliminate tensions and ensure that a solution is found. At the same time, let me be very honest and clear with all of you. There are so many other still open bilateral issues among many Member States and they never arrive on the table of the European Council, or the European Parliament. This is something we should remember.

A few points on the social elements that you mentioned. On the social elements it was a very timely initiative that we had in Goteborg, initiated by Sweden. The social pillar principles, 20 of them, are items that we can all improve on a national level. I am in favour of social dialogue with our social partners, both at European and national level.

We have taken account of the fact that minimum wages and the average salary have increased, and that major tax reform which we have undertaken at national level has had an overall positive impact on our citizens, including on the demographic issue by leaving more money to mothers and fathers, by via some additional allowances for those with children and larger families. These include subsidising interest rates on the housing loans and a number of other measures that we have taken in order to address the most critical issue, a structural issue affecting my society at least, and that is the question of demographic revitalisation.

A few points on the Spitzenkandidaten and transnational lists. In the last elections in 2014 I was privileged to be on the list of the Croatian EPP family and I was always mentioning Jean-Claude at every single event we had – and he was more popular than he can imagine! But it took us a lot of effort to communicate to Croatian voters who Jean-Claude was. It wasn’t always easy, it took me a lot of effort, as Dubravka and Ruža and the others know, so my point is that we have to be realistic. We have different budgets for campaigning, we have different legislative frameworks for campaigns. We have an issue of accountability to our constituency.

I am very much, as you can see, a pro-European leader of the Croatian Government, but I need to see that it is the right time and that there is sufficient preparedness. We need to look at things from all aspects. So I advocate the Spitzenkandidaten, absolutely. Are we ready for transnational lists, will they be adequately and fairly represented everywhere across the 27? For that I would need to see a little more concrete evidence that it is feasible. This is what I think from the experiences I have had personally so far and the consultations with my friends.

A few points on the issues of climate change, renewable energy, and the protection of nature. You are right. We are lucky to have such a place in Europe, with all the benefits of being on the Adriatic and the Danube, being a country which is really rich in water and natural resources, but we are also aware of our energy needs. So we are looking at the ecological aspects of every single project in a very detailed manner in dialogue with local communities and in dialogue with the NGOs looking at various projects and various items.

On the Istanbul Convention, which you have mentioned, few people know that Croat experts initiated the whole exercise within the Council of Europe just next door here. Here we signed it in 2013. I don’t know why the Social Democratic government at the time didn’t pass to the step of ratification. It remains a mystery to me because they had two years.

What I have done is ensure we have completed the public consultation. The process of preparing the legislation to forward to Parliament is almost over. Unfortunately, the debate on this Convention which was there, in my view, to protect and prevent violence in the family – especially violence against women – has somehow acquired a different dimension in many public debates, a sort of gender ideology debate which is trying to put a different angle on the substance. I am willing to debate this within the Croatian Parliament, within the political parties and with the public, and try to distinguish the wood from the trees. This is my task ahead in the months which will follow.

Finally, an issue of identity, which was rightly mentioned by Manfred, thank you very much. We have always longed to be part of this European project. It was on the lips of most of the Croats ever since we became independent in 1990. And therefore the national identity which we acquired, in terms of international recognition and finally having our own state after nine centuries, is very strong.

We will nurture it and respect it Ruža, as you know. But at the same time, trying to build this European project from the perspective of a country that is aware of what war means – and luckily most of your generations in your Member States are not aware of this – gives me another argument that this very project should be strengthened by all means, and by consensus if possible.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
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  Francis Zammit Dimech (PPE). – Sur President, huwa ta’ unur u pjaċir li niddiskutu, fil-preżenza tal-Prim Ministru tal-Kroazja, it-tema tal-futur tal-Ewropa. Naħseb anki dak kollu li huwa qalilna dalgħodu, dwar ir-referenza għall-waqgħa tal-ħajt ta’ Berlin u anki dwar il-valuri komuni tagħna, lili jfakkarni anki fil-kliem li kien qalilna preċiżament wara l-kollass tal-Komuniżmu l-awtur Francis Fukuyama fil-ktieb tiegħu, “The End of History”, “The great ideological struggles of the past were over, now that Western values have captured the world”.

Il-futur tagħna nemmen li jrid jibqa’ marbut anki mal-għeruq tagħna, mar-rebħa fuq in-nazzjonaliżmu, mar-rebħa fuq il-fruntieri, mar-rebħa fuq il-firda u l-mibegħda, mar-rebħa fuq dak kollu li huwa marbut mat-totalitarjaniżmu. U għalhekk nemmen ukoll li l-Ewropa trid tibqa’ t-tarka tal-valuri tagħna, tal-ħarsien tad-drittijiet fundamentali tagħna billi anki tkun marbuta ma’ aktar opportunitajiet għall-futur tagħna kollha.

 
  
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  Mercedes Bresso (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, caro Primo ministro, è un piacere rivederla qui fra noi ed è anche stato un piacere ascoltare alcune delle sue affermazioni. In particolare, come hanno ricordato molti colleghi, abbiamo un grosso problema sul bilancio futuro dell'Unione europea se vogliamo garantire, al tempo stesso, le politiche tradizionali ma importanti come la coesione e le nuove politiche su cui ci stiamo impegnando. È quindi importante sapere che c'è una disponibilità della Croazia a lavorare insieme agli altri paesi per un ragionevole aumento del bilancio in rapporto alle nuove funzioni.

In secondo luogo, grazie anche per il suo convinto appoggio alla procedura dello Spitzenkandidat. Saremmo lieti, noi che siamo favorevoli alle liste transnazionali, di spiegarle quanto le due cose possano essere collegate Creare uno spazio di dibattito politico europeo nel quale tutti possano partecipare. Abbiamo votato che il numero di candidati delle liste sia pari a quello dei membri attuali dell'Unione europea. Quindi la possibilità per tutti c'è certamente e sarei lieta di spiegarle come ciò potrebbe esserle possibile.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Plenković on becoming prime minister and say that we still miss him on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. I, too, regret Brexit as a destructive act against the EU, which – no matter how much reform it requires – is still the greatest peace and prosperity project. Alone, Britain cannot face the common challenges of climate change, mass migration or international terrorism, for example. The UK’s decision now to leave the single market and customs union will also weaken both parties, and poses big problems at the Irish border.

I also hope that the UK can stay plugged into security and defence structures by cooperating closely with PESCO, and as rapporteur of the Parliament for Montenegro, I also hope that the UK can stay engaged in joint projects in the Western Balkans. Stability in the Western Balkans must be a common priority for all of us. Lastly, I also see some merit in making European Parliament elections far more relevant to the people by the Spitzenkandidat process and the transnational lists.

Congratulations, and I think that Croatia is a great member of the European Union.

 
  
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  Pavel Telička (ALDE). – Mr President, I would like to say to the Prime Minister: it is very nice to have, as the second Prime Minister, someone from a country like yours: someone from a country which is very close to me, and which has done a tremendously good job – I can see this, as a very frequent visitor and part-timer in your country.

Now, two points from my side. As concerns the Western Balkans, I think that not just among the Western Balkan colleagues here, but among many of us, you have full understanding and support: first point. On Schengen, once Croatia will complete and comply, it should be in: second strong point.

Finally, on the transnational lists, I understood the position you have taken – a position in terms of more debate, more clarification, right timing – but how would you see the process between now (the Spitzenkandidaten) and, in the future, transnational lists? What is it that we could fine—tune that the Croats and the Czechs could better understand the institute of the Spitzenkandidaten?

 
  
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  Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Plenković. As a country on Europe’s eastern border, it is regrettable that Croatia has played a role in the creation of ‘Fortress Europe’. ‘Fortress Europe’ has no place in our future and we cannot sit in a Brussels bubble, surrounded by sea and barbed wire, while those fleeing war and discrimination are turned away and forcibly returned to Turkey, Libya and Serbia, or worse still, left to die in our seas.

The future of Europe should also not include a Europe where minority populations continue to face persistent discrimination. Populations like the Roma and traveller communities are not treated equally in my own country, Ireland, or in yours, Mr Plenković.

The future of Europe should also be rooted in its history. The EU was established as a peace project but it is now paving a future for itself in militarisation and the war alliance of Permanent Structured Cooperation on security and defence. A militarised Europe will create a future with more insecurity, more wars and more money for war, at the expense of the social protections that Europe once treasured.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I would like to thank Prime Minister Plenković for joining us. Prime Minister, I would like to ask a couple of questions regarding the remarks you made on the budget.

You said there should be an intelligent way of dealing with the budget. Can you be a bit more precise? What would your intelligence tell us about own resources of the European budget? When you say no new taxes, where should we get new resources from? Maybe you have an idea. Also, where should we reduce expenditure? The President of the Commission has said we have to cut somewhat our expenditure on agriculture and on regional policy. Where is your priority for making cuts to free up resources for new necessary expenditure?

Finally, what is your position on what some people call the ‘weaponisation’ of the European budget, meaning the proposal that the budget should be used to cudgel some governments into policies that are objectionable to the rest of us?

 
  
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  Marco Valli (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mi spiace che non ci sia nessuno della Commissione in questo momento a rappresentare, perché ci sono dei punti anche molto importanti sull'Eurozona che bisogna snocciolare. Il futuro dell'Unione europea ha come fulcro anche quello che è il futuro dell'Eurozona e ci sono delle proposte sul piatto che vanno snocciolate, come ad esempio trasformare il Meccanismo europeo di stabilità nel Fondo monetario europeo.

Molti gruppi politici sono a favore di questa iniziativa, ma creare degli strumenti per andare fintamente ad aiutare gli Stati quando sono in difficoltà fiscale senza prima creare le condizioni per risolvere i pesanti squilibri economici di cui soffre l'Eurozona sono soluzioni incomplete. Bisognerebbe trovare il modo di creare dei trasferimenti fiscali dai paesi in surplus, come la Germania e l'Olanda, e risolvere il problema dei grandi paradisi fiscali, come ha detto anche lei, Presidente Tajani. Paesi fondatori come Olanda e Lussemburgo devono contribuire a questa situazione dell'Eurozona. E poi bisogna trovare una soluzione per il debito sovrano. Non possiamo subire ancora quelle che sono le condizioni della crisi del 2011. Dobbiamo trovare una soluzione perché il quantitative easing non durerà per sempre.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Πρωθυπουργέ, καλώς ήρθατε για μια ακόμη φορά στο Ευρωκοινοβούλιο. Ελλείψει χρόνου, διερωτώμαι πώς είναι δυνατόν να υπάρξει μέλλον στην Ευρώπη όταν δεν υπάρχει αλληλεγγύη μεταξύ των ευρωπαϊκών χωρών; Χαρακτηριστικό είναι το παράδειγμα της Ελλάδας, την οποία και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση έχει εξαθλιώσει επί οκτώ συνεχόμενα χρόνια με το μνημόνιο. Πώς είναι δυνατόν να υπάρξει πρόοδος στην Ευρώπη όταν η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση επιβάλλει στα κράτη να φτωχοποιούν τους πολίτες τους; Πώς είναι δυνατόν να υπάρξει πρόοδος στην Ευρώπη όταν δεν μπορούμε να φυλάξουμε τα εθνικά μας σύνορα, τα οποία φυλάσσει -υποτίθεται- η Ευρωπαϊκή συνοριοφυλακή και ακτοφυλακή, και δεν μπορούμε να χειριστούμε το πρόβλημα των λαθρομεταναστών; Πώς είναι δυνατόν να υπάρξει πρόοδος στην Ευρώπη όταν στην πράξη έχει καταργηθεί η Συνθήκη Σένγκεν; Τέλος, πώς είναι δυνατόν να υπάρξει πρόοδος στην Ευρώπη όταν θέλουμε να δεχθούμε την Τουρκία η οποία, πέραν της γενοκτονίας των Αρμενίων που αναφέρθηκε, είναι υπεύθυνη για γενοκτονία των Ελλήνων του Εύξεινου Πόντου και της Μικράς Ασίας και αυτή τη στιγμή δεν αναγνωρίζει την Κύπρο; Πώς είναι δυνατόν, λοιπόν, να υπάρξει πρόοδος στην Ευρώπη με όλα αυτά;

 
  
 

(Sospensione della procedura "catch-the-eye" per permettere al Primo Ministro Andrej Plenković di rispondere alle domande dei deputati)

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia. – Mr President, I have a few remarks on this first round of catch-the-eye.

First of all, on the issue of defence, which Charles Tannock mentioned, I believe that strengthening European defence is very important, given the wider context of the challenges we have when it comes to security. Having seen what we have discussed over the past couple of years, one of the first things I did as Prime Minister was to put through the new national security strategy, a new system of homeland security, and to increase our defence budget. We are in the process of acquiring new jet fighters. I want to be a credible country with capabilities that can increase and be inter-operational with other allies within NATO and with partners in the European Union. That is why we are participating, with almost 450 Croatian military personnel, in various operations across the world, be it with the UN, NATO or the European Union.

On the UK’s exit, I think the critical thing is to find what type of future contractual relationship we will forge between the United Kingdom and the EU. I think it was Walter Hallstein who said that association can be membership minus one percent, or cooperation plus one percent: that is a very large span for what we can put into the new contractual relationship. This is a choice. It is a political choice, in a strange situation, when someone is actually about to leave. In my view, that will be critical in the next phase of the negotiations with London.

Regarding the Spitzenkandidat and transnational lists, I have a practical concern. The budget in my country currently for the whole list for the campaign is EUR 200 000. If a colleague wants to campaign he has EUR 200 000 for the whole length of the campaign. As a candidate, how do you think he will campaign in Turku, in Braga, in Palermo or somewhere on the shores of Bourgas in Bulgaria? He cannot do it. This is the problem.

We should invest a little bit more practical thinking in this: probably increasing the limits of financing, finding ways to ensure that the new system not only underpins the person who is a candidate for the future presidency of the European Commission but also gives equal opportunities to someone from what I would call a ‘notorious’ political family or someone from a big country with a strong media presence, or someone from a smaller country. This is my concern and I do not see the answer in the debate so far.

As I said, we need to have equal chances in this exercise. In my view, the way it is now being contemplated is not entirely fair. That is why I have very clear reservations at this stage. I am not saying we will not find a solution.

When it comes to the Multiannual Financial Framework, you mentioned that I said we needed to find smart approaches. The smartest way is to know what you want, what your political priorities are, and then attach the financial means to those priorities. For a couple of years, I have been following the work of the group of experts led by Mr Monti – so often eloquently represented by Alain Lamassoure – on the reform of the own resources system. This is absolutely key if we want to avoid the debates that Mr Verhofstadt mentioned when we asked if it is the Council which decides on income and Parliament which decides on expenditure. This is essential. We always debate in the nitty-gritty negotiations and trilogues in a short time in order to achieve a political goal. Therefore, finding a balance between research, innovation, the digital economy, youth, jobs, and traditional policy areas, such as regional policy development or agriculture or defence, is always a challenge.

I believe that if we understand what the challenges will be in the next decade we can find consensus, especially now when – after the 2016 blues, after the Brexit referendum and with the political developments in 2017, especially the enthusiastic approach of President Macron of France, and the likely formation of another German Government led by Chancellor Merkel – we have gone, in football terms, from a 0-1 to a 2-1 situation. That gives me hope and optimism for the strength of the European project, including the debate on the financial framework.

 
  
 

(Seguito della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Ivo Belet (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to thank Prime Minister Plenković for being in this House, which is very familiar to him.

Prime Minister Plenković, I would like to come back to the security issue which you referred to a few minutes ago. Of course, it is an important issue. Taking into account the international context, it is very turbulent and you already referred to this, but should we not accelerate our efforts to enhance defence cooperation? You referred to defence fighters but should we not invest more in common defence material, on a common platform, in order to be interoperable and to make the European defence capacity more robust? The advantages are obvious. The synergies are obvious. I think we can assume that citizens support it, so are you ready to support this line and really invest in initiatives in order to accelerate this common European defence initiative?

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Mr President, tax evasion and tax dumping among Member States – some transformed into tax havens or hubs for money laundering, crime and corruption, as LuxLeaks, Panama Papers and Paradise Papers show: this is what is fuelling growing inequalities and the consequent populism, nationalism and citizen distrust in the European governments and in the Union. So, Prime Minister, if you agree that the EU needs additional own-resources, is it not time for the Council to act for tax harmonisation – namely, setting a minimum corporate tax base to fight tax dumping in the unfair competition that is going on in the single market? And is it not smart, fair and necessary for the EU, in the context of the multiannual financial framework, to indeed enact the financial transaction tax that has already been agreed by 11 Member States and, considering the evolution of the digital economy, a tax on the robotisation of production? Would this not be also a way to regenerate income for Member States, and not just the Union?

 
  
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  Ivica Tolić (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče hrvatske Vlade, velik je Vaš osobni doprinos proeuropskom programu u Hrvatskoj. Vaša proeuropska politika i stajališta poznata su i u Hrvatskoj i u ovom domu. Napredak Hrvatske u strukturnim reformama pod Vašom Vladom vidljiv je u svim segmentima društvenog razvoja i ta postignuća Hrvatsku snažno integriraju u Europsku uniju.

Schengenski prostor jedan je od prioriteta Hrvatske. Očekujete li da će se hrvatski pristup realizirati za mandata ovog sastava Europske komisije i Europskog parlamenta?

Zaštita vanjskih granica, kako ste i sami rekli, važno je pitanje. Mislite li da bi ovaj Parlament i Vijeće trebali podržati da sustav ulaska i izlaska za registraciju podataka o ulasku i izlasku državljana trećih zemalja koji prelaze vanjske granice država članica Europske unije u provedbu od prvog trenutka treba uključiti i Republiku Hrvatsku jer je riječ o prvenstveno sigurnosnom pitanju?

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Mr President, Prime Minister Plenković, welcome back to the European Parliament and welcome to this forum about the future of the European Union. We first heard Ireland – a veteran, 45 years in the European Union – and now we have Croatia, the newest accession. Both have histories of success and progress, most notably in the case of Croatia overcoming terrible episodes of war and conflict, which is yet to be completed, with the cross-border tensions with Slovenia.

Many of us here are convinced that Europe, the European Union, has been in a protracted crisis, dragging its feet and hounded by nationalists, populists and europhobes. And do you know what? Many of us here think the problem is about the Council. It is about a lack of vision to face, in a European fashion, the eurozone needs, globalisation and, most notably, the refugee crisis. It is about a lack of solidarity, and also of backing for the democratic principle of Spitzenkandidaten and transnational lists.

Many of us here in the European Parliament would uphold a majority backing this democratic principle. It is about time that the European Council did its part of the job. Is it ready to either go European or face nationalist regression? That is the question.

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR). – Mr President; Prime Minister, welcome. I share your sorrow about Brexit. On the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity, I think that our lack of respect for both principles contributed to the effect of the referendum in the UK, rather than populism and external intervention. Unfortunately, it is still visible in the EU institutions. On foreign policy principles, I note that the Russian Ambassador receives royal treatment in the institutions, just as Moscow is a destination of political travellers, and unlike the treatment given to the Ukrainian Ambassador and Kyiv. Please ensure in Council that our focusing on the Western Balkans does not take other challenges off the European agenda.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). – Hvala Vam na govoru gospodine premijeru i dobrodošao natrag u Europski parlament. Želim Vam postaviti tri pitanja. Supsidijarnost je riječ koju ste sami spomenuli. Vaš kolega, bivši predsjednik, gospodin Weber govorio je o dvojnim identitetima, regionalnom i nacionalnom. Moje je pitanje da li Vi zaista želite implementirati supsidijarnost i da li ga vidite kao pravi princip za Europsku uniju, naravno u tom slučaju i za našu zemlju? Kao što ste sami rekli, vlast koja je bliža građanima može bolje izvršavati svoje obaveze.

Drugo je pitanje vezano za Uljanik, gdje ste i Vi odigrali značajnu ulogu i želim Vas pitati ipak globalno, da li vidite brodogradnju kao pravu europsku industriju gdje će jedan proizvod, a to je brod, biti zajednički europski proizvod?

Treće je pitanje vezano za zapadni Balkan. Na neki sam način siguran da ćete Vi biti jedan od onih ljudi koji će se zalagati i biti za ulazak svih zemalja zapadnog Balkana u Europsku uniju, ali pitam se i volio bih čuti politički odgovor što znači taj dolazak gospodina predsjednika Vučića uskoro u Zagreb i što on donosi zapadnom Balkanu?

 
  
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  Igor Šoltes (Verts/ALE). – Seveda, lepo je govoriti o prihodnosti Evrope in tudi o Hrvaški, vendar pri tem ne moremo mimo temeljnih vrednot, brez katerih si prihodnosti Evropske unije ne moremo in nočemo niti predstavljati in med njimi absolutno je tudi vladavina prava, ki je pravzaprav temelj evropskih vrednot in predpogoj za uresničevanje vsega. In če pademo na vladavini prava, pademo praktično kot Evropa.

Želim si, g. Plenković, da bi tudi vi kot predsednik vlade, kot ste rekli, države Hrvaške, razumeli in pravzaprav pristavili svoj prispevek k temu, da se tudi v primeru in v evropskem duhu ravna tudi tako pri implementaciji arbitražnih odločb, pri arbitražni odločbi med hrvaško in slovensko mejo.

Ta je seveda nedvoumna, zavezujoča, dokončna, res judicata in o njej se seveda ne moremo pogajati in tudi zato bi predlagal gospodu Junckerju, ki je ponudil svojo pomoč, najprej seveda lahko pomaga tako, da jasno, nedvoumno, brez zatikanja pove, da je arbitražne odločitve treba sprejemati za vse odgovorne članice v Evropski uniji.

 
  
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  Jiří Payne (EFDD). – Pane předsedající, máme před sebou pět variant budoucnosti Evropské unie, které nám předložila Komise. Co mají společného? V zásadě společným jmenovatelem je udržet moc „v Bruselu“. A já bych chtěl poprosit, abychom rozšířili úvahy také o další dvě možnosti.

Za prvé, odpovědný politik musí vždycky uvažovat o krizové variantě a musí mít připravený krizový scénář. A já bych si přál, prosím o to, abychom rozšířili debatu o úvahách i o takových situacích. A pak prosím ještě o jednu variantu. Protože stále se potýkáme s demografickým deficitem a měli bychom zahájit debatu o demokratickém scénáři budoucího vývoje evropského kontinentu. O scénáři, který by byl založen na racionální deregulaci, o scénáři, ve kterém přestane platit: „My víme, co je pro vás dobré, a my vám to přikážeme“, o scénáři, který bude založen na tom, že politikové budou občanům a voličům říkat: „My vám nasloucháme.“

 
  
 

(Sospensione della procedura "catch-the-eye" per permettere al Primo Ministro Andrej Plenković di rispondere alle domande dei deputati)

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia. – Mr President, thank you very much for a series of questions on defence. Yes, Croatia wants the European Union to go in the direction of strengthening defence cooperation. If there is one area since 1993-99 that has evolved rapidly, it is certainly that one and, as I already said at the beginning, our commitment is strong and it is clear. The way we are building our own capabilities is in the direction that we are not there in a declaratory manner but in an operational manner. So from that point of view, a plus.

When it comes to the Schengen entry-exit system, you know that we got the envelope when we were negotiating our accession of EUR 120 million to increase the capacities of the Croatian police, of the Croatian border system to surveil our borders and it is perhaps the best absorption of all the funds that we have. We have so far, at the level of contractual arrangements, about 50% above the total allocation for Croatia, which is just over EUR 10.3 billion. We have more or less contracted EUR 5.2 billion. When it comes to Schengen we have actually absorbed 98%.

Given the migratory refugee crisis a few years ago we were the country that today looks at this issue in a way that our focus should be on protecting the external borders of the European Union, on preventing further migratory flows at the source of the crisis – failing states, wars, conflicts, poverty and other reasons why people are looking towards Europe from the continents which are around us. The entry-exit system, yes. Preparation for Schengen, whether it is formally within the mandate of this Parliament, I would be very happy if we could achieve that. We will try to do the maximum but you know it is a decision both of the Council and needing the support of the European Parliament.

We didn’t opt for barbed wire on our borders but we are protecting our borders with our forces and strengthening our capacities if and where there is a need.

When it comes to the issue of minorities, which was mentioned earlier by one of the colleagues, perhaps you don’t know, but the Croatian Parliament has a fixed quota for eight members of parliament from minorities – three from the Serbian minority, and today we also have representatives of an Italian minority. We have a representative of the Hungarians, of the Czechs, and of the Roma as well, which is very important because this was mentioned in one of the debates earlier where there was an insinuation that we do not protect the Roma minority enough. On the contrary, we have a special operational programme for minorities where we have invested a lot and one Albanian minority lady representative. Why am I saying this? All eight of those minorities are members of my parliamentary majority, which I personally wanted to be like that because I feel that the minorities in any European country, and especially in Croatia with all the historical legacies that we have, can better cater for their needs, their priorities and their position in our society if they are within the majority and influencing the policies of our country. That is why this is a very dear subject for me from a principle point of view, with all the European values always in mind.

When it comes to the three questions of my colleague Nino Jakovčić: on subsidiarity, absolutely yes. You are aware that my ambition is to involve – first of all when it comes to the European national level and the multi-layered governance – the Croatian parliament more than before. That is why I am there every single time after I come back from the European Council. I spend hours trying to promote the substance of the European dossiers to the Croatian MPs and to the Croatian public. No one has ever thought of doing this before and not even deliberated it. This is an idea that I want, where the national parliaments have a role to play in our legislative pipeline, more than today.

Second, on Uljanik and on the shipping industry and the shipyards in Croatia. In our accession process if there was one critical issue on the agenda it was in Chapter 8, it was competition, state aid, how to help the shipyards in distress. It actually cost a lot of money in the Croatian budget. Some of them are stable, restructured and ordering new ships. Some of them occasionally have difficulties in the market which has globally completely altered to what it was before. You know it and I know it.

The decision on Uljanik was a political choice, as we were convinced that this shipyard in Pula – which is also the co-owner of a shipyard in Rijeka, the 3. Maj, and which employs together more than 5 000 people – has the potential to find a strategic partner, restructure and have long-term viability of production. This is why we believed it was a good choice, and that is why we explained to the European Commission to give us a go-ahead in this decision.

On the visit of President Vučić, I don’t see that much mystification as is flowing around in the media. I see President Vučić almost every two months in various international fora. There are items on the agenda which should be addressed – the question of missing persons, border issues, war damages if you like, the laws which Serbia has passed in order to increase its jurisdiction when it comes to the prosecution of war crimes beyond its own territories... We have debated this in this House. I don’t want to enter into that. But there is goodwill on the Croatian side to sit down and try to understand how we can surmount the obstacles. This is the object. The normalisation agreement between the two countries dates from 1996. There are always political connotations when different personalities are involved, and this visit therefore has an extra careful element in the whole process of its preparation.

On the arbitration and Slovenia, dear colleague Šoltes, you can present it the way you said: yes, everything was perfect, a textbook case, fantastic behaviour, never better, and we should definitely try to copy the process for all the other open border issues. I, unfortunately, cannot agree with that, and you know it. I am even hesitating to be as explicit as I perhaps should in this forum, but I will repeat to you again, let’s refrain from unilateral action. Let’s find a way for both Slovenia and Croatia to find a commonly acceptable fair and reasonable solution to the border issue. In my view it is an overblown topic both politically and in the media. Nothing dramatic has happened to any of our citizens. But that will happen if one of the countries chooses the path of unilateral actions and fines. This is something I really regret and it was not the choice of my country. The goodwill is there. I know that the Prime Minister Cerar and the entire Slovenian Government have taken some positions – there are elections very soon in Slovenia – but despite that, we are open for dialogue and also, if you like, some good ideas from our friends that might help us in that direction.

 
  
 

(Seguito della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Henna Virkkunen (PPE). – Arvoisa puhemies, haluan kiittää pääministeriä erittäin hyvästä puheenvuorosta. Kroatia on monella tavalla menestystarina, ja on hienoa, että olette valmiina toimimaan sillanrakentajana koko Balkanin alueelle, kun naapurimaanne pyrkivät kohti Euroopan unionin jäsenyyttä. Samaan aikaan, kun puhutaan EU:n tulevaisuudesta, mielestäni meidän on kuitenkin nyt itse tartuttava erityisesti kahteen asiaan Euroopan unionin jäseninä.

Toinen niistä koskee eurooppalaisia arvoja. Tiedämme, että meillä on tällä hetkellä valitettavasti jäsenmaita, jotka eivät noudata meidän yhteisiä arvojamme koskien ihmisarvon ja ihmisoikeuksien kunnioittamista, vapautta, kansanvaltaa, tasa-arvoa ja oikeusvaltiota, jotka on linjattu niiksi asioiksi, joiden edistäminen on EU:n päätavoitteita.

Toinen kysymys liittyy siihen, että kun olemme tehneet jonkun päätöksen, jäsenmaiden on sitä noudatettava. Tiedämme, että tässä on ongelmia. Ennen kuin nämä asiat korjataan, EU ei voi palauttaa uskottavuuttaan. Meidän on kyettävä nopeammin reagoimaan näihin asioihin, ja nyt kun EU:n rahoituskehystä ollaan uudistamassa, oletteko valmiita siihen, että näiltä mailta, jotka eivät noudata yhteisiä sääntöjä, voitaisiin tulevaisuudessa myös leikata rahoitusta?

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule prim-ministru. Domnule prim-ministru aștept să și ascultați ce spun din secundele mele, vă rog foarte mult. Apreciez ceea ce ați spus și viziunea pe care ați prezentat-o corespunde și cu viziunea mea, însă, ați ezitat să spuneți dacă starea actuală a națiunii corespunde cu viziunea dumneavoastră. Eu sunt din România, avem 10 ani de aderare, dumneavoastră ați folosit cuvinte-cheie aici - subsidiaritate, să acționăm în interesul cetățenilor, zonă Schengen. Vreau să vă întreb… Și poate totuși mă ascultați...

(Președintele a întrerupt vorbitoarea)

Nu am terminat domnule președinte, pentru că domnul prim-ministru nu dorește să asculte intervenția mea. Deci, vă întreb domnule prim-ministru: considerați că starea actuală a națiunii corespunde cu ceea ce dumneavoastră ați prezentat ca viziune? Vorbim aici de subsidiaritate, de a acționa în interesul cetățenilor, de zona Schengen, de faptul că avem buget pe zona euro și buget pe zona non-euro. Avem o singură Europă sau nu? Care este părerea dumneavoastră legată de faptul că sunt state stigmatizate, cum sunt România și Bulgaria, care întrunesc condițiile de zona Schengen și nu sunt aprobate în Consiliu? Ce credeți de faptul că există doar pentru două state un MCV? Despre ce unitate vorbim și ce să le spunem cetățenilor, pentru că dumneavoastră ați folosit aici termenii „să explicăm cetățenilor avantajele Uniunii Europene”?

Aș dori să-mi răspundeți în intervenția dumneavoastră.

 
  
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  Franck Proust (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Premier ministre, l’avenir de l’Europe est l’affaire de tous et notre rôle, ici, est de dire la vérité. De dire ce que nous avons accompli depuis 2014 et de dire avec lucidité ce qui ne fonctionne pas, sans hypocrisie.

Un exemple récent: la modernisation des instruments de défense commerciale. Sur ce point, nous avons obtenu des progrès en augmentant nos taxes antidumping, mais les États membres n’ont pas assumé de supprimer l’application du «droit moindre», ce symbole de la naïveté qui enlève la valeur vraiment punitive aux taxes antidumping. Ce «droit moindre» ne doit plus être la règle mais l’exception en matière de défense commerciale. C’est le combat que nous devons mener.

Entre le rêve et l’incantation des uns et les dangers extrémistes et populistes des autres, il existe une voie du réalisme et de l’efficacité, celle que nous défendons.

Nous refusons de voir l’Europe s’éloigner des peuples et disons «non» au gadget inutile, injuste et inapplicable des listes transnationales. Nous sommes de ceux qui agissent pour que l’action de l’Europe soit resserrée sur des priorités. Soit certains défendent encore le consensus mou, soit nous faisons le pari d’une Europe qui avance plus vite, peut-être à différents niveaux d’intégration, avec des marqueurs forts pour donner de la visibilité et de la lisibilité à l’action de l’Europe.

Monsieur le Premier ministre, c’est ce qu’attendent nos concitoyens.

 
  
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  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Vaša sporočila so danes izjemno pomembna, predvsem v luči strategije širitve na Balkan.

Veste, da z zaskrbljenostjo sprejemamo vaše ravnanje vlade po odločitvi arbitražnega sodišča med Slovenijo in Hrvaško. Slišali ste predsednika Junckerja, da nobena druga država ne bo več vstopila v Unijo, če ne bo rešila meja.

Mi rešitev imamo, arbitražno. Tu ne gre za vprašanje nekega povsem novega kompromisa. Kakšno bo vaše sporočilo državam Zahodnega Balkana, če Hrvaška arbitražne razsodbe ne bo spoštovala in rešitve o meji ne bo? Boste prevzeli odgovornost za države, ki bodo ostale pred vrati? Zagotavljate, da ste pripravljeni storiti vse, da naši državi izideta iz situacije, ki predvsem škoduje našim ljudem, ampak danes me niste prepričali.

Veste, da Hrvatje vsako zimo preživljajo na smučiščih počitnice, Slovenci na hrvaški obali in naša skupna skrb in odgovornost je, da ohranimo prijateljske in dobre sosedske odnose.

 
  
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  Bernd Lucke (ECR). – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Herr Verhofstadt hat darauf aufmerksam gemacht, dass dieses Parlament nicht über seine eigenen Einnahmen verfügen kann. Es gibt aber einen guten Grund dafür, denn dieses Parlament wird nicht nach gleicher Wahl gewählt. Nicht alle Bürger Europas haben das gleiche Mitspracherecht, wenn es um Einnahmen geht. In diesem Parlament sitzen sechs Abgeordnete aus Malta. Wenn wir das Parlament nach gleicher Wahl wählen würden, dann müssten hier etwa tausend Abgeordnete aus Deutschland sitzen – relativ zu sechs Abgeordneten aus Malta.

No taxation without representation, das gilt seit 250 Jahren. Wir haben hier eine grobe Verzerrung – das Parlament ist nicht repräsentativ. Und deshalb ist es durchaus sinnvoll, dass das Parlament seine Einnahmen von den Parlamenten auf der mitgliedstaatlichen Ebene empfängt, die in gleicher Wahl gewählt worden sind.

Das ist wichtig in Erinnerung zu behalten. Es gibt kein Recht, keine demokratische Legitimation, für die Besteuerung der Bürger Europas ausgehend vom Europäischen Parlament. Dieses Recht liegt aus gutem Grund auf mitgliedstaatlicher Ebene.

 
  
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  Ivo Vajgl (ALDE). – Bili smo kolegi, najbrž je užitek, ko imaš več časa v tej plenarni dvorani, jaz imam eno minuto. V tej minuti bi rad rekel, da čestitam Hrvaški za uspeh in verjamem, da je lahko resnično zgled in vabilo vsem državam kandidatkam, ki si prizadevajo za članstvo v Evropski uniji.

Moram pa nekaj stvari povedati tudi o naših dvostranskih odnosih. Vi ste danes slišali podporo velikega dela tega Parlamenta reševanju našega bilateralnega, rekel bi odvečnega spora na osnovi arbitražnega sodišča.

Seveda je arbitražno sodišče tisto, ki odloči o tem, a je v nekem trenutku bila napravljena zloraba ali ne, sodišče je odločilo, da takšne zlorabe, ki bi onemogočila arbitražo, ni bilo, in je sprejelo odločitev, ki je vi ne želite implementirati.

Jaz bi rekel, gospod premier, jaz vas vabim k temu, da v duhu dobrega sosedstva, trajnega dobrega sosedstva, rešimo ta problem in zato je pač potrebno tudi nekaj spoštovanja mednarodnega prava in načel dobrega sosedstva.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, dugo je ovo jutro, imali ste izvrstan sveobuhvatan uvodni govor i ove odgovore. Manje više ste na sva pitanje odgovorili. Ja Vam želim čestitati na europskoj vokaciji Hrvatske, na vašoj mainstream politici koju vodite. Nadam se da nećete dopustiti populistima jeftinim i ekstremistima da preuzmu vodstvo u Hrvatskoj, a istovremeno se nadam da ćete voditi računa o nacionalnim interesima.

Ovdje ste više puta naglasili i Schengen i eurozonu. Naravno da se nadam da ćemo do kraja mandata ove Komisije biti u Schengenu. Isto bih tako željela da možda malo bolje objasnite koji su interesi hrvatskog ulaska u eurozonu. Rekli ste da želimo biti u unutarnjem krugu Unije i to je ono na čemu inzistirate Vi i mi ovdje koji Vas podržavamo.

Isto tako, lijepo ste objasnili da svi benefiti koje imamo od Europske unije, a to je što je spomenuo i gospodin Juncker, Pelješki most, i rekao je da bi bio ovdje aplauz da se gradi most na Seni, a za Pelješki most nismo možda u prvom momentu reagirali. Međutim, to je velika stvar od strane Europske unije. Isto tako LNG terminal i obnovljivi izvori za koje smo već postigli razine koje smo trebali.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, grazie Primo ministro Plenković, ho apprezzato tanto la sua relazione e i suoi interventi. Il suo essere profondamente europeista ci dà l'opportunità per riflettere insieme con un po' di ottimismo sul futuro dell'Europa.

Nell'incertezza che regna a livello internazionale, l'Europa ha il dovere di assumere il ruolo di guida a livello mondiale, indicando la strada per affrontare le paure e avanzare con determinazione verso le politiche del futuro, la cui strada è già tracciata. Passaggi ineludibili per questo obiettivo sono l'adeguato sostegno alla conversione del modello economico lineare verso la green economy e la circular economy e il raggiungimento di una maggiore coesione sociale ed economica.

Corre quindi l'obbligo di affrontare con determinazione i temi dell'immigrazione, dell'equità fiscale e della lotta alle diseguaglianze che, se ignorati ancora, rischiano di compromettere la tenuta stessa dell'Unione europea.

In tale contesto, il ruolo giocato dalla Croazia è un ruolo chiave nella promozione della stabilità e della pace nei Balcani, ma anche nell'affrontare con l'Italia e gli altri paesi dell'Adriatico le sfide macroregionali che abbiamo di fronte.

 
  
 

(Sospensione della procedura "catch-the-eye" per permettere al Primo Ministro Andrej Plenković di rispondere alle domande dei deputati)

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, hrvatski premijer – Evo na hrvatskom jedan odgovor za moje prijatelje iz Slovenije, budući da su i Tanja i Ivo ponovno otvorili ovo pitanje bilateralnih odnosa između Hrvatske i Slovenije, primjer prema drugim zemljama.

Pozicija je Hrvatske vrlo jasna i vi je znate jako dobro. Hoćemo li nešto kvalificirati kao malu zlorabu ili napaku, kao da je smučanje u pitanju ili ćemo reći da je riječ o povredi međunarodnog prava, to je sada na procjeni vas ili nas, u smislu slovenske ili hrvatske strane o tome što je bilo u arbitražnom procesu.

Ono što vi isto znate, a znamo i mi, je da je Hrvatska donijela odluku Hrvatskog sabora i to u vrijeme dok sam ja bio u ovom forumu, a ne u tom sazivu Hrvatskog sabora i da je ona jednoglasna i čvrsta. Zato sam i rekao da ovaj trenutak, kada imamo arbitražnu presudu koju vi želite provesti, a mi je ne priznajemo, moramo naći jedan politički i pravni način da pomirimo ta stajališta i da iskoristimo prigodu za rješenje graničnog pitanja.

Ono što isto tako vrlo jasno hoću reći da ljudi koji nisu ni Slovenci ni Hrvati shvate, da se to pitanje dedramatizira: nije to neko pitanje o kojem ovisi sudbina ili Slovenije ili Hrvatske. I zato mi je bilo čak čudno da smo čuli retoriku o slovenskim zakonima koji će voditi računa o onim Slovencima koji su ostali s nesrečne strane meje. Meni je puno draže govoriti o Sloveniji kao o zemlji koja je imala slogan Sončna strana Alp. Ne vidim u tome point. Point je da smo blizu, da smo si prijatelji, da mi idemo na skijanje, a vi dolazite na more i ja hoću da tako i ostane. Ne želim da se jedan problem, međudržavni, transferira na razinu konkretnih, običnih ljudi, a u ovom konkretnom slučaju, posebno ribara.

I zato podcrtavam da smo otvoreni i za dijalog i za dogovor i za rješenje tog pitanja, ali to pitanje nije toliko dramatično kako ga se nastoji prikazati. To je ono što smo uspjeli u Hrvatskoj, prvi put u zadnjih 25 godina da nismo imali nikakvu veliku dramu u hrvatskoj javnosti o ovom pitanju. To nam se još nije dogodilo, a znate kako je to sve bilo proteklih godina.

Uglavnom, tu smo da problem riješimo, ali pokušajte i vi razumjeti realnosti i političke i pravne, a i činjenične, uostalom, koje su se dogodile.

Što se tiče ovih drugih tema, pitanje vladavine prava koje se evo nastoji malo kontekstualizirati u ovom kontekstu je naravno za Hrvatsku ključno i važno. Ta inicijativa je bila u krajnjoj liniji plod onog prijašnjeg saziva Sabora, Europskog parlamenta i prijašnje Komisije i na neki način smo je nastavili u ovo vrijeme. Bitno je da se na nacionalnoj razini i u dijalogu, prije svega s Europskom komisijom, pronađu načini kako da se otklone pitanja na koje imamo različite poglede i stoga vjerujem da mehanizmi dijaloga koji su nam na raspolaganju, sukladno ugovoru, mogu dovesti do rješenja.

Što se tiče Bugarske i Rumunjske u Schengenu, već sam u uvodnom govoru rekao da ja to podržavam, da smatram da bi to bilo korisno i dobro. Vi imate taj mehanizam suradnje i verifikacije još od 2007., kad ste postali članica. Mi koji smo postali kasnije ga nemamo. Smatrali smo u tom trenutku da je dobro da ga nemamo jer smo toliko dugo ispunjavali kriterije da smo bili uvjereni da nam takav nekakav postpristupni monitoring nije nužan i da možemo naći druge načine da se pridržavamo naših obaveza i tako ga gledamo. I zato smatram da bi vaš uspjeh prema Schengenu bio i naš uspjeh, a mi ćemo kriterije ispuniti što se tiče i tehničkih kriterija, i nadzora granice i garantiranja nepropusnosti vanjske granice Hrvatske.

Pitanja populizma i euroskepticizma, da, točno, ja sam vrlo jasno, i to govorim i u Hrvatskoj, odvjetnik zagovaranja političkoga mainstreama jer on donosi stabilnost, predvidljivost; nastavlja na temelju ovog europskog projekta koji su izgradili naši očevi utemeljitelji i mnogi političari i stranke i državnici i parlamentarci koji su ga gradili zadnjih skoro sedamdesetak godina. Ono što svjedočimo, svjedočimo na europskoj razini i na razini svih naših rasprava, da mnogi u današnjem digitalnom komunikacijskom prostoru koriste sva ta sredstva kako bi plasirali svoje ideje. Nekada te ideje nisu uvijek poduprte točnim i pouzdanim informacijama. Mislim da za budućnost naše demokratske rasprave, uopće demokratskih procesa, moramo jako dobro nastojati razlikovati ono što je točno i istinito i ono što nije. Tu vidim ključ buduće demokratske rasprave koja će dati odgovor na pitanje populizma na razini država članica koje se, kao što znamo, reflektira i na europskim izborima.

 
  
 

(Seguito della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Erst einmal möchte ich mich sehr herzlich bedanken für die Reden, die wir gehört haben, die eine große europäische Perspektive zum Ausdruck bringen. Und ich bin auch überzeugt, dass man aus diesem europäischen Geist heraus Wege finden wird, den Streit zwischen Slowenien und Kroatien zu lösen. Denn das Ziel Europas ist ja, Grenzen unbedeutend zu machen. Das ist vielleicht für beide Nationen ein Weg, zueinander zu finden und dies zu lösen.

Lassen Sie mich aber auch eine Bemerkung machen zu dem, was Herr Lucke zum Ausdruck gebracht hat: Das Europäische Parlament ist voll legitimiert; das Bundesverfassungsgericht hat das bestätigt. Und wir müssen sehen, dass im amerikanischen Kongress jeder Bundesstaat zwei Sitze hat. Dann wäre der amerikanische Senat auch nicht legitimiert, Steuern einzuziehen. Wir haben hier in Europa ein höheres Maß an Ausgewogenheit zwischen großen und kleinen Ländern in einem Zwei-Kammern-System als etwa in Deutschland. Wir haben keine völlige Parität der Stimmen im Europäischen Parlament. Dafür sind aber die größeren Länder im Rat letztlich stärker als die kleinen. Das ist in Deutschland im Bundesrat nicht der Fall. Deswegen sollten wir uns nicht auf eine solche Detaildebatte einlassen, dass die Legitimation dieses Europäischen Parlaments, das vom Volk gewählt ist, vom europäischen Volk, in Frage gestellt wird.

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Premier ministre, vous avez ouvert votre discours sur la valeur ajoutée pour les citoyens que représente pour un pays, dont le vôtre, l’adhésion à Union européenne. Vous avez aussi abordé la question de votre voisinage et vous vous êtes montré ouvert, à certaines conditions, à ce que ces pays puissent accéder, à leur tour, à l’Union européenne – je vous en remercie.

La guerre des Balkans, j’ai envie de dire les guerres, ont en effet laissé des traces. Je connais, comme membre des amitiés UE-Balkans, toutes les questions posées au sujet des réconciliations et je suis persuadé qu’il y a un chemin s’il y a des volontés. J’ai pu rappeler lors de la dernière réunion UE-Kosovo que la France et l’Allemagne ont été capables de cette réconciliation pour créer l’Union européenne, une union de paix, de sécurité, de liberté et de prospérité économique. La Croatie peut avoir un rôle moteur pour un retour au vivre ensemble dans ce secteur géographique des Balkans si souvent malmené au cours de l’histoire.

Je n’ai pas de question à vous poser, je vous encourage simplement à poursuivre le dialogue avec vos voisins.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Πρωθυπουργέ της Κροατίας να σας υπενθυμίσω ότι τα Σκόπια αναγνωρίζονται από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ως «FΥRΟΜ» και όχι ως «Μακεδονία», όπως εσφαλμένα τα αποκαλέσατε πριν από λίγο. Σας καλώ λοιπόν να επανορθώσετε, διότι «οι καλοί λογαριασμοί κάνουν τους καλούς φίλους». Σε σχέση με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, πρέπει να δοθεί έμφαση από την πλευρά της Ένωσης στην εγκατάλειψη του νεοφιλελευθερισμού, της λιτότητας και της βίαιης δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής. Πρέπει να οικοδομηθεί η κοινωνική Ευρώπη, η οποία θα εγγυάται τη δίκαιη κατανομή του παραγόμενου πλούτου και την κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη. Στο θεσμικό πεδίο, η Ένωση οφείλει να σέβεται την εθνική κυριαρχία των κρατών μελών της καθώς και την εθνική τους ταυτότητα. Να στηρίζεται και να δρα με βάση την αρχή της επικουρικότητας και της αναλογικότητας. Μόνο μια Ευρώπη που θα βασίζεται στα έθνη-κράτη και στους λαούς μπορεί να αποτελέσει εναλλακτική λύση στην Ευρώπη της τραπεζοκρατίας και των πολυεθνικών.

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (ALDE). – Monsieur le Président, à l’heure actuelle, me semble-t-il, le problème majeur de l’Union européenne est le refus de la part de plusieurs États membres d’accepter la moindre charge pour ce qui est de l’accueil de réfugiés ou de demandeurs d’asile. Ces même États – et parmi eux les plus grands bénéficiaires des fonds de cohésion – vont même jusqu’à s’opposer à l’application de la loi européenne par le refus catégorique d’appliquer les quotas.

C’est inadmissible, inacceptable. Les mots ne manquent pas pour qualifier ce comportement, incompatible d’ailleurs avec les critères de Copenhague, auxquels les candidats à l’adhésion ont dû se conformer au moment de leur entrée dans l’Union.

Que faudrait-il faire de votre point de vue pour mettre un terme à ce mélange d’indifférence, d’égoïsme, de nationalisme et d’irresponsabilité? Quelles initiatives et quelles réactions vous semblent les plus appropriées face à ce phénomène?

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Κύρτσος (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, και εγώ θα ήθελα να αναφερθώ σε ένα λάθος του φίλου μου, Andrej Plenković. Πρόκειται για πολιτικό λάθος δηλαδή, με την έννοια ότι όσο αναφερόμαστε στο κράτος που είναι ο βόρειος γείτονας της Ελλάδας ως σκέτο «Μακεδονία» και όσο τους δημιουργούμε την εσφαλμένη εντύπωση ότι είναι οι απόγονοι του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου και ότι αυτοί είναι οι Μακεδόνες, άρα εμείς οι Έλληνες πρέπει να έχουμε συλλογικά πρόβλημα εθνικής συνείδησης, τόσο απομακρύνουμε την προοπτική ένταξής τους στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Γιατί ακόμα και αν η ελληνική κυβέρνηση δεχθεί κάποιους συμβιβασμούς, ακόμα και αν οι έλληνες ευρωβουλευτές δεχθούν κάποιους συμβιβασμούς, ο ελληνικός λαός είναι εντελώς ασυμβίβαστος σε αυτά τα ζητήματα και δεν πρόκειται να τους δεχθεί. Άλλωστε, σε συλλαλητήριο που πραγματοποιήθηκε την περασμένη Κυριακή στην Αθήνα και ήμουν και εγώ εκεί, εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες Έλληνες διατράνωσαν τη θέλησή τους να σταματήσουν την παρουσίαση του βόρειου γείτονά μας με το όνομα «Μακεδονία». Γι’ αυτό και θέλω ο φίλος μου, Andrej Plenković, να κάνει την αναγκαία διόρθωση.

 
  
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  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Πρωθυπουργέ, καλωσορίσατε σε έναν κοινό χώρο, με τον οποίον είστε αρκετά εξοικειωμένος. Εύχομαι κάθε επιτυχία στο έργο σας. Θα ξεκινήσω λέγοντας ότι το 2018 έχει ανακηρυχθεί έτος πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς. Η πολιτιστική κληρονομιά αφορά μεν το παρελθόν, αλλά αυτό είναι που καθορίζει τις αξίες για το κοινό ευρωπαϊκό μας μέλλον. Θα συμφωνήσω με τον προλαλήσαντα σχετικά με το ότι το κοινό πολιτιστικό μας μέλλον, ως ευρωπαϊκό, πρέπει να βασίζεται στην ειλικρίνεια και στην αλήθεια και όχι στα ψεύδη των Σκοπίων.

Τώρα, σε σχέση με το κοινό ευρωπαϊκό μας μέλλον, θα ήθελα να ακούσω τις απόψεις σας για δύο θέματα. Πρώτον, στο βόρειο κατεχόμενο μέρος της Κύπρου, που είναι μέρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, παρατηρείται μια πρωτοφανής καταστροφή των αρχαίων μνημείων και εκκλησιών. Δεύτερον, θα ήθελα την άποψή σας γύρω από το κοινό ευρωπαϊκό μας μέλλον με βάση την αμυντική συνεργασία. Σας εύχομαι και πάλι κάθε επιτυχία στο έργο σας.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his fine speech a month after our own Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, was here. It was great to have two big men representing two small countries as Prime Ministers here in Parliament. You as babes of the European Parliament, we as veterans. Both equally important and committed.

You spoke a lot about security; I just have a quick question for you. You mentioned about building an LNG terminal; I want to ask you how important that is in the security supply for your country. Was there opposition to it or full support for it, and what is the cost to the State? Keep up the good work.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, Prime Minister, Croatia and my country, Romania, have an important role to play to engage more with our neighbours, bearing in mind that providing a clear European perspective to all the Western Balkan countries would act as a catalyst to accelerate the pace of reforms. At the same time, we have to continue to support the countries of the Eastern Partnership, especially the three countries associated with the European Union – the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia – to come closer to the European Union.

Please, Prime Minister, do not lose this window of opportunity to overcome old painful grievances that still exist in the Balkans. We should give a clear perspective to south-eastern Europe for development, peace, and of course taking more care of their citizens within the European Union.

 
  
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  Alojz Peterle (PPE). – Dobrodošel in hvala ti za jasne besede o prihodnosti Evrope. Pozdravljam evropske ambicije Hrvaške in ji želim, da se kvalificira za prvo hitrost.

Glede meje med Hrvaško in Slovenijo ne dramatiziram, želim pa biti zelo natančen. Ne iščemo več rešitve, ker je mejo v asistenci Evropske komisije po neuspešni bilaterali zakonito določilo arbitražno sodišče.

Sodišče je končalo svoje delo, kljub hrvaškim kvalifikacijam slovenskega ravnanja. Torej, iščemo pot do implementacije sodbe.

Komisiji sem hvaležen za ponudbo mediacije, tebi pa za odprtost za dialog. Odgovor si pravzaprav že dal in ga ni potrebno dodajati še enkrat.

Imam pa vprašanje. Srednja Evropa se vse bolj formira kot politična entiteta s svojo politično in kulturno identiteto in tudi s svojimi jasnimi pogledi na prihodnost Evropske zveze. Kaj misliš o tem?

 
  
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  Miroslav Poche (S&D). – Poštovani predsjedniče Plenkoviću, dobar dan. Integracija zemalja zapadnog Balkana u Europsku uniju nedvojbeno će utjecati na budućnost cijele Europe.

Kasnije ćemo u toku dana čuti izlaganje Johannesa Hahna, povjerenika za europsku suradnju, susjedsku politiku i pregovore o proširenju u vezi nove strategije za zapadni Balkan. Riječ je o vrlo ambicioznom dokumentu koji predviđa mogućnost ulaska Crne Gore i Srbije u Europsku uniju do 2025. godine. Vjerujete li da je takav vremenski rok moguć?

Ovo Vas pitam imajući na umu iskustvo ulaska Hrvatske u europski blok. Ulazak Hrvatske u EU bio je moguć i ranije, ali je to usporeno zbog graničnog problema sa Slovenijom. Taj problem još nije u potpunosti riješen jer Vi ne želite prihvatiti odluku arbitražnog suda od prošle godine i tvrdite da je ovo pitanje bolje riješiti bilateralno.

Također imate nerazriješena granična pitanja sa Srbijom i Crnom Gorom. Mogu li se ta pitanja riješiti u razumnom roku ili će se Vaša država ponijeti kao što se Slovenija ponijela prema Vama?

 
  
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  Ivana Maletić (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče parlamenta, pozdravljam predsjednika Vlade Republike Hrvatske. Dragi Andrej, hvala na izvrsnom i sveobuhvatnom govoru o budućnosti Europske unije i čestitam na gospodarskim rezultatima i dobrim pokazateljima u Republici Hrvatskoj, na ubrzanju u korištenju europskih fondova i posebno na donesenoj strategiji za ulazak u eurozonu u kojoj je apostrofirana važnost konvergencije Republike Hrvatske, dakle rast i razvoj, kako bi eurozona postala naše prirodno okruženje kojem pripadamo.

Imam pitanje vezano uz kohezijsku politiku. Drago mi je da ste u svom govoru istaknuli važnost kohezijske politike koju je potvrdio i predsjednik Juncker. Uz financijsku omotnicu jako je važno brzo donošenje provedbenih pravila vezanih uz kohezijsku politiku ako želimo biti uspješni u sljedećem razdoblju. Koje aktivnosti namjeravate poduzeti da se ubrza donošenje regulative i da to bude do kraja saziva ovog Parlamenta i Europske komisije?

 
  
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  Tibor Szanyi (S&D). – Elnök Úr! Tisztelt Miniszterelnök Úr, kedves Andrej! Meggyőzőnek, és Téged jól ismerve, hitelesnek tartom elkötelezettségedet az európai építkezés ügye iránt. Közös jövőnket, az európai építkezés sikerét azonban súlyosan veszélyezteti, ha egy vagy több tagállam az alapokat bontja, EU-ellenes, antidemokratikus politikát folytat, avagy visszaél a szolidaritás eszméjével, s közös biztonsági érdekeinket is kiszolgáltatja.

Kérdésem tehát: Horvátország mint Magyarország fontos szomszédja és szövetségese, illetve Te mint az Európai Néppárt fontos vezetője, mit kívánsz és tudsz tenni Orbán Viktor Európa-ellenes ámokfutásának megfékezése érdekében?

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia. – Mr President, thank you very much for this opportunity. I see that voting time is approaching, so the plenary is filling up a little more than in the hours before, but that is absolutely normal and to be expected.

First of all, let me conclude with some general remarks. Your initiative of holding a debate here in plenary in Strasbourg with the prime ministers or heads of state or government of the EU Member States on the future of Europe is really useful and timely, and it will contribute to the strategic decisions which are ahead of us.

I feel enriched by your comments. I feel more up to date in terms of the direction that the political parties in the European Parliament are taking. That is very important for me, because, being fully occupied at national level, sometimes we do not fully grasp the trends at European level.

There were several comments in the last round of questions, one of them on the cohesion policy and implementing measures, which Ivana has just mentioned. I think that for Croatia, which is undergoing a first seven-year multiannual financial framework, the experience is critical with a view to improvement for the next seven years. And you have been working on this issue as closely as anyone here in this forum, Ivana.

What I would like to see is swifter absorption, clearer competences, a procedure that is transparent and efficient, and that finally EU financing is more visible, clearer and more recognisable for Croatian citizens. Therefore, we shall urge, at European level and at national level, the adoption of the new legislative mechanisms that are tending in that direction.

The comments made by Alojz are basically along the same lines as those of all the Slovenian colleagues. I think I have addressed this issue adequately. My message is clear. The open issues which exist among Member States should be resolved by negotiations, and by using various instruments of international dispute settlement, notably peaceful ones. We believe that these processes should be credible and clean, and that is the only way for the results to be accepted and implemented. This is the key message.

Croatia has no ambition to stall or make more difficult our neighbours’ path to the EU. On the contrary, we have been very much a bridge, an influencing country that has unselfishly offered all the experience which is most recent, and thus most relevant for their path to the European Union – trying to address the questions that were mentioned by some of the Members.

I am also grateful that the only MEP still serving from the first directly elected Parliament, my friend Elmar, took the floor and mentioned the concept of equality and the representation in this House. I think that the right balance needs to be struck. It is not as easy for those national delegations which are less numerous to cover all the work of such big and important institutions. I know for a fact that smaller and bigger countries sometimes lose sight of one another’s viewpoints because we do not really understand the other’s concerns.

The Croatian Government that I head is, as you know, a reformist government, a government which will do its utmost to make my country part of the inner circle – Schengen, the eurozone and various other forms of enhanced cooperation – and to strengthen our own internal institutions and our European credibility and responsibility. In that respect, dialogue with the European Parliament will be something that we will take into account and take on board when preparing our presidency of the Council, which is envisaged for the first semester of 2020.

I thank you all very much for this opportunity. It has been a pleasure to be back with you in Strasbourg. I think that, in this parliamentary term, the European Parliament has done a lot in terms of important and relevant legislative acts of the European Union with long-term consequences.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Ringrazio anch'io, a nome di tutto il Parlamento, il Primo ministro Plenković per la sua disponibilità e per la volontà di rispondere in maniera concreta e puntuale a tutte le domande che gli erano state formulate.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Eva Maydell (PPE), in writing. – When it comes to the future of Europe, we should give a strong political signal that Western Balkans are a key element to build a better EU. Together, we share the European values and the idea of long-lasting peace, stability and, consequently economic-growth. I welcome President Andrej Plenković’s statement that Europe needs to reassert itself as a role model that will inspire people across the world to build a better future. It is not conceivable without a clear commitment to improve connectivity in the region. Besides the value derived from cooperation at the official level, good neighbourly relations will accrue further benefits by working together, cooperating in the fields of culture, education, business and many others. There is still more to be done on the level of civil society initiatives, where efforts would have a direct impact on citizens. Future generations need to feel closer to each other, in particular in the regions of the Western Balkans, with its societies that have been through conflicts in the past. Prioritizing the Balkan region in the EU agenda is crucial to ensure preconditions for increased youth mobility and thus help further educational, employment and cultural co-operation opportunities in the Balkans.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE), písomne. – V utorok (6. 2. 2018) sa uskutočnila diskusia s chorvátskym premiérom Andrejom Plenkovičom. Diskutovalo sa na nej o budúcnosti Európskej únie, počnúc otvorenými výzvami na viacerých frontoch ako hospodárstvo, bezpečnosť a terorizmus, vzdelávanie a kultúra, migrácia či pristúpenie balkánskych krajín. Zo strany chorvátskeho premiéra odznel najmä problém narastajúceho regionálneho populizmu. Nabádal k zabráneniu častokrát až demagogických tendencií prostredníctvom diskusie informačného charakteru o dokumentácii EÚ. Pripomenul taktiež, že aj naďalej pokračuje silné úsilie o integráciu západného Balkánu do EÚ. Európsky parlament, ktorý tento proces postupnými harmonizačnými krokmi podporuje, však poukazuje na nedostatky, ktoré budú musieť v najbližšom období krajiny Balkánu v oblasti posilnenia funkcie právneho štátu, základných práv alebo boja proti korupcii podstúpiť.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – O Quadro Financeiro Plurianual (QFP) representa o instrumento fundamental que determina a política orçamental da União Europeia. Fixa por um período mínimo de 5 anos os limites anuais da despesa por rubricas de acordo com as prioridades políticas aprovadas pelo conjunto dos Estados Membros. Apesar de estarmos ainda em plena vigência do QFP 2014-2020, já se iniciou a discussão sobre o próximo QFP pós 2020. A Comissão Europeia irá apresentar uma primeira proposta já em Maio deste ano, e o debate já começou. Ouvimos muitos apelos à necessidade de um orçamento à medida das ambições desta UE, mas a verdade é que o próximo QFP já tem os seus contornos bem definidos. Basta ler os últimos documentos estratégicos produzidos pela Comissão Europeia, desde o Livro Branco Sobre o Futuro da Europa até ao Documento de Reflexão Sobre o Futuro das Finanças da UE para adivinhar o que poderá ser a orientação fundamental do próximo orçamento da União Europeia. Em traços gerais, o que se vislumbra é um QFP com menos recursos, mais orientado para as novas prioridades como a “segurança e defesa” com a corrida armamentista e com a sua dimensão redistributiva amputada e cada vez mais subordinada à chamada condicionalidade.

 
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 12 kwietnia 2018Informacja prawna