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 Full text 
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Statement by the candidate Commission President (debate)

  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Mr President, I say to Ms von der Leyen: coming from little Lithuania I am very happy to support your candidacy, first of all because thanks personally to you and to the decisions of the German Government and NATO, we have troops stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO forces. Because of that, we are feeling much more secure.

I am absolutely sure that you will be a highly prudent and a very effective Commission President. The EU needs real leadership. For us, the EU is not only the common market, not only the source of our economic growth and our social welfare, not only our common united instrument to fight climate change. Those benefits which the EU brings to all of us, are becoming even more important when on a national level we are starting to face the stronger challenge of the middle-income trap and long-term economic stagnation.

But besides those benefits, the EU is also for us a basis for our geo-political security and stability. The EU has a very powerful and unique instrument on how to expand the area of security, stability, rule of law and economic growth on our European continent, and this instrument is the new EU enlargement policy. We in Lithuania with the success of our achievements, are the best example of how powerful this instrument is. We are grateful for the European solidarity we received, which was phased back from the beginning of the 1990s.

I would like to use this opportunity to urge you, as the new President of the Commission, to lead an ambitious policy of further EU enlargement, first of all towards the countries of the Western Balkans, and later on also towards the countries of the Eastern Partnership: Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. The people of those countries deserve our solidarity, and we deserve a peaceful and stable neighbourhood on the European continent.

The success of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova can be a very effective example towards the Russian people and the most effective assistance instruments for positive information in Russia, and I am absolutely sure that the EU under your leadership, Ms von der Leyen, can deliver such an ambitious agenda. I wish you the best of success.

Last updated: 12 September 2019Legal notice