Spanish King Felipe VI called on the EU to treat the current refugee crisis with "generosity, solidarity and responsibility" in an address to the plenary on Wednesday 7 October. The monarch stressed the suffering of those who come to Europe "fleeing violence and fanaticism". "[There are] hundreds of thousands of refugees who pursue a project of hope, and see the Union as a land area of peace, prosperity and justice," he said. "We cannot let them down."
The Spanish king underlined the European Parliament's leadership, offering a powerful boost to Europe integration, adding: "Let's trust Europe, let's trust ourselves." He added: "This chamber can count on a loyal and responsible Spain within the European project; on a united Spain, proud of its diversity; on a solidary Spain, respectful of the rule of law."
In his welcome statement, EP President Martin Schulz said: "I would like that in the coming years Spain continues contributing with its passion and ideas to Europe's success."
King Felipe VI visited the Parliament this Wednesday for the first time following his working visit in April this year. His father King Juan Carlos I appeared at the Parliament twice: in 1986 months after Spain joined the European Communities and again in 1989.