"It is by effectively increasing cooperation between member states - from security apparatus to intelligence activities - that we, together, can defeat terrorism, make our citizens safer and preserve our way of life", President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella told MEPs during a formal sitting on Wednesday. Mr Mattarella spoke about the future of the EU, and in particular how EU countries should respond to the threat of terrorism and the challenges of migration.
Welcoming Mr Matterella in Italian, EP President Martin Schulz said "Today you will speak to a European Parliament that is still deeply shaken by the attacks and the terrorist threat - a terror that shocked us all, that targeted our Europe, our values and our youth".
"We all are today strongly called upon to deliver more responsibility, more initiatives, and more cohesion. This is the only way for us to defeat the arrogant challenges that terrorism brings right inside our homes, after having bathed in blood Middle Eastern, Asian and African territories, still seriously affected, as yesterday in Tunis", said President Mattarella.
"The European institutions' architecture is based on values of democracy, tolerance, and acceptance. When facing these strong migratory pressures that come from countries where terrorism is born, and in the light of the dramatic events in Paris, we wonder if today it is not appropriate to question some of these principles, including freedom of movement of persons. I believe that we must address these challenges in the light of the values for which we declare to fight", he added.
President Schulz also mentioned the previous day's funeral in Venice of Valeria Solesin, a young researcher at the Sorbonne, who was killed by terrorists at the Bataclan concert hall on 13 November. He said that her personal story showed "the abyss that divides Valeria Solesin's Europe from the murderous madness of jihadist terror". "The whole of Europe gathers around the family of Valeria Solesin and all the victims of terror", he said.