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Debate on the future of Europe: Tajani to meet Macron tomorrow in Strasbourg. Plenary debate on Syria to take place in the afternoon

Press Release

European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, will welcome the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, in Strasbourg tomorrow. The meeting will take place in the framework of the initiative promoted by President Tajani inviting EU Heads of State and Government to debate the future of Europe in plenary.

The prime ministers of Ireland, Croatia and Portugal have already spoken in Strasbourg.
Over the next few months, the prime ministers of Belgium, Charles Michel (3 May); Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel (29 May); Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki (July); Greece, Alexis Tsipras (September); and Estonia, Jüri Ratas (October) are scheduled. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, will speak on 23 October and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will speak in November.

Before delivering his speech to Members, the French President will have a bilateral meeting with President Tajani at 9.30am. Discussions will focus on the Syrian crisis and stability in the Mediterranean, the governance of migration flows and Dublin reform, the next EU budget and an EU regulatory framework for web giants.

On the eve of Mr Macron’s speech, President Tajani said:
“The European Union needs to change to deliver more effective responses to our citizens who want Europe to be truly capable of working for peace and stability, governing migratory flows, guaranteeing greater security and providing opportunity for new generations. I thank President Macron and all the other leaders who have already spoken or confirmed their participation in this debate."

“Today, more than ever, we need a strong and cohesive Europe. The European Parliament, the only directly-elected EU institution, must have a central role in championing this change.”

A debate on the situation in Syria is scheduled in the afternoon in the presence of the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini.

Ahead of this debate, President Tajani said:
“The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and represents a red line that cannot be crossed with impunity. However, a further military escalation should be avoided, as it would bring new suffering to the Syrian people and aggravate the humanitarian crisis. The way forward for a solution to the Syrian conflict - and in general for the stability of the Middle East and Mediterranean region - can only be achieved through dialogue and diplomacy, with the full involvement of the United Nations. This is why strong European unity is indispensable. Adopting a disorderly approach would be a serious mistake. European countries must quickly give themselves concrete means to make a real impact, strengthening European defence and the coordination of common foreign policy, with the aim of defining EU peacekeeping operations in the region. The current debate on the next budget is an essential test of our real willingness to give ourselves the resources we need to be true global players."

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