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EP President Meeting with President of Portugal

Press Release
Internal Policies and EU Institutions

I am happy to welcome you today to the European Parliament, President Rebelo de Sousa.
I am a true friend of Portugal. In the words of our poet, Fernando Pessoa, as he was both Portuguese and European, I also consider that Portugal is the face of Europe, looking out to the world.
Portugal, um pais europeu e pró-europeu como lembrou o Presidente da Republica, em Estrasburgo.
I have always worked closely with Portuguese Members in their relations between the EU and Africa, Brazil and the Far East.
President Rebelo De Sousa is an example to all Heads of State in Europe, as he carries out his institutional role while staying close to the Portuguese people.
I praise the efforts and sacrifices that his compatriots have made during the difficult economic crisis. It has not been easy. It is still difficult, but thanks to their courage and pride, I am convinced that the worst is behind them.
I would like to stress that we are here to build bridges. The European Union that we believe in has prospered thanks to a spirit of solidarity
Now, more than ever, it is important to move beyond prejudices and stereotypes. Heading the Eurogroup is a major responsibility, especially considering the impact of the financial crisis on the daily lives of our citizens.
European values are based on mutual respect and no one has the right to offend any nation or people with racist or sexist remarks. I therefore strongly reject the comments of the head of the Eurogroup - they are unacceptable."
We discussed the Future of Europe in the context of the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
This event calls for more than just a celebration. We need to bring Europe closer to its citizens, offering practical solutions to their problems.
The only possible answer to populism is a Europe that delivers: reducing unemployment, creating sustainable growth, managing migration and guaranteeing security.
A strong Europe projecting our values all over the world.
To get this done, more than ever, we need to be united to change the image of a distant and ineffective Europe.
We also discussed Brexit and I hope that we will achieve a result that is in the best interests of our citizens.
Portugal has always played a key role in European history. I am happy that we can count on the support of a nation whose people have always been committed to Europe.
Speaking of concrete answers, one of my priorities is to tackle migration and address its causes.
We need to engage more in Africa through strong economic diplomacy.
Portugal has a crucial role to play in the Lusosphere. To this end, I am ready to work with the Portuguese Language Community.
The same goes for South America and Brazil, in particular.
We share historical and cultural ties, cherishing the same values and aspirations.
Together with Portugal, we have to reinforce our relations with Latin America by moving forward with Mercosur negotiations, creating stronger economic and political links.
Thank you for coming Mr President. You are always welcome here in House of the European citizens.

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