EP President Visit to Rome and Norcia, Speech to the President of the Italian Republic
President Antonio Tajani is leading a delegation of Vice-Presidents, Quaestors and political group leaders from the European Parliament to Italy in the margins of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome celebrations on 25 March.
The MEPs debated with high-level authorities in Norcia, a city hit by earthquakes last year and met with the civic society representatives from the region.
The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, held a meeting with the European Parliament delegation.
Excerpts from European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani’s speech at the meeting with President Mattarella:
“Our citizens are the real protagonists of Europe’s great democratic journey. The strength and legitimacy of our actions are underpinned by their involvement. If we want to lend our Union fresh impetus, the very first thing we must do is to bring our institutions closer to our citizens. This is the main task I have set myself for my term of office. The European Parliament and national parliaments must be at the vanguard of this process.”
“It is in this spirit that we wish to celebrate tomorrow’s anniversary in Norcia, with the chairs of the political groups in the European Parliament and with Parliament’s Vice-Presidents. We wish to show that Europe has not forgotten that it can be attentive to people’s needs, that it can show solidarity in practical ways.”
“The European institutions cannot remain aloof in their ivory towers. We parliamentarians, first and foremost, and everyone who holds a position of responsibility has a duty to open the door, go out into the world, to listen and discuss. To understand. To make the problems of ordinary people, the dignity of the individual, the focus of policy-making.”
“Tomorrow, twenty-seven Heads of State and Government and the leaders of the European institutions will sign a solemn declaration which echoes that call for change. That declaration must amount to more than just fine words. It must be seen as a political undertaking to our citizens to build a stronger, more effective and fairer Europe - a Europe of greater solidarity.”
“Europe is a success story when it embodies a dream of progress, prosperity, freedom and peace. Mr President, like you, I am convinced that Europeans have not lost the desire to dream. It is up to us, today, to change Europe, to make sure that it can guarantee our young people a better future.”
Later today, EU heads of state or government, EP President Tajani, European Council President Donald Tusk, Council of Ministers President Joseph Muscat and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican (live on EbS+ and EP Live).
European Parliament Delegation will also hold meetings with President of the Italia Senate, Pietro Grasso and President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini.
On Saturday, European Parliament leaders will take part in the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, where President Tajani will deliver a speech and sign the Rome Declaration on behalf of the European Parliament. There will also be a joint press conference with the presidents of the four EU institutions.