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Tajani at Council summit: “True security depends on ability to work together”


Parliament President Antonio Tajani highlighted the need to come up with solutions for the challenges facing the EU at the start of the European Council summit on 22-23 June. “Brexit, the crises inside and outside our borders and the fears engendered by globalisation are prompting more and more people to seek protection in a united Europe," he told the heads of government present. "If we fail to come up with solutions to the problems of security, immigration, unemployment and climate change, the populists will rush in to fill the void left behind."

“The right of asylum, like solidarity, forms part of our founding values. But that does not mean that we should not take firm steps to combat illegal immigration,” said  Tajani one day after a high-level conference on migration management held at the Parliament.

“The current system of burden sharing has failed," he said. "The onus is on all the EU institutions to take decisions without delay on the reform of the right of asylum." Tajani said to address this challenge  it was necessary to harmonise rules in the EU, tighten up external border controls and work closely together with Africa: “A serious response calls for a European strategy which goes to the root of the problem.”

Tajani also called attention to terrorism, which had become one of the main concerns of ordinary Europeans:  “True security depends on our ability to work together, to trust one another; to share information and technologies, exchange good practices and to coordinate the work of European intelligence agencies as well as their counterparts in third countries.”

Regarding defence, the President said: “It is becoming ever more clear that the Union needs an operational capability.” He added Parliament was ready to discuss the European Commission proposal for a European Defence Fund.

Tajani also stressed the importance of the Paris agreement just weeks after Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US: "Climate change is not a myth, but a terrifying reality which is disrupting the lives of millions of people affected by drought and other extreme weather events."

The President underlined the importance of policies to strengthen Europe's industrial base:  “Europeans have no wish to see industries continuing to relocate, perhaps because the firms involved prefer to invest in places where there are fewer employment rules and where environmental standards are less stringent."

Further information

Full text of Antonio Tajani's speech
Website of the Parliament President
Council summit on 22-23 June
Articles on the fight against terrorism
Articles on the campaign against climate change
Articles on tackling the migration crisis