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Il-Ħamis, 31 ta' Jannar 2019 - Brussell Edizzjoni riveduta

5. Dibattitu mal-Prim Ministru tal-Finlandja, is-Sur Juha Sipilä, dwar il-Futur tal-Ewropa (dibattitu)
Vidjow tat-taħditiet
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  President. – First of all, I want to thank the Finnish Prime Minister for being here. Thank you very much. it is important for us to hear the different positions of the different countries on the future of the European Union.

For the European Parliament there are two, three or four key points. We want more power for the European Parliament. We want more Europe and not less Europe. We want to strengthen Europe and not to destroy Europe. On the MFF, we are in favour of a change from 1.1 to 1.3. We are in favour of own resources. Immigration is also an important point for the European Parliament. The European Parliament approved the reform of the Dublin rules. We want a decision by the European Council on this.

At the centre of today’s debate there are two key points: Brexit and Venezuela. It is important to know your ideas on the future of the European Union. We know the position of the European Commission. There is the position of the European Parliament of course and there are the positions of different Member States. Now it is important to know the position of Finland.

Prime Minister, you have the floor.

 
  
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  Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland. – Mr President, I bring warm regards from very cold Finland. I was in the northern part of Finland, where I live, last weekend, and there was minus 30° and about a metre of snow – a real winter!

It’s a pleasure to be here today. The European Parliament has done excellent work in the recent very challenging circumstances. Forward-looking discussions about the European Union are essential for two reasons. In order to realise the vision of the Rome Declaration we need to discuss how we achieve sufficient unity to make decisions and implement them. Secondly, we must debate to discover each other’s priorities in relation to the EU’s action and budget.

EU countries became familiar to me as an entrepreneur through sister companies around Europe. I remember, in my thirties, travelling to meet the CEO of a big French company. On the plane, I read a guidebook my wife had borrowed from the library for me. It said that you should never ask anything about family when you are in a business meeting with a Frenchman. When I arrived, there was a dinner meeting and the CEO was there with wife and daughter. The first question to me was ‘Tell me about your family.’ So I understood that we Europeans get along and we have more in common than we may think.

As long ago as the 1920s, a founder of the Finnish Centre Party, Santeri Alkio, wrote that, for the sake of peace in Europe, the continent should consider shifting its politics towards a United States of Europe. He even mentioned a common currency. He was a pioneer in many respects, including this one. Choosing international cooperation and generating peace and economic development have been guiding threads for Finland.

Friends, in recent years we have been given a lesson in populism in Europe. We have seen where it leads to when the solutions for complex issues are provided by simplifying matters. In the end, nobody takes responsibility. There has been such a case in the United Kingdom and the result is there for all to see. Not only Brexit but also populism hit the EU from several fronts. Setbacks on the rule of law, freedom of the press and women’s rights are news we would not expect to hear in 21st century Europe.

How can the EU promote its common values in its external policies if it can’t do so within the Union? Common values such as democracy and the rule of law have been the foundation of Europe’s freedom, security and prosperity. They should unite the Member States. It is essential to bridge Europeans’ internal divisions. At the same time, there cannot be any compromise on the rule of law.

Finland warmly welcomes the Commission’s rule-of-law proposal in respect of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF). I am convinced that there is a way to establish a well-balanced mechanism to that end.

Mr President, honourable Members, the cornerstone in terms of Finland’s position towards a developing EU, as well as monetary union, is to respect what has been agreed and to ensure efficient implementation. We strongly support the kind of European Union that achieves its credibility throughout concrete action. In 2015, my Government started with a situation where our public deficit was nearly 3.5% relative to GDP. We made 2% painful savings. We implemented reforms, improving public finances, including social and healthcare reform and pension reform.

An internal devaluation of 4% was made for the purpose of boosting employment and growth. We agreed with the unions on a salary freeze and cuts, an extension of 24 hours in annual working time and a decrease in employees’ social security contributions, to name but a few aspects. As you might guess, this list was not very popular. However, now, after three years, the public deficit is covered, the state budget is in balance and the employment rate is the highest in 30 years.

With that said, the idea of solving problems of this kind through permanent fiscal transfers is unacceptable for us. The best insurance against economic shocks is a balanced budget and a low debt ratio. Many times over these years, I have come back to a quote from Jean Claude Juncker – ‘We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we have done it.’ For my part, I am testing this in practice in the upcoming elections in April. Let’s see!

My point is that, despite the risk, the Member States must be capable of making decisions and implementing them. Efficient implementation is absolutely the best method of responding to current and future challenges.

We need implementation of the single market and R&D and innovations, implementation of the internal and external security policies, implementation of migration policies, implementation of climate policies. Better implementation is the best tool in fighting populism and in increasing citizens’ confidence in the European Union.

Honourable Members, Finland holds the EU Presidency in the second half of this year, so next I will point out some areas that will be on the agenda during our Presidency. These are also topics on which the EU must be able to work more closely together and to ‘walk the talk’ efficiently.

I’ll start with the MFF, which is a key implementation tool for future EU policy. In Finland’s view, the overall level of the MFF should be as close as possible to current relative share. The focus needs to be in the areas where the EU is best placed to deliver, such as migration, security, the single market, innovation, digitalisation and climate.

We also see a need to reallocate funding for rural development within the budget. The common agriculture policy helps to provide affordable and safe food to our citizens. It ensures that farmers can make a reasonable living and it promotes jobs in the farming and food industry. At the same time, cohesion policy creates more balanced development between and inside the Member States. I am confident that we will be able to find a balanced compromise between traditional policy areas and new challenges. I am also confident that we can do it during the Finnish Presidency.

Secondly, we need a migration policy with a comprehensive approach. To begin with, the root causes of migration must be addressed more efficiently. In addition to development cooperation and humanitarian aid, trade and investments are needed to create jobs and sustainable development. We must also work hard to develop a more effective return policy. The internal aspect of migration is in our own hands. We should manage migration increasingly throughout direct resettlements from the refugee camps. This would mean less pressure on the EU’s external borders and less smuggling. At the same time, management of our external borders should be reinforced.

There is also a need to proceed with the most complicated political issues, including a mechanism on solidarity during crises. It’s crucial that we agree on this in advance, not in the middle of a crisis – as we did in 2015.

Thirdly, security and defence cooperation is important and needs to be intensified. Finland has been actively calling for ambitious progress on security and defence cooperation, together too with France. Now we welcome the progress made: the creation of a European defence fund and Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) have been steps in the right direction. Now we should take concrete action on implementation and achieving results.

The EU has also strengthened its capacity for countering hybrid threats. The European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats, in Helsinki, contributes to the preparedness of NATO and EU countries against these threats. I want to thank the 19 participating countries, of which 16 are EU Member States, for their strong commitment. I would also welcome all the remaining Member States joining the centre.

Fourth, we must improve the single market. We are the best single market in the world. Alongside innovation and trade, this is our best way to create new jobs. A lot of potential exists, especially in services and digital products. Improving the situation is entirely in our own hands. I urge you to find a common mindset in order to pass those 35 proposals which are still under negotiation.

Looking ahead, I hope that the future Commission will take a more holistic approach, within which the single market, digitalisation, industrial policy and external competitiveness are better interlinked. We should aim at forward-looking growth strategy, including, inter alia, data mobility and artificial intelligence. It’s also important to enhance competitiveness by implementing the principles of the EU social pillar. For instance, it is crucial to promote equality in working life and to enhance the education level of all citizens.

Fifth, trade policy is also crucial for the EU’s competitiveness and new jobs. In respect of free trade agreements, I am pleased with the latest achievements vis-à-vis Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Mexico and Canada, and with the rapid progress in ongoing negotiations. However, it’s harmful if the big players continue to build trade walls. We must do everything we can to prevent the erection of, or tear down, such walls. This is especially the view from smaller countries, to which the damage would be fatal. We must respect and obey the common rules on trade.

And lastly, the EU must take a lead on climate change action.

The report by the International Panel on Climate Change again reminded us of the threat posed by climate change to life on Earth. We can’t walk away from science. Besides a threat, I see many possibilities in this global challenge. As an engineer, I tend to think in a solution-based and technology-based way. I am sure that, as the world moves towards low-carbon development, we are in the front line in developing new technologies, and ambitious climate policy will also support job creation here in Europe. We need measures on three fronts: CO2 emissions, carbon sinks and new technologies.

Last week, Finland hosted a Nordic climate meeting in Helsinki. Nordic countries gave a promise to raise the level of their climate ambition by 2020. The Nordic countries want to catalyse mitigation efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Also in the round-table discussions in the Finnish Parliament, eight Finnish parties set an objective that the EU should achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. That requires tightening the emission reduction obligation for 2030 to at least 55% of the 1990 levels. The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is the most cost-efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Finland aims to renew the system so that the price of the emission allowances guides operators towards emission reductions more quickly and efficiently.

We have proposed that new sectors, such as heating and cooling of buildings, be integrated into the ETS. Furthermore, we have accelerated the transition towards a circular economy and the bio-economy. The Bio-economy Action Plan should be implemented without delay.

As a small detail, my Government decided not to give any EU Presidency gifts: instead we used the money to offset the emissions caused by air travel during the Presidency.

(Applause)

Second, we need to increase carbon sinks. We have four billion hectares of forest and five billion hectares of fields. It has surprised me to learn how much more agricultural fields could bind CO2 if we made some changes in farming practices. We have 100 so-called carbon farmers testing new practices in Finland.

Oceans and carbonate minerals too can lock down carbon dioxide, and we also need to plant more forests. In Africa alone, two million hectares of forest are lost every year. That is equivalent to Slovenia’s total land area. As the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s report on the state of the world’s forests says, the world response to climate change must focus more on forest.

One concrete step we should take in relation to the EU’s external funding is to increase global carbon sinks. Finland has proposed an EU-African forest fund. Forest investments would maximise the impact on climate and rural jobs in Africa.

Third, new technology must be adapted. Even now, we have the technical capacity to capture CO2 from the air and convert it into other products. The EU needs to invest in research and development and to exploit the huge potential of science, technology and innovation in this area more effectively.

We also have to think of innovative ways – new incentives and market driven methods – to ensure carbon sinks will be increased. My strong message is that we have to do more and faster. We must reduce emissions, increase carbon sinks and adapt new technologies to capture CO2 from the air or directly from the emission sources.

Fellow Europeans, after the European Parliament elections, the European Council needs to agree on an ambitious and comprehensive agenda. Besides climate change, our focus should be on growth and security, while rule-of-law issues will also remain central.

This is my call for a more united European Union, capable of concrete action and implementation, and of bearing responsibility. This means responsibility for ourselves, for people and their surroundings close to us, for the economy and for the planet. Let’s remember that we are all here to safeguard a better future for youth and the generations to come. For our sake and for our common future, we all need a determined, efficient and united European Union.

I cannot highlight more the importance of getting things done. That is why I have underlined the word ‘implementation’ in this speech so many times. The democratic forces of Europe will win back the trust of the people by making decisions and implementing them, at home and also here in Brussels.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Juncker, président de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Premier ministre, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, nous sommes heureux, Jyrki et moi, d’être avec le Premier ministre finlandais, mon ami Juha.

La Finlande est devenue membre de l’Union européenne en 1995. Le hasard a voulu que je sois devenu Premier ministre le même jour, et depuis lors, l’Europe fonctionne parfois. J’ai toujours noté que la Finlande, dès le premier jour de son adhésion, se comportait comme un État membre fondateur, comme si elle avait toujours été là, et certains États membres fondateurs gagneraient à prendre exemple sur elle et à adopter le même comportement.

(Applaudissements)

La Finlande, depuis qu’elle est membre, a toujours fait preuve d’une grande faculté d’écoute. La Finlande et ses gouvernements respectifs savent écouter, et la Finlande entend ce qu’elle écoute et traduit en politiques ce qu’elle a appris en écoutant les autres. Tel fut le cas de tous les Premiers ministres. J’ai commencé avec Paavo Lipponen, j’étais avec mon ami Jyrki, je suis avec toi maintenant, et je verrai Paavo ce soir. Aujourd’hui, j’ai une journée finlandaise. Trois Premiers ministres qui s’adressent à la Commission, c’est rare, mais c’est utile.

La troisième présidence finlandaise point à l’horizon, et ce sera une présidence particulière puisqu’elle interviendra après les élections européennes, avant la nomination de nouveaux présidents de la Commission et du Conseil, avant la nomination du président de la Banque centrale, et ce sera donc une période qui demandera beaucoup de doigté, lorsqu’il s’agit de présider l’Union européenne, comme la Finlande l’a fait lors de ses deux premières présidences.

When it comes to relations between Finland and the Commission, the relations couldn’t be better. We are working in full confidence. That was the case when we were establishing the security and defence mechanism. That is the case when it comes to energy and climate, and this is the case when it comes to developing connectivity infrastructure in the border region of Finland.

I would, in the name of the Commission, like to make use of the Finnish Presidency in order to develop the Arctic dimension. This is an important issue because the Arctic region is warming at twice the global average rate of temperature increase. Finland is holding, for the time being, the Presidency of the Arctic Council. I was discussing with my friend Juha when I was in Finland in November the idea of calling during the Finnish Presidency a Summit of the Arctic Council because I think that we have to make sure that the Arctic region is moving to the top of the European agenda.

Aber die finnische Präsidentschaft muss auch sonst vieles leisten. Ich hätte gerne – das wäre mein Wunsch –, dass wir während des finnischen Ratsvorsitzes in Sachen Vertiefung der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion weiterkommen, die Bankenunion vervollständigen und die Kapitalmarktunion auf endgültige Wege bringen.

Im Zentrum dessen, was unter finnischer Präsidentschaft passieren wird, steht natürlich die mittelfristige Finanzplanung. Das ist ein hartes Stück Arbeit, das ist das Bohren dicker Bretter. Und die finnische Präsidentschaft kann sich vollumfänglich auf die Kommission verlassen, wenn es darum geht, die Fortschritte während der finnischen Präsidentschaft zu erzielen, die es braucht, damit wir beim Europäischen Rat im Oktober dieses Jahres zum Abschluss kommen. Wir müssen diesen mittelfristigen Finanzrahmen in diesem Jahr unter Dach und Fach bringen. Ansonsten verlieren wir wertvolle Zeit, die wir brauchen, um die Programme zu entwerfen, zu entwickeln und umzusetzen.

Auch wäre ich der finnischen Ratspräsidentschaft dankbar, wenn sie im Rahmen des mehrjährigen Finanzrahmens, aber auch in Sachen Vertiefung der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion die Vorschläge der Kommission auf dem Tisch behielte, die da heißen: ein Instrument zur Stärkung der Strukturreformen und ein Stabilisierungsinstrument, um die Europäische Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion gegen externe Schocks wetterfest zu machen. Der letzte Europäische Rat hat sich diesem Thema vorsichtig wie ein Igel genähert. Aber die Menschen warten darauf, dass wir die Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion so ausstatten, dass sie bei der nächsten Krise besser reagieren kann, als das bei der letzten Krise der Fall war.

Und dann möchte ich mich auch bei der finnischen Regierung bedanken, dass sie zu denen gehört, die in Europa dem Investitionsplan von Jyrki und von mir größte Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt haben. Bis jetzt wurden acht Milliarden Euro an Investitionen aufgrund dieses Planes in Finnland implementiert. Es wäre gut, wenn alle dies so täten.

Ich wünsche Dir, Juha, alles Gute im April, alles Gute für die finnische Ratspräsidentschaft. Macht weiter so!

(Beifall)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Sipilä to the European Parliament. Prime Minister, you are here at a crucial moment in time. The people have the say for the future of your country in April, and Europe in May, so it is a democratic competition in the next weeks ahead of us.

I start with this because your capital, Helsinki, is for my party, for the European People’s Party (EPP), and also for myself, a special place of democracy. We had our Congress there when I was nominated as candidate for my party and practised there what people expect from us – to have competition, to have lively discussions about the future, to present candidates, and then people can choose. People decide about the future, in which direction we should go. The principles of nationalism and European democracy will be at the centre of developments in the upcoming months.

I want to share some points you mentioned in your speech; some considerations on this. First, from the EPP point of view, I fully support what you said on financial discipline. It sounds technical, it sounds market—orientated, it sounds euro—business orientated. But it is absolutely in the interests of our children. Sustainability is the key word when we talk about financial discipline, and the EU will always have the EPP on a national level, and on a European level with us as the EPP, and Jyrki is also working on this on your side. Then it is about this sustainability, because that means future.

The second point I want to mention is an answer to your speeches about the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). There, let me be a little bit critical because you started in your paragraph on speaking about the MFF, you started with saying first of all the amount of money must be fixed. That is what we always hear from the national leaders. I think that’s the wrong question. A good question is: what are the tasks ahead of us? What is the demand we have in the European Union? Because we hear from a lot of leaders that say we should fix the money but then additionally we need a strong border control, we have to do something on cybersecurity and we have to build up more innovation in the European Union. So if this is a demand for Europe, then the Member States must also be fair with the contribution to the budget. Then we have to put the money on the table we need for giving an answer on the demands on the table. So the starting point is to speak about the demands.

The third point I want to mention in my short contribution today is about, probably the most challenging for all of us, and is what 35 000 school kids told us when there was demonstrating in the last weeks in Europe – Pope Francis is calling it the illness of the earth – and that is climate change. Thank you for your statement on this specific point. I want to only underline the approach towards the climate change challenge, some of the principles we, as the EPP, believe in. One principle is that the solution on climate change, to give an answer is not to forbid things, is not to prohibit things, is not to ban things. It’s not to say to the citizen that they cannot go any more on their holidays to Majorca because the CO2 footprint is too intense. That’s not our answer. Our answer is that in the future people will fly to Majorca in a clean airplane. Innovation is the key to give an answer on this. That is what we have to do. We cannot say to the developing countries or to the emerging economies in the world that they have to stop to grow. That they cannot develop anymore. That is not the answer. The answer is that we as Europeans can provide the developing countries with the technologies to have growth without climate impact. That is our answer. So innovation is, for us, a key principle.

The second point I want to underline in the CO2 field is that we have to do it together with the people. The people must follow the changes. In the car industry we have a lot of people who are concerned about the changes. You see the demonstrations of the Yellow Vests in France, for example. A lot of people here in this room can finance higher energy prices, but outside there are a lot of people who cannot finance higher energy prices. So we have to do the changes in a way that people accept the changes and follow our approach. We have to create winners and not losers in this regard.

Finally on CO2 and climate change: together, we are strong. We made the Paris Agreement possible. We made the steps already with the CO2 car emission reduction for example. We are ambitious. We are the owner of this fight against CO2 on a global level and we can show to our citizens that together we can achieve a lot.

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would like to say to the Prime Minister that his country, Finland, is among the world leaders in many areas from clean energy and gender equality to social progress. I think Transparency International only this week named Finland as the third least corrupt country in the world and let us not forget last year’s World Happiness Report, according to which Finns are now the happiest people in the world. Coming from Denmark I am a little bit disappointed that you took over our place at that point. Congratulations on this impressive record. Finland clearly demonstrates that small countries can be on top of the world, not only in geographical terms.

But, Prime Minister, in your speech today, besides better implementation, I missed this ambition to be a champion and driver for positive social change in Europe. Where is your ambition to make Europe the world leader in a transformation to a sustainable development model in a just way where all people are included? Where is your ambition to make the lives of Europeans better? What you presented to us today sounded a little bit more like yesterday’s neoliberal slogans that led to the deep economic and social crisis in Europe.

Prime Minister, we Socialists and Democrats have an ambitious vision for Europe. We live in times when our Earth and our sources of life are under attack from climate change and pollution. You rightly mentioned that. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil our crops are grown in are the future of our children and it is our duty to protect them. But our citizens and our workers are also tired of being the only ones paying for the transformation to a more sustainable way of production. They are outraged to see multinationals polluting our planet and reaping huge benefit, but not paying their fair taxes.

This must change, Prime Minister. We need to change the Stability and Growth Pact to become a true sustainability pact for Europe. Therefore we have drawn up a plan to shift towards more sustainable ways of working, producing, living which go hand in hand with social progress for the people – a just transition – with the United Nations Development Goals as our signpost. Today I call on Finland to join us in this very important battle. We Europeans need to shape globalisation our way, not fall victim to destructive forces. We must be rule—makers, not rule—takers, because we live in times with growing inequality caused by the greediness of some elites and uncontrolled globalisation. The only way to address this is by finally fixing taxation and ensuring good salaries and working conditions for all, based on the Social Pillar. I didn’t hear you mention the Social Pillar some of us fought so hard to adopt in the European Union.

Prime Minister, fair taxation is the foundation for European welfare states like the Nordic ones, which we come from, and citizens’ trust in democratic government. But are you willing to join us in this battle for fair taxation? Professor Richard Murphy showed in a study last week that the tax gap in Europe is EUR 825 billion, a gigantic amount of money.

Our group has been in the forefront in the fight against money laundering and tax crimes. We call for a minimum corporate effective tax in Europe to stop the race to the bottom on corporate taxation. We call for stricter criteria and a for true tax haven list, which also calls out tax havens right here in the European Union.

What do the people not understand is that while we as citizens have to pay high taxes, internet giants like Google and Facebook pay less than 1% in tax on what they earn in Europe? That is not fair. We need to protect our welfare states. We need to fight, not only for free, but also for fair, competition and for fairness for European citizens who today pay the price of multinationals’ tax dodging and we can achieve that. If we achieved that, Prime Minister, your recent project in Finland, – as I understand, the privatisation of hospitals and health care – could not just had been avoided, but public health care could have been strengthened in Finland, for example.

So the status quo is not an option. It’s time for radical change to shape Europe for all people and leave nobody behind. Prime Minister, we see forces that are tearing our societies apart, but we need this radical change to social democracy and to more sustainable equality. We are campaigning for that as social democrats in Europe and we hope that liberals and other progressives will also join this fight.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, ECR-ryhmän puolesta. – Tervetuloa Euroopan parlamenttiin, pääministeri Sipilä. Yhteinen tavoitteemme Euroopan unionissa on varmaankin eurooppalaisen hyvinvoinnin lisääminen. Siksi haluaisin nyt nostaa esille konkreettisista asioista erityisesti maahanmuuton, kansalaisten turvallisuuden, veronkierron estämisen ja väärinkäytösten ilmoittajien suojelun parantamisen.

Pääministeri Sipilä, syksyllä 2015 tarjositte julkisesti hulppeaa yhdeksän makuuhuoneen omakotitaloanne turvapaikanhakijoiden käyttöön. Uutinen tästä levisi myös arabimaiden medioihin, mikä entisestään lisäsi tulijoiden määrää. Monet irakilaiset nuoret miehet ovat sanoneet, että pääministerin tarjous sai heidät tulemaan nimenomaan Suomeen.

Pääministerin esittämän kutsun lisäksi Eurooppaan lähtöä miettivät saivat lehdistä lukea kuvauksia ilmaisista koulutus- ja sairaanhoitopalveluista, puhtaasta ja kauniista luonnosta ja kauniista nuorista naisista, joilla on Al-Arabia-mediaa lainaten ”vaaleat hiukset, siniset silmät ja hampaat kuin helmet”.

Pääministerin sinänsä sydämellinen kutsu oli vetovoimatekijä, jonka haittavaikutuksista joudumme nyt kärsimään suurten kustannusten, samoin naisiin ja jopa lapsiin kohdistuneiden seksuaalirikosten muodossa. Lisäksi kansalaisten turvallisuuden tunne on heikentynyt. Pääministeri Sipilä, tunnistatteko sen, että avokätisen tarjouksenne seurauksena Suomeen on tullut paljon ihmisiä, joilla ei ole perusteita turvapaikan saamiselle, ja joita ei olisi koskaan pitänyt maahamme päästää.

Lähtömaiden ongelmat eivät ratkea siirtämällä niiden väestö Eurooppaan, vaan ongelmat on ratkaistava niiden lähteellä. Euroopan hyvinvointivaltiot eivät voi toimia koko maailman sosiaalitoimistona.

Suomessa on puhuttu paljon vanhustenhoidon tilasta. Esillä on ollut erityisesti vanhusten asumis- ja hoivapalveluita tarjoavat yksityiset yritykset. Eräs niistä on rahanahneudessaan säästänyt liikaa henkilöstökuluissa ja samalla laiminlyönyt potilasturvallisuutta. Monet yritykset ovat myös vältelleet veroja korkojärjestelyillä ja sijoittamalla valtaosan omistuksistaan veroparatiisisaarille. Vanhustenhoidon lisäksi tapaukset muistuttavat meitä siitä, että tarvitsemme tehokkaampia keinoja veronkierron vastaiseen toimintaan.

On hyvä, että pitkään pinnan alla muhineet epäkohdat tulevat ilmi. Olisi tärkeää luoda toimintakulttuuri, jossa kaikista rikoksista ja rikkeistä, kuten esimerkiksi vakavista vanhustenhoidon laiminlyönneistä, samoin veronkierrosta ja ympäristörikoksista, uskalletaan ilmoittaa valvoville viranomaisille heti kun ne havaitaan. Väärinkäytöksistä ilmoittavia henkilöitä ei tule rangaista vaan heidät tulee nähdä yleisen edun puolustajina. Heille on luotava helppokäyttöisiä ja luottamuksellisia kanavia ilmoitusten tekemiseen. Toivon, että tehokas väärinkäytösten ilmoittajien suojelu saadaan pikaisesti lainsäädäntöön kaikissa EU-maissa, myös Suomessa.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, well Prime Minister, as per Jean-Claude Juncker, my start as Prime Minister was also in Finland. You remember that my first Summit was in Tampere. I remember two things from Tampere in 1999: first of all, the reindeer on the menu for the Summit, and secondly that we decided there to have a common European migration and asylum policy. We are still struggling with the Member States to have one.

I am pleased that in your intervention, you started with Santeri Alkio who said – and I have a quote from him, it was Nils who helped me naturally, as he is from Finland – ‘the people’s idea of the League of Nations should be urgently taken by Europe to build a United States of Europe’. Whether it was in the 1920s or the 1930s, I don’t know. It was in the 1920s. It is a fantastic project that needs to be built, and certainly in your intervention, and I want to take three points that in my opinion are necessary for that.

First of all, on the eurozone and the governance of the eurozone. I agree with you, we don’t need a reform of the eurozone to replace the homework that Member States have to do with new instruments. They have to do their homework. That’s not at stake. What is at stake is that a single currency, at world level, needs fiscal capacity; needs, based on the official capacity, euro safe assets to be used at world level in order to have more harmonious growth inside the eurozone and an instrument against what we call ‘asymmetric shocks’. All this cannot be done through the homework of the Member States alone. There is something common that needs to be tackled. So I agree with you, but the one doesn’t contradict the other, in my opinion.

My second point is on the single market. You said ‘yes, we have the best single market in the world’. I will rectify it a little bit. We could maybe have the best single market in the world when we also have a single market in the markets of the future – digital, energy, capital. I think there is one good solution: create one regulator at European level and, automatically, we shall see the emerging single digital, energy and capital markets.

My third point is on defence. I think the biggest waste of money for the moment in the European Union is the lack and the non-existence of a real European Defence Union. We are spending half the amount of the Americans on military. We have a budget in Europe on military that is three times bigger than the Russians’ budget, but we are not capable, I think, to do our defence alone and that’s because we have 28 times duplication and that’s why I hope, also, that the European Defence Union will be one of the key priorities of the Finnish Presidency.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Prime Minister I wish to thank you very much for joining in this debate on the future of Europe. And while we’re speaking, there are tens of thousands of school students outside in the streets here in Brussels. They’ve also been marching in Finland. And they show us what really matters – to put people and planet before profit. We should really take them seriously.

So I want to ask you today Prime Minister to commit to the future, to listen to those young people and to invest in the future when it comes to climate protection, to education and to working together as Europeans.

On climate protection, the EU has a huge responsibility and every Member State has to play its role. I’m very happy that you mentioned that you are very committed to that – that you want to go ahead; that you want to have more ambitious climate targets, fantastic! And you’ve mentioned the important role of carbon sinks as well, and Finland is in the lucky position to have a very large carbon sink at hand. The beautiful Finnish forests are an important natural heritage for your country and also largely due to its forests Finland has become the welfare state that it is today.

But they are also an important factor indeed in the EU climate policy. The Finnish forests capture 27 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. So it is in our common interest to preserve them, and to manage them sustainably but different from what you said – your government actually plans logging of the Finnish forests, which are not sustainable, which are absolutely excessive, and they will put the huge asset that you have in fighting the climate crisis at risk.

So I hope that after your very good speech today, your government will reverse that position to save the great natural heritage that you have, but also to preserve the carbon sinks, because if we wanted to achieve a net zero carbon economy in Europe by 2050 then we need more forests and not less. And rather than telling other countries that they should grow more forests, it is important that we do something in order to keep our own forests.

So I’m very happy that you’ve mentioned that you want to have more ambitious targets. We are very much on your side and I am glad to see that you’ve been doing that in the Nordic Council but I hope that you can also bring that to the EU Council, to your fellow Prime Ministers, to make sure that this goes ahead in Europe. That would be an efficient implementation.

And the young people that I’ve mentioned – they are also the ones that will run our countries, societies, economies, in the Member States, in the EU, in the not too distant future and I think it is better sooner than later.

And education is a big part of preparing them for the task, and Finland is famous for its education system. Everyone came to Finland to copy Finland’s famous school system. But I am sad to see that the current government has been ready to give up its position by cutting almost EUR 1 billion from educational research. But we need more investment into the future, not less.

This is also something that we need to talk about, when it comes to the MFF at European level. The European Union must strengthen the social cohesion in Europe and contribute to the welfare of all its citizens and not just those who have good connections to state or businesses.

So we need to invest in that. We need to invest in the future and there are so many more tasks that the European Union is given all the time and for that we need adequate resources. So we will not accept a shrinking budget and the Finnish Presidency will be key in order to ensure sufficient finances for the European Union because only then it can efficiently implement its tasks.

Mr Prime Minister you also said in your speech how important common values, our rule of law and a united Europe are and you’ve mentioned the danger of populism. I very much agree with that. However, you have experience in working together with a right-wing populist party – this is news to some of your former allies – and I think you’re fully aware of the common challenges that our continent is currently facing.

Nationalists and far right movements all across Europe are gaining support by spreading fear and disinformation and pro-European speeches are wonderful; we need them; they’re necessary. But it is by our actions that we truly show where our heart stands and how much our words mean. That’s where we show that we are serious, that we are committed to building that better future together.

As Finland’s EU presidency takes place this summer, I hope to see that your country will then be on the progressive side leading the way forward for a united, fair and climate-friendly European Union.

 
  
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  Νεοκλής Συλικιώτης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε πρωθυπουργέ, σας καλωσορίζω από μέρους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωτικής Αριστεράς και της Βόρειας Πράσινης Αριστεράς στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο. Συζητάμε σήμερα για ακόμα μια φορά το μέλλον της Ένωσης. Ένα μέλλον που καθορίζεται όμως από τη συνέχιση των ίδιων αδιέξοδων και αντιλαϊκών πολιτικών, των πολιτικών που προωθούν τη φτωχοποίηση και τη διάλυση του κοινωνικού κράτους, που προκαλούν την καταστροφή του περιβάλλοντος, που προωθούν τη στρατικοποίηση αλλά και το φλερτ των κυρίαρχων πολιτικών κύκλων με τον ρατσισμό και τη ξενοφοβία.

Πόσο πιο δυνατά χρειάζεται να το πουν οι λαοί της Ένωσης πως χρειάζεται ρήξη με τις νεοφιλελεύθερες πολιτικές λιτότητας, ρήξη με τις πολιτικές σε βάρος του περιβάλλοντος, ρήξη με τις πολιτικές του κοινωνικού κράτους; Μόλις την προηγούμενη εβδομάδα ξεχύθηκαν στους δρόμους των Βρυξελλών δεκάδες χιλιάδες μαθητές και εργαζόμενοι για αλλαγή της πορείας των πολιτικών για το κλίμα. Στη Γαλλία και αλλού οι εργαζόμενοι εκφράζουν τον θυμό και την αγανάκτησή τους για τις πολιτικές οι οποίες τους φτωχοποιούν. Ακόμα και στη Φινλανδία, που αποτέλεσε παράδειγμα κράτους κοινωνικής αλληλεγγύης, η κοινωνία παρακολουθεί παγωμένη σκάνδαλα που ήταν αποτέλεσμα των ιδιωτικοποιήσεων και της απορρύθμισης στον τομέα της Υγείας: υποστελέχωση σε στέγες ηλικιωμένων λόγω ιδιωτικοποιήσεων, ακατάλληλα φάρμακα στους ηλικιωμένους, αύξηση του κέρδους των εταιριών φροντίδας.

Πριν από δυο χρόνια από αυτό εδώ το βήμα ο Πρόεδρος Juncker αναγκάστηκε να ομολογήσει ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χάνει τον κοινωνικό της χαρακτήρα και κινδυνεύει να γίνει η «Άγρια Δύση» του κοινωνικού ντάμπινγκ. Δεν παραδέχθηκε όμως ποιες πολιτικές οδήγησαν εδώ: οι πολιτικές που παράγουν τη νεανική ανεργία, τη φτώχεια, τις περιφερειακές και κοινωνικές ανισότητες, ενώ ταυτόχρονα λειαίνεται το έδαφος για την άνοδο της Ακροδεξιάς, του ρατσισμού και της ξενοφοβίας. Όσοι δεν αναγνωρίζουν την αιτία προφανώς θα συνεχίσουν με τις ίδιες συνταγές και στον ίδιο δρόμο.

Κύριε πρωθυπουργέ, αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, αυτό που χρειάζεται σήμερα η Ευρώπη είναι κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη και κοινωνική αλληλεγγύη. Χρειάζεται να ανακατανέμεται δίκαια ο παραγόμενος πλούτος για κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη όχι για τις τράπεζες και τις πολυεθνικές. Χρειάζεται έναν άλλο δρόμο ανάπτυξης, που να δημιουργεί μόνιμες αξιοπρεπείς θέσεις εργασίας και πλήρη εργασιακά δικαιώματα· να προασπίζεται τον δημόσιο χαρακτήρα των στρατηγικών τομέων και υπηρεσιών κάθε χώρας· να ενισχύει την κοινωνική προστασία για τους αδύναμους και όχι να διανέμει ευχολόγια χωρίς καμιά δεσμευτική ισχύ, όπως είναι ο περιβόητος ευρωπαϊκός κοινωνικός πυλώνας, ούτε να δίνει πακτωλό χρημάτων στο Ταμείο για την Άμυνα τα οποία αποκόπτονται από τις κοινωνικές δαπάνες, την παιδεία και την υγεία. Πώς να μην διερωτώνται οι πολίτες της Ένωσης γιατί υπάρχουν 38,5 δισεκατομμύρια ευρώ για το νέο Ταμείο για την Άμυνα ενώ κλείνουν τα γηροκομεία στη Φινλανδία;

Η Ένωση χρειάζεται μια τολμηρή πολιτική για την αντιμετώπιση της κλιματικής αλλαγής. Σήμερα η βιομηχανία καθορίζει τις πολιτικές για το κλίμα σύμφωνα με τις δικές της ανάγκες. Οι λαοί όμως απαιτούν πραγματικές λύσεις. Απαιτούν πολιτικές αποφάσεις που να θέτουν φραγμό στην ανεξέλεγκτη και ασύδοτη δράση των πολυεθνικών επιχειρήσεων και δεσμευτικούς στόχους για προστασία του περιβάλλοντος και αντιμετώπισης της κλιματικής αλλαγής –ακόμα πιο φιλόδοξους στόχους από τη Συμφωνία του Παρισιού.

Τέλος, η Ευρώπη χρειάζεται μια πολιτική ασύλου και μετανάστευσης βασισμένη στο διεθνές δίκαιο, στην ανθρωπιστική αλληλεγγύη προς τους πρόσφυγες αλλά και την αλληλεγγύη ανάμεσα στα κράτη μέλη. Χρειάζεται να δημιουργηθεί ένας μόνιμος μηχανισμός για τη φιλοξενία όλων των προσφύγων σε όλα τα κράτη μέλη ανάλογα με τις δυνατότητες του καθενός. Κύριε πρωθυπουργέ, για να γίνουν αυτά χρειαζόμαστε μια άλλη Ευρώπη, την Ευρώπη για την οποία παλεύει η Αριστερά, την Ευρώπη της ειρήνης, της πραγματικής αλληλεγγύης, της κοινωνικής δικαιοσύνης, την Ευρώπη των λαών.

 
  
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  Rosa D'Amato, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, gentile Primo ministro, il futuro dell'Unione europea deve passare da un radicale e profondo processo di cambiamento che chiedono sempre di più i cittadini europei. I segnali ci sono tutti: i partiti dell'establishment che si identificano nelle famiglie politiche dei Socialisti e dei Popolari perdono ovunque in Europa e perderanno anche nelle prossime elezioni europee. L'Italia è capofila di questo processo di cambiamento. I cittadini sono stufi di austerity, corruzione, ingiustizie, privilegi e sprechi. Grazie alle risorse messe a disposizione dalla rete si sono uniti e, dal basso, hanno pacificamente conquistato in pochi anni il governo del paese e mandato a casa una casta politica sorda alle esigenze dei cittadini. Le faccio un esempio di cosa comporta questo cambiamento: in Italia, in passato, le manovre economiche erano sinonimo di macelleria sociale in nome della stabilità dei conti pubblici. Oggi invece noi restituiamo risorse e dignità ai cittadini, puntando sullo sviluppo e sull'occupazione. Con la manovra italiana riduciamo il debito attraverso la crescita trainata dagli investimenti e dai tagli agli sprechi, abbiamo tolto i vitalizi ai politici e finanziato il reddito di cittadinanza – che la Finlandia conosce molto bene. Il reddito di cittadinanza è di fatto una manovra economica a sé stante, finalizzata non all'assistenzialismo ma alla riconversione della forza del lavoro. Il nostro obiettivo è ridurre la povertà, in Italia ci sono oltre 5 milioni di poveri; permettere l'acquisizione di nuove competenze professionali a chi è fuori dal mercato del lavoro e creare quindi occupazione. Gli imprenditori avranno risorse umane qualificate funzionali alle loro esigenze, avranno anche degli sgravi dalle assunzioni; il reddito rilancerà il consumo interno. Vogliamo rendere più forte l'Italia in un'Europa unita e solidale ma anche nel mondo.

Gentile Presidente, l'Europa deve stare attenta ai falsi profeti del cambiamento, però, quelli che davanti ai lobbisti si piegano. Macron, per esempio, oggi annulla il divieto di uso del glifosato in agricoltura. Questo doveva partire nel 2021. I cittadini non sono stupidi, però. Macron fa dietrofront a pochi giorni dal vertice di Aquisgrana con la Merkel e fa un grosso regalo alla tedesca Bayer che ha acquistato la Monsanto, nel 2018. Cambia idea invece di applicare il principio di precauzione che è sancito nei trattati europei. Vogliamo davvero rilanciare l'Europa? Allora smettiamola con l'ipocrisia e cambiamola, davvero! I cittadini vogliono i fatti. L'Europa deve essere protagonista nello scenario mondiale e parlare con una voce forte e unica. Serve, ad esempio, un seggio per l'Unione europea nel Consiglio di sicurezza dell'Onu. Invece, con la firma del trattato di Aquisgrana, Merkel e Macron disegnano la loro Unione del futuro; una superpotenza in cui però i conti sono pagati da 27 e le decisioni, però si prendono in 2, escludendo, con buona pace dei trattati della democrazia, 500 milioni di cittadini europei dal processo decisionale. Io vi ricordo che due debolezze non fanno una forza; un'Europa telecomandata da Berlino e Parigi è esattamente l'antitesi rispetto alle istanze che i cittadini chiedono all'intero continente.

L'Italia è la terza economia dell'eurozona, ma non ambisce a pretese egemoniche, al contrario punta ad essere garante della coralità delle decisioni e del pluralismo. Mai come oggi, è necessario ribadire l'importanza di un asse politico che si opponga a questo indebito accentramento di potere che svuoterebbe di significato il dibattito dentro le istituzioni. A questo dirigismo, noi contrapponiamo la partecipazione e il coinvolgimento dal basso. Tutti devono avere pari dignità a Bruxelles. Le istituzioni europee vengono percepite come distanti dai cittadini, è vero. A questo deficit di democrazia si dovrebbe rispondere non arroccandosi nel palazzo, ma dando il potere di iniziativa legislativa e maggiori poteri di controllo e l'indirizzo politico all'unica istituzione europea direttamente eletta dai cittadini: il Parlamento europeo, appunto. L'Europa vuole cambiare? Allora abbandoni le politiche di austerity che portano a tagli a istruzione, sanità, pensioni e diritti. Invece, nonostante le finte autocritiche di Junker sull'austerità, la strada intrapresa è sempre la stessa. Faccio a tal proposito un appello a tutti voi, colleghi: blocchiamo la macro condizionalità economica. Mettere sanzioni o sospendere i fondi europei a uno Stato membro perché non rispetta il diktat di Bruxelles significa penalizzare ancora di più le regioni e i cittadini. I fondi europei sono risorse fondamentali per lo sviluppo dei nostri territori e per la lotta al dissesto idrogeologico, ad esempio, tagliarli significherebbe colpire loro. L'Europa può cambiare se sta dalla parte dei cittadini e se a loro dà delle risposte e non sberle.

 
  
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  Mario Borghezio, a nome del gruppo ENF. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Primo ministro, benvenuto in questo Parlamento, sia pure un po' deserto in questo momento. L'enorme simpatia che, almeno dal mio punto di vista, nutrono i popoli europei nei confronti del suo popolo mi impedisce di calcare la mano sul fatto che, cinicamente, potrebbe indurre un esponente, come il sottoscritto, proprio di quei partiti populisti contro cui lei si agita, a dire che tutte le volte che lei dichiara di voler ospitare – persino a casa sua e soprattutto, il che è più grave, nel paese – 20-25 mila immigrati, lei porta acqua al nostro mulino, perché in Europa cresce la consapevolezza – anche da parte di chi sicuramente non è né razzista né xenofobo – che questa immigrazione disordinata è foriera soltanto di insicurezza, di difficoltà di integrazione e di costi spaventosi.

Non sarebbe meglio pensare – come qualcuno intelligentemente e saggiamente dice, anche da certi vertici di questo Parlamento – che bisognerebbe invece impegnarsi in un piano Marshall per l'Africa? La ricetta giusta non è l'accoglienza, non è il tentativo – molto difficile, molto arduo, spesso impossibile – di integrazione – penso, per esempio, delle persone di religione e, soprattutto, di cultura musulmana, difficilmente se non impossibilmente integrabili.

Invece, io avrei voluto ascoltare da chi rappresenta un grande popolo, una nazione ricca come la Finlandia, la disponibilità ad aderire a questo piano Marshall. Ma gli appelli lanciati non vengono casualmente da questa Europa, un po' distratta, un po' demagogica, che non si rende conto della gravità del problema dell'immigrazione e della necessità e del dovere morale e storico dell'Europa di aiutare i popoli africani, non facendo come si è fatto nel passato, finanziando guerre e speculazioni, ma con aiuti veri, magari intessuti attraverso la rete delle piccole e medie imprese, di quelle che sanno fare impresa e che potrebbero risolvere alla radice il problema dell'immigrazione.

Invece lei – mi scusi l'espressione chiara – è stato un po' demagogico, dà l'impressione di avere un approccio demagogico all'immigrazione. Se io fossi finlandese – e io vorrei essere un vero finlandese – le consiglierei di cambiare strada e di seguire l'esempio di quelli che in Europa, con coraggio, magari correndo il rischio di essere accusati di xenofobia, razzismo, eccetera, scelgono la strada giusta, la strada vera, quella dei nostri missionari, che sono andati in Africa e hanno portato cultura, istruzione e crescita.

Segua l'esempio del santo italiano, Don Bosco, che – se fosse vivo oggi, come ha fatto nell'Ottocento, nella povera Italia – agli immigrati metterebbe in mano uno strumento di lavoro, insegnerebbe a lavorare, non a venire a spacciare, a violentare, a fare quello che nei loro paesi, magari, questi ragazzi africani non hanno mai pensato di fare. La colpa degli errori e dei gravi crimini che commettono gli immigrati in Europa è vostra e della vostra demagogia, non di quei popoli.

 
  
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  Λάμπρος Φουντούλης (NI). – Κύριε πρωθυπουργέ, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αντιμετωπίζει μεγάλα προβλήματα. Το κυριότερο όμως είναι η πατερναλιστική αντίληψη που τείνει να εδραιωθεί σε πολλές από τις ευρωπαϊκές κυβερνήσεις και στους ευρωπαϊκούς θεσμούς. Οι ηγέτες της Ενώσεως λειτουργούν σαν να κατέχουν εκείνοι την απόλυτη αλήθεια και προσπαθούν να επιβάλουν την ιδεολογία τους στους πολίτες. Πολλές από τις αποφάσεις των ηγετών είναι μη αναστρέψιμες, δημιουργώντας στους πολίτες την αίσθηση πως ο δημοκρατικός έλεγχος μέσω των εκλογών είναι ανώφελος.

Χαρακτηριστικό και πολύ πρόσφατο παράδειγμα η Συμφωνία των Πρεσπών, η οποία μάλιστα χαιρετίστηκε από το σύνολο των ευρωπαίων ηγετών. Ο ελληνικός λαός εξέφρασε την ξεκάθαρη αντίθεσή του, όμως η κυβέρνηση Τσίπρα αδιαφόρησε δημιουργώντας τετελεσμένα. Συντασσόμενη η Ευρώπη με τη συμφωνία αυτή, περιφρονεί τη βούληση των Ελλήνων, εμφανίζεται δε ως εχθρική προς τα ελληνικά συμφέροντα. Θα ήθελα να υπενθυμίσω τόσο σε σας όσο και τους υπόλοιπους ηγέτες της Ενώσεως, και ιδιαιτέρως στον κύριο Τσίπρα, πως η εξουσία σας πηγάζει από τον λαό και έχει ισχύ μόνο όσο ο λαός συνεχίζει να την εγκρίνει. Σύντομα όμως θα διαπιστώσετε πως η εκ μέρους σας απαξίωση των ευρωπαϊκών εθνών θα αφυπνίσει τους πολίτες και θα τους κάνει να σκεφτούν εθνικά.

 
  
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  Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland. – Mr President, thank you very much for the speeches. I will briefly answer the questions I picked up from the speeches. First of all, thank you, Jean—Claude, thank you, Jyrki, for your kind words and the same applies vice—versa. It has been pleasant to work with the Commission. It’s true that it will be a very challenging period of time when our EU Presidency starts. We are forming a new Commission, there will be Parliamentary elections and we will have our own elections before that. There will be multi-annual financial framework (MFF) negotiations, Brexit, the Economic Monetary Union (EMU), and so on. There will be big files on our table.

Jean—Claude, you were also right on the Arctic questions. This is absolutely a key part, including with regard to climate change. We are ready for the Arctic Summit in a few weeks if there are circumstances available to arrange that. Jyrki Katainen’s investment fund is an excellent example of how we can create jobs and we have also used this tool in Finland.

Mr Weber, congratulations on your nomination. The EPP meeting in Helsinki was very good for me, also because I met about ten colleagues at the same time in the meeting. I agree with you about the economic principles.

The MFF: I have now discussed with 17 colleagues already the situation regarding the MFF and I’m sure that we will find a compromise during our Presidency.

Climate change: I agree that we have to find a sustainable solution, including so that people can live with the solutions. I emphasise that new technology can do much more than we thought. I talked about the CO2 capture from the air. There is a small university in Lappeenranta and I saw the prototype. They captured CO2 from the air and they made other products out of that. The low price of the solar energy is a key solution for that. Think about what kind of possibilities this gives to Africa and for cooperation with African countries.

Mr Kofod, you have learned Finnish in your group. I think that you have some Finnish Members there and there is a good education basis in your group. Finland is the happiest country in the world, but I have to say, at the same time, that we are the best nation to hide it also, if you follow our domestic discussions.

I also mentioned the social pillar in my speech. Our priorities are gender equality. We have been leaders in women’s rights in Finland by being the first country in the world to give full political rights to women.

Tax havens: I fully agree with what you say about taxation. It should be everyone’s, all the companies, all the countries’ and all the citizens’ values and the basis for regulations that ensure that we pay taxes where the profit is made and this is absolutely the key principle for that.

Ms Ruohonen-Lerner, maybe I will answer this question in Finnish.

Ehkä tässäkin foorumissa on hyvä sanoa, mistä tuossa taloni luovutuksessa oli kysymys. Kyseessä oli tietämäni iso perhe, joka omassa maassaan oli joutunut vainon kohteeksi kahdesta syystä. Ensinnäkin he olivat auttaneet länsimaalaisia avustustyöntekijöitä ja toiseksi he olivat kristittyjä muslimimaassa.

Näin ei pitäisi olla, että vainotuksi joutuu näistä kahdesta syystä. Tämä perhe oli hengenvaarassa joka ikinen päivä. Me emme voi kuvitellakaan, minkälaisissa olosuhteissa he olivat ennen pakoon pääsyänsä. Tämä perhe oli tulossa talooni ja en voinut kuvitellakaan, että Suomessa voisi ilmapiiri kääntyä sellaiseksi, että tuon päätöksen joutuu perumaan perheen turvallisuuden vuoksi. Poliisiviranomaiset sanoivat, että tuon perheen henki on uhattuna myös Suomessa, jos vien päätökseni loppuun. Valitettavasti he eivät tuohon päässeet, mutta he ovat onnellisesti turvassa muualla.

Mr President, Guy Verhofstadt has already left – he’s so busy – so I will jump to Ms Keller’s speech on climate change. I have worked a lot on climate-change issues, including at a personal level. I have made a promise that my family will be carbon neutral at the end of next year. I have solar panels at my home, I have an electric car, I have reduced consumption and I have planted trees, so that the end result is carbon neutrality. But it’s too easy for one individual to do this, and we need common action in three forms.

We have to lower emissions, and continue on that path, and we also have to increase carbon sinks. There is proof that the Finnish way, a sustainable way, of managing and using the forest is the best way to handle forest, and that also has my strong support. New technology is important too: I am eager to pursue new ways to capture CO2 directly from the air and use that as a source of other new products; and we also have to plant new trees.

You mentioned that we have experience of cooperating with a populist party, and my message is that populist parties too should take responsibility as part of a government, in the same way that all of us have to carry responsibility and be answerable to the people.

Mr Sylikiotis – I am not sure how to pronounce your name – the famous Finnish left-wing politician Outi Ojala said, in the Finnish Parliament, that the best friend for poor people was a balanced state budget. That is the basis for taking care of everyone, in every country, every day. And that is why, in Finland, social benefits are set at such a high level – besides which, we have equal education for all our citizens.

Ms D’Amato, on the employment rate, I agree that the employment rate is the key to balancing the economy, and all your actions in support of development to that end have my support.

 
  
 

(Procedura catch-the-eye)

 
  
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  Danuta Jazłowiecka (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie premierze! Bardzo dziękuję za pana pełne odpowiedzialności wystąpienie. Przedstawił pan ambitny plan przyszłej fińskiej prezydencji, mówił pan dużo o ochronie środowiska, o gospodarce, o wdrażaniu różnych rozwiązań. Jest pan premierem kraju, w którym funkcjonuje najlepszy europejski, a powiedziałabym nawet światowy, system edukacyjny. Spodziewałam się, że bardzo dużo miejsca poświęci pan edukacji i, mimo że jest to kompetencja państw członkowskich, zaproponuje pan implementację fińskiego systemu edukacyjnego, który dzisiaj najlepiej przygotowuje swoich młodych obywateli do nieprzewidywalnej przyszłości zawodowej.

Unia Europejska w oczach świata jest organizacją, dla której najważniejszy jest kapitał społeczny. Czy zatem w dobie robotyzacji i sztucznej inteligencji właśnie temat przygotowania europejskiego społeczeństwa do zachodzących zmian nie powinien być priorytetem fińskiej prezydencji? Czy Europejczycy przynajmniej w czasie fińskiej prezydencji nie mogliby się uczyć od najlepszych?

 
  
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  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to welcome the Prime Minister to the European Parliament. I am very happy to hear that the commitment of the future country of the Presidency is strong.

We see that this global situation and shared global challenges and this common future is important. We see that on the other side of the Channel they are trying to do something else – with a lot of problems in finding solutions for Brexit.

Arvoisa puhemies ja pääministeri, toitte terveisenne myös ilmastotavoitteiden kiristämisen valmiudesta, ja tämä on viesti, jota tämä talo haluaa ottaa mielellään vastaan. Se on juuri samansuuntainen, suurin piirtein samoissa prosenttiluvuissakin liikumme, ja näemme, että tässä tavoitteet ovat yhteisiä ja maailma odottaa meiltä tätä edelläkulkijuutta.

Näemme myös, että t&k-panostukset ja oikeudenmukainen siirtymä tuovat meille töitä ja hyvinvointia, ja tähän on hyvä sitoutua. Yhdyn tässä Jean-Claude Junckerin, komission puheenjohtajan, terveisiin, että arktiset asiat ovat tärkeitä. Näissä Suomi ei voi laiskotella. Euroopalle on tärkeä jokainen lähialueensa raja niin etelässä, idässä kuin myös pohjoisessa.

Ja arvoisa puhemies, meillä on täällä parlamentissa jo Välimeren valtuuskunta, ehkä tulevalle kaudelle voitaisiin nyt jo valmistella myös arktisten asioiden valtuuskunta.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε πρωθυπουργέ της Φινλανδίας, κύριε Sipilä, ήθελα να σας θέσω το θέμα της Κοινής Αμυντικής Πολιτικής της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Ξέρετε, χθες είχαμε τη θλιβερή επέτειο των Ιμίων. Τα Ίμια είναι μια περιοχή που ανήκει στην Ελλάδα, δύο νησιά που ανήκουν στην πατρίδα μου. Όμως υπάρχουν οι προκλήσεις και οι αμφισβητήσεις της Τουρκίας. Μάλιστα αυτές τις ημέρες τουρκικά πολεμικά περιπολούν στην περιοχή. Η Τουρκία συνεχίζει τις παραβιάσεις στον ελληνικό εναέριο χώρο και στα ελληνικά χωρικά ύδατα. Απειλεί την Ελλάδα με casus belli σε περίπτωση που η Ελλάδα επεκτείνει τα χωρικά της ύδατα στα δώδεκα μίλια. Ο Ερντογάν θέλει να ανατρέψει τη Συνθήκη της Λοζάνης.

Θέλω λοιπόν μία δήλωση σαφέστατη, πρώτον, στήριξης της Ελλάδας απέναντι στις απειλές του Ερντογάν και της Τουρκίας, δεύτερον, τη θέση σας για να υπάρξει μία πολιτική της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με βάση την οποία η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση θα στηρίζει επιτέλους την Ελλάδα σε περίπτωση αμφισβήτησης των συνόρων της από την πλευρά της Τουρκίας. Να υπάρξει στήριξη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στα σύνορα της Ελλάδας, τα οποία είναι και ευρωπαϊκά σύνορα. Και θέλουμε μία σαφέστατη τοποθέτηση από σας, κύριε πρωθυπουργέ, εδώ στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, γιατί θα είναι μήνυμα απέναντι στον Ερντογάν, απέναντι στις απειλές της Τουρκίας.

 
  
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  Elsi Katainen (ALDE). – Arvoisa pääministeri Sipilä, olen todella iloinen siitä, että insinöörimiehenä korostatte puheissanne käytännönläheisyyttä ja konkretiaa ja vaaditte sitä myös unionin toimissa. Euroopan unionin yhtenäisyyttä ja myös taloudellista kestokykyä haastetaan monesta suunnasta ja monella tavalla. Ne pakottavat jäsenmaat arvioimaan aina uudelleen ja uudelleen yhteistyön välttämättömyyttä ja myös omaa panosta, jotta Eurooppa vahvistuisi myös globaalissa kilpailussa.

Arvoisa pääministeri Sipilä, miten mielestänne voitaisiin edistää sitä, että muun muassa ilmastopanokset ja taakanjako maahanmuuttokysymyksissä jakautuisivat mahdollisimman tasaisesti eri jäsenmaiden kesken? Itse ajattelen nimittäin, että sillä olisi suuri merkitys kansalaisten hyväksynnälle ja luottamukselle unionia kohtaan. Ja se vaikuttaa muun muassa kevään EU-vaalien kiinnostavuuteen ja äänestysprosenttiin.

Lopuksi, pääministeri Sipilä, toivoisin, että voisitte seuraavassa puheenvuorossanne oikaista täällä väitettyjä vääriä käsityksiä Suomen metsänhoidon tilasta.

 
  
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  Klaus Buchner (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Sehr geehrter Herr Ministerpräsident, seit über einem Jahr blockiert Ihre Regierung zusammen mit Frankreich und acht weiteren Staaten jeglichen Fortschritt im Kampf gegen den Export von Überwachungstechnik an Diktaturen. Letztes Jahr hatte Ihre Regierung zusammen mit den anderen eine Position gegen den Schutz von Menschenrechten in der Dual-use-Verordnung verfasst. Wir im Europäischen Parlament haben dagegen mit über 92 % Zustimmung und zusammen mit der Kommission einen Vorschlag geliefert, um die Menschenrechte zu schützen.

Sie führen die folgende Ratspräsidentschaft. Der Rat hat sich bisher komplett verantwortungslos verhalten, während überall auf der Welt Journalisten und Menschenrechtsaktivisten mit unserer europäischen Technologie eingesperrt und getötet werden. Ich hoffe, Sie nehmen Ihre Verantwortung ernst und ändern das.

 
  
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  Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL). – Arvoisa puhemies, pääministeri ja kollegat, moni eurooppalainen ei tänäkään päivänä koe olevansa osa EU:ta, ja sen vuoksi populistien on helppo hallita pelolla heidän ajatuksiaan. Oikeudenmukaisuus on avain turvallisempaan ja ihmisläheisempään Eurooppaan olipa kyse ihmisten toimeentulosta, työstä tai ilmastonmuutoksen torjunnasta, niin että jokainen voi osallistua omien voimavarojensa mukaan, ei jäädä osattomaksi.

Miten Suomi aikoo omalla puheenjohtajuuskaudellaan edistää oikeudenmukaisuuden ja osallisuuden ratkaisuja, niin että Eurooppa olisi ihmisten kokemana yhteinen meidän oma Eurooppamme, ei vain rahan ja markkinoiden ja talouden Eurooppa?

 
  
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  Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D). – Arvoisa puhemies, ensinnäkin tervetuloa pääministeri Sipilä Euroopan parlamenttiin, tätä on sanottu Euroopan omaksitunnoksi. Täällä ovat niin erittäin paljon esillä aina jatkuvasti ihmisoikeuskysymykset, jotka ovat tänä päivänä erittäin tärkeitä. Olin vähän pettynyt puheenvuoronne talouspolitiikka-osaan koska siinä oli vähän eilisen sävyt. Korostitte kovasti budjettikuria ja samalla Suomi asemoi itsensä jälleen kerran vähän harvenevaan uusliberaalien joukkoon.

Toinen asia johon olin pettynyt, oli tämä maahanmuuttopoliittinen osa, koska siinäkin sävynä oli palautus. Oikeastaan nyt enemmän pitäisi olla keskustelu jo ihan toisessa sävyssä. Varsinkin nyt, kun lähestymme Tampereen, Suomen, Euroopan ensimmäisen maahanmuuttopolitiikan kaksikymmentävuotisjuhlaa, niin jo keskustelun pitäisi olla muissa asioissa kuin pelkästään palautuksessa. Mutta kiitoksia ja komission puheenjohtajalle kiitoksia siitä, että otitte arktisen yhteistyön esille. Se nimittäin on myös alue, jolla Venäjän ja EU:n välit toimivat hyvin ja joka on sen takia arvokas.

 
  
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  Salvatore Cicu (PPE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ho due temi da proporre al Primo ministro finlandese, che ringrazio. Uno riguarda la politica estera dell'Unione europea, ovvero il dramma che un grande popolo, quello venezuelano, sta vivendo e soffrendo in queste ore.

Credo che ci sia necessità di compattezza per i diritti della democrazia, della pace, dell'esigenza che i popoli possano vivere in libertà, per i diritti civili, i diritti delle donne, dei bambini e di un sistema e quindi chiedo al Primo ministro finlandese qual è la sua posizione e se ritiene che Juan Guaidó sia riconosciuto, anche dallo stesso premier finlandese, come Presidente legittimo del Venezuela.

L'altro grande tema è quello dell'antidumping, la concorrenza sleale, l'economia e il commercio internazionale: abbiamo avuto la possibilità di ottenere un grande risultato e un grande riscontro. Le nostre imprese hanno bisogno di maggiore tutela.

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Domnule prim-ministru, mă bucur că ne aflăm astăzi aici în această postură, dumneavoastră în calitate de premier al Finlandei, eu în calitate de europarlamentar al țării care deține președinția Consiliului Uniunii Europene. Vă spun acest lucru întrucât a provocat un mare scandal politic, dar mai ales mediatic, declarația dumneavoastră potrivit căreia sunteți gata să preluați președinția Consiliului Uniunii Europene direct de la Bulgaria. Sunt convinsă că ați fost indus în eroare de declarațiile Președintelui Johannis, dar, domnule prim-ministru, la nivelul dumneavoastră ar fi trebui să știți că guvernul are atribuții în exercitarea președinției Consiliului Uniunii Europene în România. Deci singurul actor politic de ale cărui declarații ar trebui să țineți seamă este prim-ministrul României. Sunt convinsă ca acum, la câteva luni de la acea declarație nepotrivită, dumneavoastră v-ați schimbat opinia, mai ales că în doar o lună de la preluarea președinției Consiliului Uniunii Europene, România a închis deja câteva dosare importante. Mesajul meu către dumneavoastră este de continuitate. Sper că veți continua și îmi exprim astfel convingerea că veți continua proiectele începute de România la președinția Consiliului Uniunii Europene.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospodine predsjedniče, poštovani gospodine Sipilä, slažem se s Vama da Unija, želi li u svojoj vanjskoj politici promovirati određene vrijednosti, mora te vrijednosti štititi i u vlastitom dvorištu. No, vrijednosna komponenta ove zajednice ne smije biti predmetom proizvoljnih tumačenja kojima se želi utvrditi okvir koji nameće nekolicina članica s briselskom administracijom.

Vrijednosti bi trebale biti općeprihvaćeno izvorište oko kojega se okupljaju sve članice. Korištenje financijskih mehanizama da bi se prisililo određene članice na usvajanje dominantno liberalnog narativa i zanemarivanje nacionalnog interesa potpuno je neprihvatljivo. Vrijednosti Unije trebale bi nas okupljati i ne smiju biti korištene za pokoravanje neposlušnih s neospornim izbornim legitimitetom.

Naš je slogan „Ujedinjeni u raznolikosti”, ali realnost kaže da smo razjedinjeni u nametnutoj jednoličnosti. Vratimo se priznavanju raznolikosti i supsidijarnosti te radimo na konsenzusu umjesto nametanju.

 
  
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  Nils Torvalds (ALDE). – Arvoisa puhemies, ja herra pääministeri, tervetuloa tähän keskusteluun. Yleensä se käydään kyllä tunnuksella, että on helpompaa nähdä rikka naapurin silmässä kuin malka omassa.

Kaksi asiaa haluaisin tässä nostaa esille, puhuitte tasapainoisesta budjetista ja samanaikaisesti puhuitte myöskin niistä suurista vaatimuksista ja haasteista, joita Euroopalla on edessään. Minun mielestäni tämä asetelma ei oikein mene ikään kuin oikean insinöörin laskuopin mukaan. Me tarvitsemme, niin kuin te myöskin sanoitte, me tarvitsemme tasapainoisia kompromisseja, ja Suomi tulee nyt olemaan näiden tasapainosten kompromissien tekijä puheenjohtajakaudellaan. Toivoisin, että Suomen nykyinen hallitus, joka ehkä ei istu kovinkaan kauan, ottaa tämän asian hoitaakseen oikein tomerasti ja hoitaa sitten asiat maaliin sellaisella tavalla, että me voimme ylpeydellä katsoa Suomen puheenjohtajakauteen.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – Arvoisa puhemies, tervetuloa pääministeri, puheenjohtaja Juncker sanoi, että Suomesta voisivat ottaa oppia jopa jotkut EU:n perustajavaltiot. Tämä tarkoittaa sitä, että Suomi on aina halunnut rakentaa Euroopan unionia. Nyt haluaisin kysyä Teiltä kahta asiaa. Mikä on Suomen kanta ja miten arvioitte mahdollisuuksia saada aikaan tiettyjen veropäätösten tekeminen määräenemmistöllä sen sijaan, että yksikin jäsenvaltio tällä hetkellä voi estää verotukseen liittyvät päätökset? Tämä olisi juuri se keino, jolla voitaisiin kitkeä verovälttelyä ja turvata hyvinvointivaltion rahoitusperusta. Tiedän, että tämä on neuvoston pöydällä ja että Suomi ei ainakaan lähtökohtaisesti ole tätä kovin mielellään halunnut tukea, koska siinä on kyse valtion suvereenisuudesta, mutta oletteko valmiita muuttamaan kantanne tässä?

Toinen kysymys yritysvastuusta, Suomessa on hyvin aktiivinen kampanja sen puolesta, että säädettäisiin tällainen yritysvastuulaki. Kaikki ovat sitä mieltä, että se pitäisi säätää EU-tasolla, jotta kaikki yritykset joutuisivat raportoimaan ja vastaamaan toimintansa ihmisoikeus-, ympäristö- ynnä muista vaikutuksista. Voisiko tämä olla Suomen puheenjohtajakauden painopisteitä?

 
  
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  Henna Virkkunen (PPE). – Arvoisa puhemies, arvoisa pääministeri, mukava nähdä Teitä täällä Euroopan parlamentissa ja erityisesti tällaisena vuonna, kun Suomi on kolmatta kertaa valmistautumassa EU:n puheenjohtajuuteen. Euroopan parlamentille on tärkeää kuulla, mitkä ovat Suomen prioriteetit.

Täytyy sanoa, että itse olin vähän yllättynyt ja ehkä vähän pettynytkin siihen, kuinka vähäiselle roolille koulutuksen, osaamisen ja tutkimuksen osuus jäi tuossa puheessanne. Jos ajattelemme sitä, mihin Suomen menestys on perustunut kuluneina vuosikymmeninä, se on nimenomaan pohjautunut siihen, että meillä on hyvä koulutus, hyvä osaamisen taso sekä hyvä tutkimus. Se on nostanut Suomen yhdeksi maailman innovatiivisimmaksi maaksi. Se on juuri se viesti, minkä myös Eurooppa omalle tulevaisuudelleen nyt tarvitsee, jos mietimme sitä, miten Eurooppaan voidaan luoda kestävää kasvua, kuinka pysymme kilpailukykyisenä tällaisessa tilanteessa, kun digitaalinen talous muuttaa maailmaa. Robotisaatio, automatisaatio muuttaa työelämää ja toisaalta edessämme ovat isot globaalit haasteet, joista nostitte perustellusti nimenomaan ilmastonmuutoksen ja sen torjunnan esiin. Tässä tarvitsemme nimenomaan hyvää osaamista, koulutusta, laadukasta tutkimusta. Toivon, että se olisi vahvasti myös Suomen viesti tulevalla puheenjohtajakaudella.

Euroopan parlamentti haluaa nostaa Euroopan tutkimusrahoja viisikymmentä prosenttia. Suomi on yksi niistä maista, joka on nostanut tutkimuksen rahoituksen yhdeksi MFF:n pääprioriteetiksi. Haluaisin nyt vielä vahvistuksen siitä, onko tämä se linja, jota Suomi tulee MFF-neuvotteluissa viemään eteenpäin?

 
  
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  José Blanco López (S&D). – Señor presidente, hoy de nuevo asistimos a un debate sobre el futuro de la Unión Europea. Y yo creo que en ese futuro hay dos revoluciones que van a marcar nuestras vidas: la revolución tecnológica o digital y la revolución energética. La Unión Europea tiene que hacer frente, por lo tanto, a estos desafíos.

Al desafío de la revolución energética que va a marcar nuestra vida, nuestra forma de viajar, nuestra forma de consumir, etc. siendo ambiciosa en la lucha contra el cambio climático, que es el gran desafío que tiene la humanidad.

En esta legislatura se han dado pasos muy importantes para poner a Europa como líder de esa transición energética. Como líder para conseguir la descarbonización y conseguir los objetivos de clima. Pero no podemos bajar la guardia, porque el desafío es muy importante y la respuesta tiene que ser constante.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Demokracja, praworządność to podstawy, na których zbudowana jest Unia Europejska. Podstawy, które są coraz częściej łamane, ale wartością Unii Europejskiej jest także wspólny rynek, swoboda przepływu usług, osób i towarów. I tutaj także zauważalna jest chęć ograniczenia tych swobód.

Finlandia, pomimo że leży na obrzeżach Unii Europejskiej (aby dotrzeć z Helsinek do Brukseli, ciężarówka potrzebuje pięciu dni), poparła ogólne podejście Rady Unii Europejskiej w sprawie pakietu mobilności. Jednocześnie fińscy posłowie zagłosowali za wyłączeniem transportu międzynarodowego spod zasad delegowania. I tutaj mam pytanie, panie premierze: czy nie uważa pan, że wspierając rozwiązania zaproponowane przez Radę, tak naprawdę ogranicza pan swobody gospodarcze? Nie likwiduje pan barier handlowych, a przecież pan mówił, że należy te bariery likwidować, że jednocześnie może się okazać, że wiele małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw będzie musiało likwidować swoją działalność, a konsumenci, także konsumenci fińscy, zapłacą cenę za wzrost cen usług i towarów.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule Președinte, domnule prim-ministru, sunt de acord cu multe lucruri pe care le-ați spus aici. Ați vorbit de coeziune, de piață unică, ați vorbit de statul de drept și aici vreau să mă refer, domnule prim-ministru, la niște lucruri concrete din țara dumneavoastră. Ați spus că nu trebuie să se facă rabat cu nimic la statul de drept și sunt de acord. Dar cunoașteți că în țara dumneavoastră sunt legi care nu se aplică? Cunoașteți că sunt familii de la care s-au luat copiii, copii la 12 ani care, conform legii finlandeze au dreptul să se prezinte în instanță, să opteze pentru mamă și nu sunt ascultați în instanță? Sunt duși și sunt atrocități în instituțiile care instituționalizează copii, domnul prim-ministru. V-am făcut o scrisoare, nu s-a luat nici o măsură. Cum putem să avem un stat de drept când cetățenii, care sunt europenii, este vorba despre o cetățeană din țara mea, nu au aceleași drepturi ca cetățenii din Finlanda? Și vă rog să-mi răspundeți punctual! Și, sigur, mi-aș dori să nu existe acea condiționalitate la CFM, așa cum o susțineți dumneavoastră, pentru că, iată, se definește diferit și distinct pentru fiecare țară statul de drept.

 
  
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  Mirja Vehkaperä (ALDE). – Arvoisa puhemies, Suomen pääministerin Juha Sipilän puhe oli konkreettinen, jämäkkä ja erityisesti Suomen EU-puheenjohtajuuskautta lämmittelevä tulevaisuuspuhe.

Esititte metsäosaamisemme hyödyntämistä. Suomen maapinta-alasta on lähes 70 prosenttia metsiä, joten meillä jos kenellä on osaamista metsien hoidosta ja myöskin kestävästä käytöstä.

Euroopan ja Afrikan metsärahasto on kannatettava sekä ilmastollisesta että työllisyysnäkökulmasta. Tämän salin parlamentaarikkojen ja Euroopan parlamentin katsetta pitäisi kuitenkin kääntää myöskin pohjoisiin arktisiin kysymyksiin. Siellä arktisella alueella, missä itsekin asun, on paljon potentiaalia ja annettavaa Euroopalle. Meillä on rikkaat luonnonvarat, luonto, osaaminen ennen kaikkea, mutta me tarvitsemme myöskin kiperästi ja kiihkeästi Euroopan panoksia tänne arktiselle alueelle. Sitä toivon tulevaisuudessa.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to thank Prime Minister Sipilä for being here and making the case for Finland as a happy country after 25 years in the European Union and making up one percent of the total population of the European Union.

You got started talking about history, Prime Minister, and I would like to quote one of the founding fathers, a former Prime Minister of Belgium, Paul-Henri Charles Spaak. He once said it’s not true that the European Union is a blend between big and small states: we are all small in relation to the challenges of the world to come. It is just that some countries know this, and other countries don’t know it yet.

You spoke of a challenge, namely defence and security, and that is meaningful in view of Finland’s neutral past, but you said less about migration. I urge you to overcome the temptation of populism, and to gather up the forces necessary to unblock the Dublin Regulation, as this has been the mandate of the European Union. It takes a common policy and solidarity when it comes to migration, and no country can turn a blind eye to those in need who are knocking on the Union’s doors.

 
  
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  Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE). –Arvoisa puhemies, pääministeri Sipilä, huomaatte, että olette tervetullut tänne, kun suomalaisilla on niin paljon kysyttävää, että alkaa tuntua, että tämä on eduskunnan kyselytunti, mutta me kuitenkin täällä Euroopan parlamentissa käyttäydymme paremmin kuin suomalaisen eduskunnan kyselytunnilla, emme mölyä.

Kysymykseni koskee sitä, kun korostitte päätösten täytäntöönpanoa. Olen samaa mieltä kanssanne, että yksi suuri puute on se, että tehdään kunnianhimoisia päätöksiä, mutta sen jälkeen jäsenvaltiot eivät näitä pane täytäntöön. Kysyisin, onko vika enemmänkin jäsenvaltioissa? Mitä voitaisiin tehdä, että kotiläksyt tehdään yhdessä? Onko nämä päätökset valmisteltu riittävän hyvin täällä Euroopan unionin neuvoston kokouksissa, siellä pääministerikokouksissakin? Koska tuntuu kummalliselta, että näiden kokousten jälkeen julistetaan tuloksia ja hyvää yhteishenkeä ja sitten, kun mennään kotiin, mitään ei tapahdu. Mitä voitaisiin tehdä? Mitä Te tekisitte, että yhteiset päätökset pistettäisiin täytäntöön?

 
  
 

(End of catch—the—eye procedure)

 
  
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  Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland. – Mr President, thank you all for the questions.

We in Finland are used to this kind of questioning. Every Thursday at 4 o’clock in our Parliament is Question Hour. All ministers have to be present and we are used to this. But we give our answer right after each question.

Now I have 30 questions to answer at the same time, so I will conclude with some top—lines.

First education. Education and equal education is very important for Finland. Public school is the best school for rich people and poor people. All the people in Finland, all the kids, go to the same school. We have the best teachers in the world and we have a challenge to educate about one million Finnish people during the next ten years. I think that this same challenge is in every European Union country because of artificial intelligence, because of the changes in work life.

Climate change – thank you for supporting my speech and all the issues I raised with regard to climate change. Arctic issues are very important for Finland. We are especially worried about black carbon, and this is a quite concrete issue where we can negotiate also with Russia and the United States, which are not very keen to support climate change actions. We need also R&B investments, that’s true in this sector.

Defence cooperation – Finland has supported defence cooperation from the beginning. I really welcome the progress on that issue. There was a question about Turkey. It’s very complicated. It’s a NATO country and the rule of law developments in that country worry us a lot – the situation in Greece and Cyprus also.

As for the Romanian Presidency, I have always been sure that Romania will do an excellent job as the Presidency of the European Union, and there has been some proof of that already.

Venezuela – our full support to democratic development and elections. The humanitarian situation in that country is really bad at the moment and I am sure Finland will follow everything that we decide together in the European Union.

There were some – actually quite a few – questions in Finnish. So I will conclude my answers in Finnish.

Ensinnäkin kestävä metsänhoito: Suomessa käytetään puun kasvusta 70–80 prosenttia ja Suomen metsät kasvavat koko ajan enemmän kuin käytämme puuta. Puuta käytetään koko ajan paremmin ja tehokkaammin myöskin sillä tavalla, että hiili sitoutuu pitkäksi aikaa niihin tuotteisiin, joita teemme metsistä ja puista.

MFF:stä kysyttiin täällä useamman kerran. Tulevana puheenjohtajamaana olen aivan varma näiden käymieni kollegakeskusteluiden perusteella siitä, että tulemme löytämään kompromissin, missä tämä perinteinen EU-politiikka ja uudet haasteet pystytään sovittamaan yhteen. Emme ole olleet siellä kaikkein tiukimmassa prosentin liikkeessä vaan meillä on jouston varaa myöskin kotimaisessa kannassamme, ja puheenjohtajana tulemme löytämään siihen ajallaan oikean ratkaisun.

Täytäntöönpanosta puhuin paljon tuossa puheessani. Meillä Suomessa on tapana, että kun yhdessä sovitaan jotakin, varsinkin tällaisella joukolla, niin sitten me teemme osuutemme siitä yhdessä tehdystä päätöksestä välittömästi. Tästä varmasti meillä on tarpeeksi näyttöä.

So implementation is a key issue: when we have carefully prepared our decisions we then implement everything efficiently. I think this is a key message from my speech.

Mr President, thank you very much. It was a pleasure to be here and it was a very interesting discussion.

(Applause)

 
  
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  President. – Thank you very much, Prime Minister. Thank you for your answers. I also thank you for your position on Venezuela.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Quando se discute o aprofundamento da UEM e da União bancária, a possível fusão entre a Deutsche Bank e Commerzbank está hoje na ordem do dia. Esta fusão criaria um megagrupo bancário com cerca de 2 bilhões de euros em ativos, com uma posição cimeira no plano europeu. Vários analistas recordam que as duas instituições têm tido alguns anos difíceis. O Deutsche Bank, apresentou perdas entre 2015 e 2017 e o Commerzbank realizou uma reorganização de suas atividades através com uma forte redução da sua força de trabalho. Em suma, o baixo nível de fundos próprios de ambas as instituições deixa antever um cenário de alguma reserva. Esta fusão entre estas instituições vai acentuar o problema das grandes instituições financeiras com efeito sistémico que estiveram na base na intervenção pública após a crise financeira. Vai criar um excessivo poder de mercado, potenciando abusos de posição dominante com graves prejuízos para a economia. Em suma irá confirmar mais uma vez o papel do BCE e do Sistema Único de Supervisão como promotores ativos da concentração bancária dentro da União Europeia.

 
  
  

PRÉSIDENCE: SYLVIE GUILLAUME
Vice-présidente

 
Aġġornata l-aħħar: 4 ta' April 2019Avviż legali - Politika tal-privatezza