Text integral 
Stenograma dezbaterilor
Miercuri, 3 aprilie 2019 - Bruxelles Ediţie revizuită

12. Dezbatere cu prim-ministrul Suediei, Stefan Löfven, privind viitorul Europei (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

  President. – The next item is the debate with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, on the Future of Europe (2019/2672(RSP)).

I want to thank the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden. Thank you for coming to this debate with the European Parliament. We want to put the European Parliament at the centre of the dialogue on the future of the European Union with meetings with the leaders of the Member States. For us, it is important to know your position, your strategy for the future of the European Union. This is not a debate on the situation in Sweden. It is a debate on Europe.

As you know, Mr Prime Minister, for us it is important to achieve a good solution for Brexit. Today, this is one of the most important point for the European Parliament. It is important your work in the European Council on the Dublin reform is another very important point for the European Parliament. We are strongly engaged against climate change. We are strongly engaged against terrorism. We want to pave the way for a better future for our citizens. Youth unemployment is another problem for us. We want to work together to reduce youth unemployment.

In conclusion, on the budget. We want more money for the European budget. Our proposal needs to change from 1.1% of our GDP to 1.3% of our GDP, but not through more taxation coming from Member States. We want to work on own resources. This is our proposal, our ideas.

Mr Prime Minister, thank you very much for coming. The floor is yours.


  Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden. – Mr President, Vice-President of the Commission, distinguished leaders of the political groups, Members of the Parliament, my fellow Europeans, firstly, let me express my appreciation for all the efforts and the work during this electoral period and the progress that you have achieved for Europe and us all. But of course, my focus today will not be on our past but on our future.

I believe that we must step up to defend our fundamental values in the European Union, and the most strategic way to fight the forces that challenge those values is to deliver results in the areas of employment, security, migration, climate change, and thus to create hope for the future. So that should be our core mission: the defence of our democratic values and our young people’s dream.

There are people that say that idealism is the preserve of the young, and that when we enter into the world of adults, we learn that nothing is black and white and realise that self-interest and cynical trade-off rules the world. I believe that narrative is wrong.

My parents took me in as a foster child. They taught about shared responsibility, about respect for every human being, about solidarity, and during both my trade union and political life as an adult, I have had to compromise and make tough decisions in difficult situations such as economic downturns – but also terror attacks.

That has not made me forget my values. It has only deepened my belief in the importance of having a moral compass to guide you through these tough times, because if we didn’t let our values steer our decisions, if we didn’t feel that our choices were leading us towards the kind of society we believe in, what would be the point in making decisions at all?

The same applies to the European Union. Our Union is based on values. The whole idea of creating a common market and joint responsibility for coal and steel production was to tie our countries and the people closer together. We wanted to fulfil Friedrich Schiller’s sentiments in the Ode to Joy that ‘Alle Menschen werden Brüder’, with equal rights, equal value and which, put to the music of Beethoven, became our common anthem.

And now that our Union has grown in size and has grown older as well, we, just like the individual, need to remember our most fundamental values. For what would be the ultimate point of our work, the ultimate point of our Union, if we did not promote the values that we believe in?

And this, my friends, may also be the best thing we can do for the world. We are living in a time when the multilateral system is being shaken to its core. The United Kingdom wants to leave our Union. The transatlantic link is being questioned. Meanwhile, China is on the rise, and several economies in South-East Asia and Africa are ready to follow in its footsteps and redraw the entire global economic map. And at the same time, Russia is acting in a revanchist manner, in flagrant contempt of international law. So, now more than ever, it is time to stand up for common principle-based solutions and a world order where might does not come before right.

But the EU can only be a strong voice for democracy in the world if all of us Member States stand up for the principles of democracy – also at home. We can only be a credible actor in the Middle East if we fight anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in our own countries. We can only be a force for free media and the rule of law in our neighbourhood if we have a free media and independent courts in our Union.

For every democratic principle that is weakened in the EU, the EU’s voice in the world will be equally weakened.


Therefore the EU must stand up for our fundamental values, both externally in our world but also, of course, internally in our Union. And this is more than about our place in the world. This is about the whole future of our cooperation. If the principles contained in our most fundamental contracts are not adhered to, how are we then to trust other agreements on the single market, on free movement – everything that does so much for our prosperity?

If our promises to each other are to be trusted, if our cooperation and our economy are to continue to grow, then pacta sunt servanda must apply to the most fundamental contracts of all. And therefore, Sweden will work to defend the EU’s core values in the budget negotiations, in our support of the Commission’s work, and my government will propose to the Swedish Parliament that Sweden will join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to contribute in the fight against corruption and the embezzlement of EU funds.


We support also the Belgian proposal, or something similar, to establish an EU mechanism for the peer review of adherence to the rule of law. And I will devote my efforts in Europe to defending the values that I have borne since my childhood: of the equal value of all people and of solidarity. I will give my all, side by side with so many of you, to refute and fight the extremist forces who deny these values and those forces that are doing everything they can to tear apart the Union that defends them. And of course, EU is a compromise: probably one of the most successful compromises in world history.

But there can be no compromising on human dignity. There is no reasonable level of anti-Semitism, no acceptable level of racism, no tolerable level of misogyny or homophobia. Never will we compromise on these values.


The defence of democracy is also the defence of young people’s dreams. Is there anything more dangerous to society than its young people ceasing to dream?

It is in societies that have lost hope that both political and religious extremism can grow the strongest, and this is not only crucial in the fight against extremism, but also in the work to uphold broad, popular support for our Union.

I believe it is crucial for all of us in the current Brexit negotiations, for example, that the UK and the EU have the ability to move on as friends and create a close, strong and long-term relationship.

But the only way for the EU to avoid similar exit ordeals in the future is to constantly prove its worth to people’s everyday lives and to their dreams for the future. And that is why the EU should not only benefit the market but, preferably, benefit its people. It is also why the work for a larger market can also be the work for a stronger democracy – if that can create jobs and hope for our young people.

Over the past two years, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and I have co-chaired a Global Commission on the future of work for the International Labour Organisation. And there is no doubt that in the future, work will be more advanced, more automised, more digitised, and that demand for skilled workers will soar. This is good news for the EU. We benefit from a global competition that is based on knowledge rather than lower wages.

But we cannot rest on our laurels, because everyone wants to be in the same position. China has long been educating more engineers than the United States, Germany and Japan put together. So in this respect, our European cooperation will have an incredibly important role to play in the creation and sharing of world-leading knowledge and innovation. And there are always many competing interests in budget negotiations; you know that better than most.

But my country has learned the very hard way that it is only with strict priorities and a budget that is under control that democracy actually can deliver in the long-term and with stability. And that is why, given all the competing interests, we do not propose a larger budget, but rather the stronger prioritisation of innovation, new jobs and the digital, educational and physical infrastructure required to make them possible.

It is our responsibility, for our young people’s dreams, to take advantage of this opportunity. Our solution can never be to lower wages or raise protectionist walls. We should not shut ourselves off from the world. We should lead it.

Therefore I am proud also that young people now in Tallinn or in Bratislava can listen to hip hop from Paris or Fado from Lisbon on Spotify from Stockholm. But I also know how hard Spotify had to work to get launched in Europe. Compare that to a start-up company in Silicon Valley. They can launch a product on the US market and reach more than 320 million people immediately. So our only chance of competing with this is to make it just as easy to reach all the citizens in the European Union at the same time. And believe me, anyone who has lived through a dark Nordic winter knows that we can not compete with California when it comes to weather.

For generations, people from our continent have travelled across the Atlantic in search of a better life. But the young geniuses and IT geniuses of today and the future should not have to go west, or east for that matter, to realise their dreams. They should be able to do so here in Europe, in a digital market open to everyone.

Friends, it is now almost a treat to visit the European Commission website and see that one priority policy area is the European pillar of social rights. Of course, my pride is not diminished when it also says that we launched this work in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

I’m grateful to President Juncker, the Commission, to the European Parliament, to the Member States and the Council for all of our work to create a social pillar and establish 20 key principles that strengthen the social rights of all the citizens of Europe.

But no worker will or should thank us, unless these 20 principles also become reality across the EU: until we stand up for collective agreements and fair wages, until we put a stop to rule-breaking and tax fraud, until we secure gender equality and women’s right to a full wage, a career without glass ceilings and the freedom to decide over their own lives.

For this very same reason, Sweden will actively promote new free trade agreements, because we know how many jobs these agreements can create. But all these agreements should also be favourable to people as well as to the market. The agreements must respect our environment, our health and the rights of workers. And there is an enormous potential for the European services market if it’s opened up and shaped with concern for social rights.

The EU labour market must be defined by all of the positive freedoms: the freedom to study abroad, learn languages, work throughout Europe – but never the freedom to set workers against workers.


Our common labour market should not crush workers’ dreams; it should fulfil them.

I know that, if you are to have hope in the future, you must also feel safe here and now. ISIS and terrorism are dreadful security threats that must be dealt with together, but unfortunately that’s not the only challenge that we have.

I recently met the leadership of Europol at their headquarters in The Hague and their virtual command post. Europol has done an amazing job, not least breaking up and arresting paedophile networks. This type of crime – every nation and nation’s police service can see their part, but we can only see the whole and crush it in cooperation with others.

A single nation would not – even if it really wanted to, even if it poured in resources – be able to solve that alone. So Europe is borderless for criminals as well. They read up the European laws looking for the weakest national legislation and for the new national markets to enter.

That is why Sweden wants to deepen European efforts to fight organised crime as well as cyber threats.

We want to strengthen our cooperation on security and defence, increase our ability to implement joint civilian and military crisis management operations, and have a European Union that cooperates with strategic partners and builds security together.

I also know that there is a broad agreement in this Parliament and on this continent that the EU must never again lose control in the way it did during the refugee crisis. Chaotic migration affects the confidence of the whole of society and the reception of refugees, but it affects the refugees themselves worst of all.

The only ones who benefit are right-wing extremists who are able to use the situation to inflame hatred of migrants.

The EU’s free movement of people requires shared external borders and a shared responsibility for orderly, regulated migration, built on three pillars.

Firstly, strong cooperation with countries outside the EU, so that fewer people are displaced and more people can have better living conditions, so that new migration crises can be reduced or prevented entirely.

Secondly, the control of all external borders, which is now taking place through the strengthening of Frontex, creating greater security and saving lives.

Thirdly, the fair distribution of those who arrive and whose grounds for asylum are to be examined, with that work carried out as a shared responsibility by all Member States.

It should not be possible to benefit from all of the advantages of the Schengen cooperation and then refuse to share the responsibility for its maintenance. And we have, in this respect, a huge task ahead of us. Sweden will do its best to support the completion of that task, and I’m under no illusion that it will be simple. But if we fail to deliver, the Schengen Agreement will be weakened, and in the long run, so will the entire European Union.

So it’s time now to step up for orderly and regulated migration in Europe. It is in the best interest of us all.

Dear friends, as Swedes, we’re often asked: ‘Do you know Abba? Do you know Zlatan Ibrahimović?’ Now we’re getting ready for a new question: ‘Do you know Greta Thunberg?’ We’re proud of the demonstrations that she has inspired, which gathered over a million young people all over the world. But one thing we must never forget in their message is the following: it is not up to their generation to solve the climate crisis, it is up to us: all generations, here and now.


Sweden is ready to be in the lead of that work and show what is possible. We have a climate framework for our society which will lead our efforts to cut emissions quickly and powerfully and achieve net zero emissions by 2045.

But it’s us together that must implement the Paris Agreement – without any ifs, without any buts, without maybes – in order to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°, and as part of this work, the EU needs to adopt a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest. This is also a great opportunity for European industry, as the whole world is crying out for new solutions. So this is not only the right thing to do morally, it is the smart thing to do economically, and it is crucial to our survival.

To conclude, Mr President, this is what I want to say to you today: idealism is not only the preserve of the young. Our common values have been the basis for the EU’s fantastic history, and they must guide us now, so that we can have an even brighter future. And in these times, when people say that the EU must prove its worth, there is no better task for our Union than defending our democratic values and by delivering on jobs, security, migration and climate change, defending the dreams of our young people.

An EU that can deliver this not only gains greater legitimacy but also a stronger voice in our world. It is indeed a difficult task, but that is why it’s so alluring, and that is why it’s so perfect for us.



  President. – Thank you very much Mr Prime Minister. Thank you for your speech, for your proposal on the future of the European Union and your engagement.

Now we need to close the electronic registration for catch-the-eye.


  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, it’s a great pleasure to represent President Juncker in this debate on the future of our Union with Prime Minister Löfven.

At the start of next year, we will celebrate 25 years of Sweden taking its rightful place at the heart of our Union. In this time, Sweden has brought so much to the European Union, from its rich culture to its unique social model.

In many ways, a Swedish way of doing things has become both an example and a guide for our future. Sweden is a country that does more than simply talk about European values. It puts them right at the heart of its society through its strong social protection and high—quality education and health care for all, and it is a country that always looks forward. For instance, Sweden was one of the first countries to pass a Climate Act with the explicit goal of being carbon neutral by 2045. It is also well ahead of the rest when it comes to embracing a new digital world.

Stockholm is now home to more one billion plus companies, or so—called unicorns, per capita anywhere in the EU and is the most important tech hub of this kind outside Silicon Valley. We can learn from all of this. But, as we look forward, there is another Swedish concept that I believe should be central to the future of our Union.

For many Swedes, lagom is a lifestyle and a habit of mind. It is a Swedish philosophy of moderation and balance, of avoiding both excess and extreme. For many, it is the secret of a balanced, sustainable and happy life. As we look to our future, Europe should inspire itself from lagom to find the right balance for all of its Member States and all of its citizens. It means focusing on the things that matter most to Europeans and doing less elsewhere. It means tackling the big issues by being open to compromise and finding balanced solutions to common challenges.

In this spirit, I want to commend the Prime Minister and all of Sweden for the way they responded to the migration crisis in 2015. Ever since, it has been leading efforts on a long—term and comprehensive reform of our asylum system so that it offers protection for those who need it. The solution we need must balance solidarity and responsibility. The Commission has put the package of asylum reform on the table, and Europeans now expect their leaders to make real progress. We count on Sweden to continue leading those efforts.

Sweden has also been at the forefront of efforts to make our Union more socially fair for all, an issue which is second nature to your country. I want to thank the Prime Minister for his personal leadership on the European Pillar of Social Rights launched by President Juncker in Gothenburg in 2017. It is a shared and future—proof commitment to support a fairer and more equal society across Europe.

Once again, it’s about finding the right balance. This is, of course, mainly a national competence, and the EU does not interfere with the crucial role played by the social partners. But there is a lot we can do together and, thanks to the Social Pillar, we already have. We have ensured equal pay for equal work in the same place. In recent months, we have agreed new rules to improve the work—life balance for parents and carers. We have agreed to set up a European Labour Authority to make the labour market fairer and support the 17 million Europeans who work in another Member State. And we are investing in skills to help people get on the job market or find new opportunities in today’s rapidly-changing world of work.

When it comes to the future of our Union, there is no more important priority than the fight against climate change. Millions of young Europeans in Europe, and increasingly beyond Europe, are marching. Politicians – at least European politicians – are listening to the young people. They tell us that every year of their lives has been one of the warmest recorded. Indeed, 17 out of 18 of the hottest years on record all occurred in this century, and we see with our own eyes the damage that this is causing.

We saw devastating forest fires and hugely costly droughts in Sweden and elsewhere last summer and, just recently, we had another tragic reminder of this in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Sadly, this is not a freak event or a one-off. By 2050, climate change could force more than 10% of the global population to flee their homes. The world needs to respond, and Europe needs to continue leading the way. We did that with the Paris Agreement, which we are implementing at home and helping others to do the same right across the world.

For example, the Commission has already proposed to devote a quarter of the EU’s budget to climate—related action as of 2021. But public finance alone will not be enough to meet our ambitious climate and energy targets by 2030. The financial sector needs to play its part in the fight against climate change. This is why we put forward an Action Plan on Sustainable Finance to incentivise private capital to flow towards green projects. We immediately followed up with three legislative proposals, two of which have already been agreed at EU level.

But fighting climate change takes more than targets, and it will not stop in 2030. We must look further ahead. This is why the Commission has set a long-term strategy to be climate neutral by 2050. According to our estimates, this would lead to clean technology solutions, boost our GDP by up to two percent, and take off as much as EUR 3 trillion from our energy import bill while ensuring a just and socially-balanced transition for all. It is good for people and it’s good for the economy, and, for me, that is what European leadership looks like in the 21st century. The world expects, and we must deliver.

This is why we have focused our proposals for the new Multiannual Financial Framework on areas where European action can have the biggest impact. To respond to the future challenges, the Commission has proposed a modest increase in our long-term budget to an equivalent of 1.11% of the EU 27’s GNI. We hope that Member States will support this approach, which is a minimum to fund our joint European actions. As Sweden, for example, has long called for, we have put forward programmes that are modern, flexible and focused, and we are investing where there is the greatest potential for our future.

Funding for research and innovation will be increased by 50%, to reach EUR 100 billion. A new Digital Europe programme, worth EUR 9 billion, will support Europe’s digital transformation and create new opportunities for Swedish tech companies like Spotify or Klarna to flourish, and, as I mentioned, we will ensure that 25% of the budget will support our climate and sustainable development targets. There is no greater return on investment than a clean planet for future generations.

Prime Minister, honourable Members, it is only by working together to make our Union stronger that we can collectively tackle the issues which individually we never could. The last 25 years of Swedish membership of the European Union should be our template. It shows that a stronger, more sovereign Europe means a stronger, more sovereign Sweden, and it shows the virtues of showing true responsibility and solidarity. As we look to our future, this should inspire us to help us to find the balance – the lagom – that we need in our Union.



  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank you, Prime Minister Löfven, for the inspiring speech, and thank you for the start of your speech. You spoke about the fundamental principles of Europe, about our values, democracy, rule of law, freedom probably as a title of Europe, which is the overwhelming value for us, and about the independence of the judiciary. You mentioned these issues and you know that you have the European Parliament on your side when we speak about defending these values for Europe.

The step which is ahead of us is that you have to consider strengthening the defence mechanism internally. In the European Parliament we have already spoken a lot about an upgraded rule of law mechanism in today’s European Union – Article 7. It is not strong enough, it’s not effective enough to protect the values of Europe, and that’s why the upgraded rule of law mechanism should be one of the main activities for the next five years into the Europe of the future. You’re right – it’s not possible to defend our values to the outside when we don’t implement them internally, so thank you for this.

Ich möchte heute zwei Sachen herausgreifen, die Sie angesprochen haben und die viele Menschen mit Schweden verbinden. Das erste ist, dass Schweden für viele Europäer das Land der Fairness und der Gerechtigkeit, das Land der Solidarität ist. Und es ist in Europa notwendiger als jemals zuvor, über diese Themen nachzudenken, sie anzuwenden.

Wir haben heute ein Europa, das von vielen Menschen als ein Europa der Banken, der Märkte, des Geldes wahrgenommen wird und zu wenig als ein Europa des Zusammenhaltes, der sozialen Marktwirtschaft. Deswegen möchte ich diesen Akzent aufgreifen: So wie es Valdis Dombrovskis beschrieben hat, hat die heutige Kommission, unter Führung von Jean-Claude Juncker gemeinsam mit Marianne Thyssen, schon viele Initiativen auf den Weg gebracht, die wir als EVP unterstützen, Initiativen, die zu einem starken Solidaritätsgefühl und zu einem starken sozialen Europa führen. Im Respekt gegenüber den nationalen Parlamenten – weil Sie ja auch zurecht angesprochen haben, dass viele Kompetenzen national verankert sind – müssen wir das miteinander anpacken.

Ich würde gern noch einen konkreten Vorschlag mit einbringen: Europa ist ja für Handelspolitik zuständig. Wir machen trade agreements auf europäischer Ebene – die wir dort aushandeln und für die Europa die Verantwortung trägt, vor allem eine schwedische Kommissarin – und ich glaube, dass Europa solidarisch gefordert ist, wenn negative Folgen aufgrund dieser Handelspolitik entstehen, wenn manche Märkte, manche Industrien unter Druck kommen wegen des internationalen Handels und der Öffnung der Märkte. Das heißt, wir werden uns in der nächsten Legislaturperiode überlegen müssen, den bestehenden Europäischen Globalisierungsfonds so aufzustocken, so auszustatten, dass er die negativen Wirkungen, die eben auch mit Globalisierung verbunden sind, noch besser abfedern kann, damit die Menschen spüren, Europa steht ihnen zur Seite, wenn Veränderungen anstehen.

Wofür ich dankbar bin, ist, dass Sie Mut gemacht haben, dass Sie nicht Angst gemacht haben, gerade bei Handelsfragen, beim Öffnen von Märkten, bei der internationalen Zusammenarbeit, dass wir das anpacken müssen und dass wir da Mut machen müssen.

Das zweite, was viele Menschen mit Schweden verbinden, hatten Sie auch angesprochen: Das ist Greta Thunberg, die wirklich vielen Menschen Motivation gibt. Über eine Million junger Menschen auf den Straßen, zweitausend Städte, in denen die Demonstrationen stattfanden. Umweltschutz – in Ihrem Anliegen jetzt Klimaschutz als Priorität, aber im weiteren Sinne Umweltschutz als das große Thema. Und ich möchte ein Thema herausgreifen, das neben dem Klimawandel sicher auch eine der Prioritäten der nächsten Zeit werden muss, nämlich die Frage, wie wir mit Plastik umgehen.

Wir haben letzte Woche im Europäischen Parlament das Verbot von Einwegplastik beschlossen. Wir dürfen uns jetzt aber nicht darauf ausruhen, dass wir als Europäer hier einen guten Beschluss gefasst haben. Wir müssen überlegen, ob wir, ähnlich wie beim Klimaschutz, jetzt auch internationale Initiativen starten. Warum sollte man für das Verbot von Einwegplastik nicht einen ähnlichen Weg gehen, wie wir es beim Übereinkommen von Paris gemacht haben, nämlich dass wir internationale Lösungen brauchen?

Wir alle wissen, dass der Ozean nicht geschützt werden kann, wenn nur Europa handelt. Wir brauchen dafür jetzt die Kraft, international Anstöße zu geben. Und so, wie wir beim Klimawandel stolz darauf sein können, dass Europa der führende Kontinent war, so können wir jetzt auch in Fragen Plastikverbot auf internationaler Ebene Initiativen starten, mit dem, was wir in Europa vorleben, jetzt auf internationaler Ebene arbeiten, zeigen, wozu Europa gemeinsam imstande ist.

Insofern danke für die schwedischen Beiträge, danke für die Anregungen! Ich glaube, dass Schweden wesentliche Anstöße für die Zukunft Europas geben kann.


  Presidente. – Prima di dare la parola all'on. Bullmann, presidente del gruppo S&D, saluto il pubblico che segue sempre con grande attenzione i nostri dibattiti, i nostri visitatori che vengono a conoscere meglio il funzionamento delle Istituzioni comunitarie.


  Udo Bullmann, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for the great speech today; and many, many thanks for all the gifts that the Swedish nation, Swedish society, has given to Europe and to the world in the past. Yes, one of the strongest social welfare systems in the world. Yes, a huge tradition of social compromise, strong trade unions and, from the early days of your democracy, the capacity to strike alliances between different social groups in your society. What you have done during the last decades is also built on this early compromise encompassing both industrial workers, in metropolitan areas especially, and farmers and rural areas, for the value of nature, the value of natural resources, has always been acknowledged in the Swedish debate. That makes you prominent. That puts you in the front row when it comes to the answers today to the challenges to Europe and the challenges to the world – sustainability and also fairness, equality, especially with respect to gender, and acceptance – not only acceptance, but the idea – of the necessity of putting women on an equal footing and granting them full rights in civic life as well as in the labour market.

So you can find the Swedes in the lead in this modern world, and we can also see that from the very issues of our debates today. Greta Thunberg has rightly mentioned, and we have praised, the commitment of the young generation. But there is a direct line to Gothenburg and the summit in 2001, when we saw António Guterres, under the Portuguese Presidency in 2000, coming forward with this grand idea – I would still say grand idea – of the Lisbon Strategy to have a new modern, holistic approach to economic policy. And it was the Swedish Government which, a year later, added sustainability as a crucial element in this discussion. Gothenburg 2001, the Gothenburg of the social pillar and now Greta Thunberg, always leading the progressive discourse.

My neighbour to the right, Ms Maria João Rodrigues, had the pleasure – and we thank you very much for that – of contributing to both Gothenburgs, as an essential player. So this was well done and still makes us proud today.

Nachhaltigkeit, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, ist das Thema, dem sich meine Fraktion verschrieben hat. Denn wir werden Europa nur dann weiter in einer führenden Position erleben, wenn wir unsere Wirtschaftspolitik auf die Erfordernisse der Umwelt einstellen und wenn wir unsere Umweltpolitik auf die Erfordernisse der Menschen, der Arbeit und des sozialen Zusammenhalts einstellen. Das ist die Politik meiner Fraktion. Von dieser Politik, Herr Vizepräsident der Kommission, möchten wir gerne haben, dass sie die dominante Politik der nächsten fünf Jahre der Europäischen Kommission wird. Deswegen kämpfen wir für das Szenario 1 der Nachhaltigkeit, wenn es darum geht, unsere wirtschaftspolitischen Instrumente zu renovieren, weil wir nur mit einer inklusiven Politik, nur mit einem ganzheitlichen Entwurf das leisten können, wozu Europa aufgerufen ist.

Ich danke dem Ministerpräsidenten von Schweden, weil er deutlich gemacht hat, dass Idealismus keine Altersfrage ist, sondern eine Frage des Herzens, unseres Verstandes, unseres Lebensgefühls. Ich habe nur eine Bitte, weil mir das gelegentlich Sorgen macht: Ich weiß um die Stärke unserer nordischen Mitgliedsländer, ich weiß um ihre Kraft, ich weiß um ihre historischen Errungenschaften. Ich habe nur eine Bitte an Stefan Löfven, wenn wir alles das sehen: Seid nicht ungeduldig! Seid nicht ungeduldig mit den anderen Mitgliedstaaten in der Europäischen Union – auch wir, auch alle anderen müssen sich auf eure Standards entwickeln –, und bleibt die großen Internationalisten, die ihr immer wart, weil Europa euch braucht. Europa braucht Schweden, Europa braucht diesen fortschrittlichen Geist aus den nordischen Ländern. Der darf uns nicht den Rücken kehren, auch wenn es manchmal Enttäuschungen gibt. Wir brauchen euren Impuls, wir brauchen eure Kraft. Bleibt die mutigen Internationalisten, bleibt die mutigen Europäer, die ihr immer wart! Und dann Glückauf für eure Auseinandersetzungen – wir führen sie zusammen!


  Peter Lundgren, för ECR-gruppen. – Herr talman! Tack för ordet och jag får väl börja med att välkomna statsminister Löfven till Bryssel.

Det är andra gången jag ser statsministern i de här sammanhangen. Första var i Strasbourg, andra gången här. Jag vill börja med att beklaga igen att statsministern väljer att stå och prata engelska. Vi sitter i ett rum som är fullt av tolkar, som tolkar till alla slags språk och jag anser att svenskan är ett så pass litet språk att det förtjänar att få höras i det här huset. Jag vet att statsministern fick kritik för det här efter Strasbourg men har inte tagit till sig, märker jag, av den kritiken alls.

Som vanligt så efter en stund går diskussionen in på att det finns hemska människor i det här huset. Det finns hemska människor som vill riva ner. Det finns hemska människor som vill förstöra. Jag är ju en av dem då så klart. Eftersom jag har en annan syn på ett EU-samarbete eller ett Europa-samarbete än vad statsministern har. Det är precis som att har man en annorlunda syn på ett politiskt arbete här, då ska man stämplas. Då ska det klistras etiketter på en. Man ska målas ut som något man överhuvudtaget inte är och de enda godkända åsikterna är de som kommer från Socialdemokraterna och statsministern. För allt annat stämplas man som extremist och populist. Då blir hyckleriet totalt när partiets, faktiskt statsministerns egna företrädare i huset, står och demonstrerar utanför denna sal för en dömd mördare och terrorist. Det var inte så länge sedan.

Socialdemokraterna vill flytta förhandlingsrätten mellan arbetsmarknadens parter i Sverige till EU. Den sociala pelaren är ett stort hot mot svenskarna. Du är till och med en före detta fackman och nu vill du att utländska politiker ska bestämma över våra förhållanden i Sverige.

Glöm aldrig, Stefan, det var du som öppnade den dörren under toppmötet i Göteborg. Vi kommer att påminna alla om att det var du som kompromissade bort svensk jämställdhet, familjepolitik, arbetsmarknad, och valde att lägga det i händerna på utländska politiker.

När inte ens röran hemma i Sverige kan fixas av Socialdemokraterna, då ser jag inte någon större anledning att ha förhoppningar om att ni ska lyckas fixa röran i Europa. Det är dags för en ny tid i Europa. Det är dags för ett smalare och vassare samarbete än vad som finns i dag.


  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I would like to welcome you, Prime Minister Löfven, to the European Parliament. You will immediately see the difference between the European Parliament and the Swedish Parliament. In the Swedish Parliament you would never have somebody saying ‘I don’t like Sweden’. You have never had that in the Swedish Parliament. In the European Parliament we have that. Mr Lundgren is a typical example, explaining why he is so bored to be here in Europe and why he is against the European Union. The only thing is his salary: he doesn’t complain about that.

But thank you for your leadership, certainly in the fight against climate change. I want to explore three examples that you have given, to examine with you what is not going well in the European Union. There has to be a reason why you’re saying we want a European migration policy and we don’t have a European migration policy or an agreement on Dublin. I have here the rapporteur, Ms Cecilia Wikström, the rapporteur for the European Parliament. We have an opinion. The Council doesn’t have an opinion and therefore we cannot conclude this reform of this migration package, and especially of Dublin.

The same goes for the other issue. You say ‘the values I will not compromise on’, but the European Council is compromising on values every day. This is not an attack on you, it applies to you and your colleagues. The 28, tomorrow the 27, in the European Union are compromising all the time. We have two Article 7 procedures against two countries, one initiated by the Commission against Poland, the second initiated by the European Parliament against Hungary, but the European Council has never put that point on the agenda for the Council, whereas it is obliged to do so whenever the Commission or Parliament has taken such action. So it’s not a criticism of you, but when you say you will not compromise – no. The European Council – and you are a member of the European Council too – compromises every day on this issue and is not capable of dealing with it; it is closing its eyes. And I’m talking about everybody, about all political families and all political parties …..

And the third example that you have given is Spotify. You know that it is Swedish, I know that it is Swedish, but most people outside think that it is American because a number of years ago the headquarters went from Stockholm to New York. And you have indicated why. It is because we don’t have a digital single market. We have no one regulator, but 27 or 28 different regulators. What Spotify got was problems, obstacles, inside the Union. They had to make 130 agreements with 130 mobile operators before launching the fantastic idea of streaming music, which today is something very normal. In the end they had enough. They said OK, weʼll move our headquarters from Stockholm to New York because there it is far easier. You have one regulator, the FCC. You have three big operators on mobile. They made an agreement and rolled out the fantastic model and there are a world company today. And then they came back to Europe and the other countries to make the same model, working in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Belgium, everywhere in the European Union. It’s a good example: Spotify is the example of what is not going well in the European Union. We don’t have a European Union in digital and the reason is very simple. The reason is that there is no one regulator. The reason is that we have 130 mobile operators. Why do we have 130 mobile mobile operators? It is because, yes, we have ministers of finance here in the European Union who want to keep the money for themselves: spectrum selling – 3G, 4G, tomorrow 5G. So if we really want – and this has to be the conclusion, I think, and Spotify is a good example – to change something, then we need to do a number of important things: stop unanimity; putting values back on the agenda of the European Union; creating and really completing the single market. I have enough of all the documents that are produced on Digital Single Market of the European Union, and the reality is that there is only one European in the 20 big internet platforms worldwide.

Let’s take an example. When Ericsson – you remember that, Prime Minister? – was successful, together with Nokia, it was when there were European standards, GSM for mobile. Then we were successful, and that is what we need. OK, I agree with every priority that you have mentioned, but we also need to be courageous and say that more European cooperation, European strength, is the only way forward to be successful.


  Dennis de Jong, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, I would like to welcome the Prime Minister of Sweden. I think many of the things you said took me also back to what you said as a reaction to the outcome of the British referendum on Brexit. You said in particular that we need a Europe that works and delivers and focuses on the issues where people expect us to deliver results. That includes, among other things, joint responsibility for refugees and, not least, to create jobs and do it with decent wages and conditions.

On behalf of my Group, I couldn’t agree more with you. At the same time, if you look back over these past three years, Europe hasn’t been very successful in these respects. Guy Verhofstadt already referred to the negotiations on the reform of the Dublin system for the responsibility of asylum applications, and it’s not Parliament that’s blocking them – it’s in the Council that we see that no progress is being made. My question to you, Mr Prime Minister, is: what does Sweden do to unblock the situation? If I look at the national legislation in Sweden, I see that you have actually a Swedish act temporarily restricting the possibility to obtain residence permits in Sweden. Is that a helpful way forward to a joint responsibility system for asylum? Parliament is waiting: waiting for you, waiting for the Council.

As far as creating jobs with decent wages and conditions is concerned, I read in your statement of government policy of 21 January that the Swedish labour market must be characterised by security and flexibility. Well, we all know how the concept of flexicurity worked out in the EU. I dare say that the rise of the extreme right-wing populism in many EU Member States – unfortunately also in Sweden – can at least be party attributed to this concept. People who are uncertain about their jobs or have to combine various precarious jobs to make a living are easy prey for populism. Unfortunately, the EU doesn’t help very much in this respect.

Let’s have a look at the internal market together. For years we have been asking, together with European trade unions, for a social progress protocol. Whenever there is a conflict between the rules of the internal market and social rights, the latter should prevail. And you could ask then: what are the social rights? You yourself mentioned the European social pillar; but in practice the Council made this into purely political commitments. Fortunately, we also have legally-binding instruments like the European Social Charter, the ILO conventions, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to develop a framework to really put all EU legislation to the test. Is it advancing social rights? Is it really contributing to people feeling secure and protected? Such a social progress protocol is more urgent than ever before – also because, and you mentioned this, Mr Prime Minister, workers from various Member States are made to compete with each other. Look at the tedious discussions we are having and the votes we are probably having tomorrow on the so-called mobility package.

Mr Prime Minister, what is your detailed vision about creating jobs and doing it with decent wages and conditions at European level? Do you agree that a social progress protocol is indispensable, and what initiatives can we expect?

A few words on the militarisation of the European project. Sweden has indeed a longstanding tradition when it comes to the protection and promotion of human rights globally, and I would say Sweden’s international diplomacy in this area used to be famous. These days, however, the Swedish Prime Minister is strongly encouraging the arms build-up in the EU. Does that mean that, instead of relying on multilateralism, instead of relying on your diplomats, also Sweden is now relying more on force and violence? Shouldn’t the question be how we can avoid an endless arms race instead of participating in this project?

Finally, I think business and human rights is another area that Sweden could be very active on. I shall be short, because I am running out of time, but the UN is working on a binding instrument, and can we expect some initiatives also from Sweden, given its tradition, to unblock the situation? Because the EU hasn’t done anything yet in that respect.


  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for joining the debate on the future of Europe.

Prime Minister, I’m very glad that you talked about the need to have a more social Europe. Indeed, I agree with that. I think the next level that we need to put the European Union on is to have a social union, because one of the key promises of the European Foundation has been the promise of prosperity, and we haven’t really been getting very far with that. While some countries and regions have been benefiting a lot from European integration, other countries and regions have benefited less, and we still have a lot of social inequality in Europe.

Almost every fourth person in Europe is at risk of poverty or social exclusion, and that includes 25 million children. That’s really a situation that’s not acceptable. The Social Pillar is fantastic, but the thing is we need to make it binding and not just have a nice declaration of things that we should do. We have to do them. We cannot, of course, talk about social justice without talking about climate justice and environmental justice, because it’s always the poorest people who are hit the hardest by the climate crisis, no matter whether it’s inside the European Union locally, or globally. It’s them who are most affected by severe weather events that, for example, destroy their homes and their small businesses. It’s the poor people who live in big cities that will face more and more heat, and this heat will also worsen the air pollution situation. Again, poorer people will be hit by this, while they actually contribute less to CO2 emissions than rich people do.

So climate justice needs to go hand in hand with social justice. Just one example and one area where this needs to be fulfilled is the area of mobility. We need to make sure that mobility is climate-friendly, available, affordable and existent. Europe is a rather small continent. You would think it’s possible to have a train network, for example, that connects European cities. Right now, that’s not really working yet. It shouldn’t take more than 20 hours to go by train from Stockholm to Brussels. One of the things that needs to be done in order to have easily accessible and affordable trains, I think, is to make it easier to book cross—border trains. We very much hope that your government will back the proposal by us Greens, which was actually adopted by this plenary in November, to allow open data for train bookings that would allow you to book your train tickets across the border without much difficulty. And if you’ve tried booking your train ticket cross-border, it’s crazily difficult. It shouldn’t be more difficult than booking flights, as is currently the situation. Maybe a sort of Skyscanner for trains is the next European big start—up platform to make it possible to have train rides within Europe.

Another important issue, of course, is the Emissions Trading System (ETS) for climate action, and there it’s very good that the Swedish Government, actually on the initiative of the Deputy Prime Minister, Isabella Lövin, has proposed in Council to cancel about three billion carbon emission allowances. That’s about 50 times Sweden’s yearly emissions. That has been adopted in Council, which is very good, because it finally contributed to the reform of the ETS and at least tried to bring the prices for CO2 emissions to a more reasonable level in order to really make polluters pay.

Talking about jobs, Europe could indeed be the frontrunner in climate-friendly jobs, but right now we’re leaving the innovation to other regions and countries in the world. That is a problem when solar panels are being produced in China, as well as battery cells, and electric cars are being produced in South Korea. It should be Europe where this innovation is done. The climate crisis is real and it’s happening This is the one planet that we have, and there are also no jobs on a dead planet. So we need to act quickly and decisively. We can still decide how to make that economic transition, but we need to make it fast.



  Rolandas Paksas, EFDD frakcijos vardu. – Pone pirmininke, pone premjere, sveiki atvykę į Europos Parlamentą. Tikrai puikus pasisakymas, sakyčiau, labai toliaregiškas. Manyčiau, pone premjere, grįžęs į Stokholmą galėtumėte sau prisitaikyti garsiąją romėnų frazę: “Veni, vidi, vici”. Bet, pone premjere, aš jau dešimt metų šioje salėje turiu galimybę tiesiogiai girdėti bei matyti įvairių šalių prezidentų ir premjerų pasisakymus, Europos institucijų vadovų, Komisarų kalbas ir kuo daugiau aš jų išgirstu, tuo daugiau klausimų nei atsakymų. Kas gi iš tikrųjų šiandien vyksta Europos Sąjungoje? Kodėl Švedijoje registruotas ir ne vienoje Europos Sąjungos šalyje veikiantis bankas sėkmingai išplauna milijardus eurų ir jokios reakcijos?  Kodėl visas Europos Sąjungos finansų sektorius nuo 2008 metų krizės laikų gavo daugiau pagalbos, nei bet kuris kitas ekonomikos sektorius? Kodėl Europos Sąjungai reikėjo net penkerių metų tam, kad jos valdantieji politikai suprastų, kad migrantų atžvilgiu atvira politika, kvotos dėl jų pasidalijimo ir gelbėjimo operacijos Viduržemio jūroje tik skatina nelegalią migraciją ir žmonių kontrabandistus. Tos politikos padariniai tarsi pleištas įsirėžia į daugelio valstybių visuomenių gyvenimą ir pradėjo ardyti jų sanglaudą bei saugumą. Nusikalstamos ir neteisingos Europos Sąjungos migracijos politikos pasekmė – šiandieniniai teroro išpuoliai Europos miestų gatvėse. Tačiau prisiimti atsakomybės dėl tokios politikos padarinių jos autoriai kažkodėl neskuba. Pone premjere, kaip manote, ar visuomenė gali didžiuotis tokia Europos Sąjunga, kurios šalyse veikia slapti kalėjimai, o juose buvo kankinami žmonės? Ar galima džiūgauti dėl tokios Europos Sąjungos,  kurioje šiandien politikai yra teisiami už referendumo, vieno iš svarbiausių demokratijos atributų, organizavimą? Man nepatinka tokia Europos Sąjunga, kurioje tik kalbama apie lyderystę, tik džiaugiamasi dar vienu, nieko nenusprendusiu Vadovų Tarybos susitikimu, nes tikrasis tokios lyderystės kabutėse rezultatas – išaugusi socialinė atskirtis, skurdas ir nedarbas. Šiandieninė Europos Sąjungos politika tėra tuščia forma be visuomenės turtinančio ir jas apsaugančio turinio. Tai tik tezių rinkinys, pridengtas įmantriais žodžiais apie subsidiarumą, teisės viršenybę, pagalbą mažiau pažengusiems šalims, laisvąją rinką. Tą pačią laisvąją rinką, kurią, beje, iš tiesų, jei ne šiandien, tai ryt mažesnėms valstybėms esate linkęs suvaržyti taip vadinamuoju Mobilumo paktu, kad tik būtų mažiau konkurentų. Normalioje bendrijoje tokie veiksmai būtų nepriimtini. Kaip ir savanaudiška pagalba. Man nepatinka tokia Europos Sąjunga, kur Lietuvos žemdirbiams ir šiandien už žemės ūkio naudmenų hektarą tebemoka gerokai mažesnes išmokas nei kitoms šalims. Pone premjere, manau, kad Europos Sąjunga šiandien kuriama didiesiems ir stipriesiems, didžiosioms Europos valstybėms ir nacijoms, stambiausioms firmoms ir galingiausiems kapitalams, kad jie dar sustiprėtų ir turėtų ką numesti likusiems, tegu ir menkiausių išmokų laukiantiems, kad tik nereikėtų ko nors keisti globalizacinio kapitalo stichijos sukurtame prabangos ir skurdo pasaulyje, kad sustiprėtų patikimiausia imperijos atrama, biurokratija. Pone premjere, teigiama, kad Europos Sąjungai alternatyvų nėra. Netiesa. Europos Sąjungos alternatyva yra Europa be sąjungų. Dabartinės Europos Sąjungos alternatyva – tai grįžimas prie Europos Sąjungos kūrėjų ir jos tėvų esminių nuostatų – lygiateisių ir savarankiškų valstybių bendrijos.


  Harald Vilimsky, im Namen der ENF-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Als ich dem schwedischen Premierminister zugehört habe und anschließend dem Herrn Weber und dann dem Herrn Bullmann, war da eine Gemeinsamkeit, die mir sofort auffiel: Es war die Frau Greta Thunberg, die als Klimaaktivistin, wie sie sich nennt, hier quer durch die europäische Berichterstattung geht. Und nur, um hier keine Missverständnisse zu produzieren: Ich bin für Klimaschutz, ich bin für Naturschutz, ich habe selbst auch, als ich jung war, in Österreich mitgeholfen, die Au zu schützen, aber durch dieses fast sakrale Erklären der Frau Thunberg hier können Sie sich nicht freikaufen von einem: Wir haben seit heute aktenkundig, über eine investigative Tätigkeit von Global 2000, dass in Mochovce ein neuer Reaktor in Betrieb genommen werden soll. Und genau hier brauche ich eine europäische Stimme, eine europäische Kooperation, um der Slowakei zu sagen: Nein, wir wollen nicht, dass im Herzen Europas ein Schrottreaktor in Betrieb geht und eine sehr kurzfristige und sehr akute Bedrohung stattfinden kann.

Und als zweiten Aspekt möchte ich, nachdem Herr Weber jetzt meinen Worten lauscht, auch eines direkt in Ihre Richtung sagen: Wissen Sie, Herr Weber, Sie kommen aus Bayern, Sie sind Vertreter der CSU, Sie haben Ihre eigene Meinungslage – die ist gut, die respektiere ich –, Sie sind auch Freund des österreichischen Bundeskanzlers Sebastian Kurz. Ich bin einer der Bündnispartner von Sebastian Kurz und vertrete die Freiheitliche Partei hier in einer Fraktion und möchte Ihnen eines ins Stammbuch schreiben: Ich respektiere jeden Standpunkt, der hier durch demokratische Wahlen legitimiert wird. Wenn Sie aber allen Ernstes sagen, dass Sie jenen politischen Gruppierungen, die nicht Ihre Meinung haben, die einen reformatorischen, einen anderen Ansatz haben, was europäische Kooperation betrifft, sämtliche Mittel streichen wollen und es damit auch unmöglich machen, dass wir Mitarbeiter heuern können, dass wir politische Kommunikation betreiben können, dann entsprechen Sie nicht den europäischen Werten von Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Fairness, auch Diskursqualität, die Sie heute hier beschworen haben.

Ich habe nichts dagegen, dass, wenn die Grünen und die Kommunisten hier im Haus sitzen, sie ihre Meinung vertreten. Der Wähler hat das legitimiert. Ich ersuche Sie um Respekt und demokratische Reife, dass jeder, der hier vertreten ist, auf Grund von freien Wahlen hier sitzt und Wähler zu vertreten hat, und wir uns nicht gegeneinander ausspielen sollten und sagen: Der hat eine andere Meinung, deswegen soll der weniger bekommen, der soll gar nichts bekommen, und der soll mehr bekommen. Das ist nicht der europäische Geist, den ich mir vorstelle.

Österreich – ich habe das angesprochen – hat seit 15 Monaten eine neue Regierung, und ein Teil der von Ihnen dämonisierten Parteienfamilie – diese bösen Populisten – ist hier ein ganz wesentlicher Gestaltungsfaktor. Und schauen Sie nach Österreich, wie viele Dinge hier ins Gute reformiert werden, wie sehr das Land Zug um Zug vorwärtskommt. Vielleicht reift in Ihnen auch die Erkenntnis, dass nicht der Weg, wie er hier mehrheitlich beschritten wird, sondern vielleicht ein anderer Weg, wo europäische Kooperation dadurch eine gute Zukunft finden kann, weniger zu kooperieren, dafür dort, wo kooperiert wird, besser und tiefer gehend, vielleicht ein guter ist.

Nicht Sie sind entscheidend, diesen Weg zu definieren, und auch nicht ich. Wissen Sie, wer es ist? Es ist der Wähler, und der spricht am 26. Mai, wohin die Reise gehen wird.


  Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden. –Mr President, first Vice-President of the Commission, Mr Dombrowski, yes, we like to use the word ‘lagom’. Sometimes I do not believe that we are so ‘lagom’, but we do think the balance is important. I think that balance is also important in the European context, in which we meet and have different opinions, but we also need to recognise that no one has ‘the’ single answer: we have to balance and compromise. Compromise is not as bad as some people think. It’s a good way forward, never forgetting values of course: these are, as I said in my statement, what should steer all that we’re doing.

Several of you have mentioned social rights. I will touch upon that issue, which, yes, I think it very important to address. For many people today, not least the members that I used to work for when I was a trade union leader, the transition of the labour market, of the global economy, is scary, and that is because they feel insecure about what will happen. I know I strongly believe in a social market economy because we need a market economy that has the best incentives for raising productivity, giving us a greater possibility of prosperity, but that change, that transformation, also needs to be brought about in a socially just way, otherwise people will rise up and say no, we will not be in favour of change. And if we have a workforce that is not in favour of change, then we will slow down in our economic development.

So this is about a morally right thing, but is also economically smart. Those who totally reject the social perspective of the European Union or economic development are making a huge mistake.

Now we can combine that and we have a treaty to adhere to as well. So the pillar of social rights has not changed the treaty. Before and after the social pillar rights, the decision-making is exactly the same, but what we’re saying is that we should cooperate on these 20 very important principles within three themes.

One is to make sure that people get a job in the first place, given that the unemployed would be the most desperate people: the longer the unemployment, the greater the desperation.

The second is what kind of job do we want? Do we want jobs in which workers are supposed to compete with one another with lower wages and bad working conditions? Is that the future labour market? No, it’s not. So therefore it is in our mutual interest to make sure that things also move in the right direction with the national decision-making. Nothing has changed.

And the third is social security in a broader sense. Is that too much to ask? This European Union, in my opinion, is made for the people. The market is very important for us. Creating this huge market gives us a possibility to compete with China, with the United States, with India and all the big players. But that other purpose must be to improve people’s daily lives.


Otherwise, we’re on the wrong path. So I think that we can definitely work with social rights in a balanced way too.

Regarding the budget, Mr Commissioner, I guess that the discussion needs to continue; I see that we have certain differences here. But let me just explain the Swedish position. During 2015 we received 163 000 asylum-seekers. Not everybody gets to stay. Some need to go back because there are no grounds for their asylum.

But we have ahead of us now huge investments in our country: in schools, in eldercare, in our health sector. I’m telling the Swedish people, look, we can handle this. We’ve now reduced immigration. We can handle this. Those who can stay in our country will be integrated in our society as soon as possible, but they need somewhere to live. They need a job, eldercare, everything. We can handle that.

But when I say that, I cannot also tell them, look, at least 50% of the space we have for future reforms needs to go to Brussels in increased fees to the European Union. That is not possible. We are eager to work to develop the European Union and do our best; we will contribute as best we can. But what I have just said is impossible because it would mean that the legitimacy of the European Union would be ruined. I cannot even deliver that answer to the people.

So we will do our part, but that too needs to be in balance.

When it comes to Mr Weber and the values, yeah, let’s look into how to strengthen that and make sure that the values are adhered to. I guess we agree upon that. We need to make sure that they are adhered to, otherwise we will weaken the European Union.

So I can’t say in detail what it requires, but, yes, we are interested in looking into it.

Several have touched upon the climate and environment. I share most of the positions and the policies. Once again it’s so crucial now for us to show young people that we have understood. We understand what is happening. Not only do we understand, but we will act to prevent a catastrophe. This is our duty, but it’s also our opportunity, and that’s a fine thing.

We need to turn the climate, the combat against climate change, from a burden into an opportunity, because this will provide the new jobs. The new technology is here and that is what we are going to develop. So we’re going to create new jobs and more wealth and combat climate change, and that’s why we also need to talk to people to show them that this is not a burden. We’re going to do this together. We’re not going to let you have the burden as an individual, weʼre going to do it together and we are going to be fine. We’re going to show our children and our grandchildren that we understood what was happening and we did something about it.

Peter Lundgren. Nu ska jag prata svenska, Peter Lundgren. Jag pratar gärna engelska också. Men jag ska prata svenska.

Jag nämnde ingenting om hemska människor. Det var du som gjorde det. Jag respekterar alla människor. Alla människor ska respekteras. Men jag kommer att bekämpa åsikter som går tvärs emot mina värderingar.

Jag vet inte vad du refererar till med en retorik som jag då ska använda, men om det är när Sverigedemokraternas företrädare säger att judar och samer väl inte kan vara svenskar, då reagerar jag. Och det kommer att fortsätta göra. För jag tycker det är långt, långt... Det är inte i enlighet med våra värderingar och vi har dessutom en strid ström utav sverigedemokratiska företrädare som gång på gång på gång avslöjas med den här typen av uttalanden och statements. Sen är det dessvärre så att era rötter är i vitmaktrörelsen. Det är inte så länge sedan.

Så, så länge de här värderingarna inte respekteras så kommer jag att bekämpa de åsikterna. Men människor ska respekteras. Det är viktigt för mig.

Mr Verhofstadt, on migration. Yes, you’re right: that is the problem right now – that we cannot reach a decision. We need to reach that decision. We’ve been pushing for it for a long, long time, for years now, ever since I started almost as a Prime Minister. So that is what we’re struggling for. And the problem is not the Council. The problem is that we have a few of our colleagues that do not want to share that responsibility. That’s the problem, and as long as we have that problem, we will be stuck. But we also need to find a solution. So, let’s work on that solution. We talked to Mr Weber earlier, and we need to see what is a way forward, because we cannot have this being dragged along for another five years. That’s impossible.

Regarding Spotify, just to clarify one thing. Spotify also has an office in Stockholm. It is already there. But there are a lot of Swedish unicorns that need to grow. And they grow globally, and some of the activities need to take part also on the other side of the Atlantic. But I guess we agree on the point that the services market as well as the digital market need to be much more efficient, and that is why we are pushing for that. In the last European Council that we had just a few weeks ago, we were at 17 countries that wrote to the Commission and said we need to speed up this now and implement what we already have decided. So, in general, I agree we need to do much, much more.

To Dennis de Jong on Swedish migration, the point is, as I said, we received 163 000 asylum-seekers in 2015. We needed to handle that situation. It was not sustainable. That’s the simple truth. Therefore, we changed our legislation to the same level as the European Union in general. Now, we need to stick to that legislation and, at the same, time work with this common European legislation so that, if we have that in place, all the Member States can also change their national legislation, and then we will have sustainable legislation for all of us. But once again, I think we need to make sure that we also share the responsibility. So that’s an issue for us.

You were also asking how we create jobs. On the one hand, that’s why the market is so important – the huge market, because that will give our companies fast access to 500 million people. That’s a good thing, and that is why we need to implement the services market, make sure that works, the digital and all these things, but then to invest together: invest in innovation, invest in training, invest in those things that actually create jobs so that we always, constantly can fill new jobs, new jobs, new jobs, because old jobs will go, so we need to keep the pace with creating the new jobs. I think we can do that, and not least during that transformation, to make sure that people can follow at that pace. We need training, we need education, and this is a really important mechanism for making sure that we can create jobs and, by that, trust in the future.

When it comes to arms build-up, there are two paths we need to follow. One is, as the Prime Minister of Sweden, I need to tell the people that we are doing what we can to make sure that we can handle any military threats in a good way. I cannot say: ‘We’ll see what happens’. So that’s important. But on the other hand, perhaps the most important thing (I think in that sense, I think we can agree) we can do as leaders is to decrease tensions. So we need to work with diplomacy. We are active right now also in Sweden working for more peace, to make sure that we can reduce the number of nuclear arms, for example. We need to have the debate that we are having today because I cannot see the reason why the ultimate protection would be arms that can destroy the earth. Because that’s what nuclears are all about, and that is not so smart. So we need to work on that together, but, until we’re there, I need also to show the Swedish people that we’re working with their security.

So, Ska Keller on social issues. We have the Treaty, as I said. We’re moving this step by step, and that is why I work hard and, once again, I do also commend Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and everybody else who has worked with it (I guess you also worked with it), so we have taken this step. But let's see what the next step is. But we need to make sure that social security is something that people in our Member State can say: yes, this is for me as well.

On mobility, you mentioned trains specifically. We are working on that right now, also in Sweden. How do we invest in such a way that our trains can move in a better way than they do now? But also the ticket situation, because you’re right, it’s too difficult now to travel, and it shouldn’t be difficult. Going by train should be easy and accessible. So we need to work with that.

Lastly, ETS. You know what our government did? We actually cancelled allowances. The government before us sold them, made money on them. We cancelled, them and if you cancel those, the price will go up. So that’s what we did, at the expense of the Swedish taxpayers, and that’s what we think was right to do.

The moralists and the moral question: well, sometimes it’s a complex world, but on migration I would like to say this: we need to stick to the three-pillar strategy that was chosen. First, work to improve conditions in our neighbourhood so that people don’t have to make these very dangerous journeys in the first place. Second, make sure that our external border is functioning. And third, make sure that we have a shared responsibility between the Member States within our Union. If that works, if we get that in place, we will have a sustainable migration policy.

Mr Vilimsky, the climate: we need to be active, but the reactor in Slovakia, I cannot comment on the Slovak reactor. Every Member State needs to decide by themselves what kind of energy mix they will use. There is an important European perspective also given the Energy Union, but we not have any mandate – the different Member States decide on their own what kind of energy mix they want.


Procedura "catch the eye"


  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Herr talman! Herr statsminister! Välkommen hit.

Jag vill gärna säga att det var ett bra tal om vad Europa är till för och vad vi vill. Nu undrar statsministern kanske: Vad är haken i detta? Problemet är att det var väldigt lite konkret kring vilka vägval vi ska göra. Därför att det är där det stora problemet och utmaningen är. Hur möter vi hoten från Ryssland? Hur stärker vi den gemensamma utrikes- och säkerhetspolitiken?

Det är ingen som ifrågasätter att Europa ska ha en socialpolitik. Skillnaden är att du och din regering öppnade upp för att det ska beslutas i den här kammaren – inte i Sveriges riksdag och i andra nationella parlament. Då brukar ni ofta säga att det är bara en skröna när vi säger detta men du hör i debatten här, och jag kan här visa 150 sidor lagtext som direkt hänvisar till den sociala pelaren. Det är där som risken är, därför att det skapar motsättningar.

Men den stora frågan som jag vill ta upp med dig, det är hur vi värnar fri- och rättigheterna i unionen. Jag skulle vilja att du talade lika mycket om dina socialdemokratiska vänners övertramp när det gäller fri- och rättigheter och rättsstat, som när det gäller andra. Rumänien, Slovakien, Malta, därför att om du inte är beredd att tala om dem, då devalverar du dig till partipolitik och det gynnar Orban och det gynnar dem som får i tysthet göra övertrampen, som den rumänska regeringen. Du kommer ha tillfälle här i dag därför att de finns här i huset.


  Paul Brannen (S&D). – Mr President, I was pleased that the Prime Minister mentioned climate change in his speech and the importance of the European Union delivering on the Paris climate agreement.

Prime Minister, in your home country, Sweden, you have a very large number of trees, you have big forests – in fact you do trees and forests exceedingly well. Those trees and forests are all soaking up carbon emissions, and increasingly you’re using your wood to make products that go into the construction industry, which also continue to soak up the carbon. One of your biggest markets is the United Kingdom. Your neighbour, Norway, now has the tallest wooden building in the world, at 18 storeys, and the opportunities to build big and tall in wood are there for everyone to see now.

Recently in the United Kingdom we unfortunately had a horrific fire in London, in the Grenfell Tower, where over 70 people lost their lives. One of the consequences of that fire is that the British Government is looking at banning the use of wood in buildings over eight storeys tall. I think that would be an overreaction and a mistake. It would mean you would lose an important market for your cross—laminated timber and other products. I wondered if you’d be open to intervening with the British Government to point out that this is maybe the wrong road to take in response to Grenfell, because the need to tackle climate change means we need to build much more in wood in future?


  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pan Verhofstadt atakował mojego kolegę Petera Lundgrena, atakował rządy państw Unii Europejskiej, nawet całą Radę Europejską, powiedział swoje i wyszedł. No, ja z pewnością nie jestem tak gorliwym wyznawcą our values, naszych wartości, ale z reguły słucham tych, do których mówię, bo tak rozumiem pluralizm. No, niektórzy są zainteresowani tylko własnymi poglądami, choć pluralizm deklarują.

A teraz kilka słów do Pana, Panie Premierze. Mówił Pan o wartościach, o ich wadze w naszym życiu. Ja z ogromnym uznaniem patrzyłem na demonstrację zwierzchników szwedzkich wspólnot religijnych w styczniu w Sztokholmie, którzy upominali się o prawo, właściwie o obowiązek udzielania azylu chrześcijańskim konwertytom, którym niestety władze szwedzkie odmawiają schronienia. Wymieniał Pan różne patologie, które zagrażają wolności w Europie, nie mówił Pan ani słowa o pogardzie i nienawiści antychrześcijańskiej. A naprawdę, ile trzeba pogardy dla chrześcijaństwa, żeby odmawiać ludziom schronienia, którzy w swoim kraju za to, że przyjęli religijne dziedzictwo Europy, z zasady zagrożeni są śmiercią? Wierzę, że Pański rząd zapewni, że te zasady...

(Przewodniczący odebrał mówcy głos)


  Fredrick Federley (ALDE). – Herr talman! Tack statsministern och välkommen till Europaparlamentet.

I Europaparlamentet har vi 20 svenska ledamöter som statsministern vet. Flera gör ett ganska stort avtryck. Cecilia Wikström leder den viktiga ordförandekonferensen och har levererat en stabil majoritet på migrationsområdet. Din partikamrat Marita Ulvskog leder förtjänstfullt väldigt ofta EMPL-utskottet. Det är inte alltid vi är överens i sak men vi är ofta glada över det arbete hon utför. Detsamma med kollegan Gunnar Hökmark som arbetar i ekonomiutskottet och industriutskottet. Själv har jag fokuserat på utsläppsrätter, jordbruk och djurskyddsfrågor under mandatperioden.

Svenskar har ofta kunnat skapa majoritet och jag tror att vi alla i våra partigrupper har ett större inflytande än vår numerär. Men därför blir jag något orolig när jag ser över statsministerns ministrars närvaro på rådssammanträdena. Sverige har en nyckelposition i Europasamarbetet för att få detta att fungera och att leverera de sakerna statsministern så förtjänstfullt lyfte. Men vad kan vi göra för att öka statsministerns ministrars närvaro på rådssammanträdena så att vi verkligen lever upp till vår fulla potential?


  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Löfven, θέσατε σωστούς στόχους μιλώντας για τις θεμελιώδεις αξίες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, αλλά για να υπερασπιστούμε την κοινωνική ατζέντα του Γκέτεμποργκ δεν πρέπει αυτή να μείνει μια απλή ετικέτα, πρέπει να γίνει δεσμευτικές πολιτικές. Για να υπερασπιστούμε τους στόχους που έχει θέσει η Greta Thunberg, πρέπει να δώσουμε περισσότερους πόρους, ως Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, για να αντιμετώπιση της κλιματικής αλλαγής. Για να αντιμετωπίσουμε τις παραβιάσεις της δημοκρατίας, πρέπει να βοηθήσετε και εσείς, στο Συμβούλιο, να ενεργοποιηθεί το άρθρο 7 της Συνθήκης εναντίον των κυβερνήσεων της Ουγγαρίας και της Πολωνίας, όπως ζητάει το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο και η Επιτροπή. Πρέπει να βοηθήσετε για να αναθεωρηθεί η ευρωπαϊκή πολιτική ασύλου, διότι η Επιτροπή και το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο έχουν εγκρίνει τις μεταρρυθμίσεις αλλά σκαλώνουν στο Συμβούλιο. Με ανησυχεί πάρα πολύ ότι στη χώρα του Olof Palme ένας στους πέντε ψηφοφόρους ψηφίζει ακροδεξιούς αντισημιτιστές. Για αυτό, δεν αρκεί να λέμε ωραία πράγματα, πρέπει να κάνουμε και περισσότερα με μια μεγάλη προοδευτική φιλοευρωπαϊκή συμμαχία.


  Max Andersson (Verts/ALE). – Herr talman! Varje år förlorar svenska skattebetalare 40 miljarder kronor på storföretagens skatteflykt. Jag vill fråga statsministern varför din regering blockerar flera EU-lagar som ska komma åt skatteflykten?

Pengarna behövs i skolan och vården. Men ditt parti har ändå blockerat förslaget om offentlig land-för-land-rapportering i mer än två år. Jag har frågat finansministern i tre artiklar varför sossarna blockerar EU:s arbete mot skatteflykt. Hon har aldrig svarat. Undrar varför? Kan det vara för att Socialdemokraterna vill hjälpa svenska företag att undvika skatt i andra länder? I så fall, det är inte okej. Är det rimligt att en regering som blockerar EU:s arbete mot skatteflykt inte ens kan ge en tydlig förklaring varför?

Nu är du i EU-parlamentet, Stefan Löfven, så jag undrar om det här är min turdag. Kommer du svara på frågan om varför Socialdemokraterna blockerar EU:s arbete mot skatteflykt?


  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for a very inspiring speech. Coming from Denmark I, of course, know Sweden very well and I think what you mentioned, Prime Minister, that the young people are now asking the older people to act when it comes to climate, is so fundamental, and I think in Sweden and in the Nordic countries we have actually experience of how we can do things together to be more sustainable. In the energy area for example – electricity – we have now one Nordic market because we are starting to integrate. We are employing more renewables than ever and we should be a model for Europe.

But I want to ask you, in concrete ways, what do you think the European Union could do more to develop from a coal and steel Union, as you mentioned, to become a real, true climate Union? A Union where we put climate first in all of our policies.

And secondly, Prime Minister, this response needs to be just, responsible, where all people are included, so how do we ensure, in your view, that in the face of globalisation, we integrate people more? How do we spread the model of labour market participation, labour market organisations that take responsibility, unions and employers? It’s very important to integrate them in our social policy.


  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro da Suécia, falou aqui muito sobre o respeito dos valores europeus, sobre o respeito do Estado de direito e julgo saber que o Partido Social Democrata sueco, dos Socialistas Europeus, pediu a suspensão do partido romeno no PSE. Se isto aconteceu, dou-lhe os parabéns, mas gostava que convencesse os socialistas europeus que aqui estão a condenar o partido romeno, o eslovaco e o maltês, três partidos que estão no governo de três Estados que hoje põem em causa o Estado de direito.

E já agora, como português, que dissesse ao primeiro-ministro Costa, do meu país, e ao seu candidato às europeias, Pedro Marques, que, se são a favor dos valores europeus, devem fazer uma condenação clara do partido romeno, do partido eslovaco e do partido maltês e dos três primeiros ministros que estão nestes governos. Defender os valores europeus não é fazer double standard, dois padrões, um para uns países como a Polónia e a Hungria e depois outro para os países em que o nosso partido governa.


  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule prim-ministru, stimați colegi. Domnule prim-ministru, mi-a plăcut foarte mult tot ce ați spus. Ați vorbit de valori fundamentale, de faptul că trebuie să ne gândim când luăm orice decizie la nivel european sau local, să ne gândim la influențele asupra oamenilor, să ne gândim și la tribunale independente, să ne gândim la toate lucrurile care, de fapt, sunt scrise în Tratat și în Constituțiile statelor membre. Dar vă întreb, domnule prim-ministru, dacă domnul Weber ar fi venit la dumneavoastră și v-ar fi spus, ca prim-ministru, cum a făcut-o în țara mea, „Vă rog să opriți procesul de cercetare a unui procuror”. Ce ați fi făcut dacă prim-vicepreședintele Comisiei Europene ar fi spus, cum a spus astăzi despre țara mea și a dat ordine Guvernului să interzică anchetarea unui procuror, dar nu a spus nimic când un procuror-șef a fost anchetat pe nedrept și acum este, de fapt, nevinovat. Ce ați face, despre ce valori comune, cum putem să dăm un mesaj cetățenilor? Și, de fapt, asta este întrebarea: cum vedeți, în viziunea dumneavoastră, viitorul Uniunii Europene, dacă există atâta fragmentare în spațiul european și există atâta dublă măsură în aplicarea unor decizii?


  Joachim Starbatty (ECR). – Herr Präsident! Herr Ministerpräsident! Sie haben die Ungleichheit innerhalb der Europäischen Union beklagt und viele Sprecher auch. Aber wir haben die Ursache nicht genannt: Der Euro hat beispielsweise dafür gesorgt, dass die Ungleichheit größer geworden ist. Die Kommission ist dafür ein Beispiel: Die Kommission hat festgestellt, dass die Spaltung Europas durch den Euro größer geworden ist.

Ich habe nur zwei konkrete Fragen. Die erste Frage richtet sich an Sie direkt: Der französische Staatspräsident Macron hat in seinem jüngsten Aufruf für einen Neubeginn in Europa gesagt: Wie können wir ohne den Euro, der die gesamte EU stark macht, den Krisen des Finanzkapitalismus widerstehen? Ja, wenn der Euro so positiv für alle Mitgliedstaaten ist, warum tritt Schweden nicht der Eurozone bei?

Meine zweite Frage richtet sich an die Kommission als die Hüterin der Verträge: Im Maastricht-Vertrag haben zwei Länder eine Opt-out-Klausel zur Währungsunion verankert: Großbritannien und Dänemark. Die Dänen haben sich in einer Volksabstimmung gegen den Beitritt zur Währungsunion entschieden. Die Schweden ebenfalls – das ist aber im Vertrag nicht vorgesehen. Das ist eine Vertragsverletzung, und ich frage die Kommission, wie sie mit dieser Vertragsverletzung durch Schweden umgeht.


  Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE). – Herr talman! Statsministern, välkommen till Europaparlamentet, platsen där alla EU-skrönor skapas. För visst var det så du svarade när vi varnade att du flyttade makten över svensk arbetsmarknad till Bryssel? Du sa att det var en skröna. Dina kamrater lovade att det inte skulle bli lagstiftning. Nu står du där med lagstiftningen som kommer på löpande band.

Du lovade att skydda svenska löntagare. Nu har du i praktiken flyttat makten över svensk arbetsmarknad till Bryssel, och det mest konstiga nu är att nu när lagstiftningen kommer så gör ni allt för att underminera den, minimera, undvika, försena, dina kamrater här röstar, lägger ner sina röster. De röstar nej. LO sitter i mitt rum och ber mig hjälpa dem att stoppa lagförslag som du har drivit.

Det är helt konstigt och jag förstår inte om du förstår vilket intryck det lämnar. Jag har kamrater som frågar mig, varför beter sig Sverige så konstigt? Förstår du inte att du skämmer ut oss genom att bete dig så konstigt?


  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). – Señor presidente, señor primer ministro, yo quiero, en primer lugar, decirle «gracias» porque, cuando yo era muy joven, nos llegaba dinero del Partido Socialdemócrata Sueco a los socialistas españoles que luchábamos contra el franquismo, contra la dictadura. Yo no olvidaré una foto de Olof Palme recogiendo o pidiendo dinero en las calles de Estocolmo para los demócratas españoles. Y por eso le quiero decir, en primer lugar, «gracias».

Y, como estamos hablando del futuro de Europa, tengo que preguntarle algo que sí es muy importante para nosotros. Porque, en los debates sobre el futuro de Europa, se habla con frecuencia —en esta Cámara hay una gran coincidencia al respecto— de que la unanimidad es una condición que impide avanzar a la Unión Europea. Por ejemplo, en política fiscal; por ejemplo, en política exterior. Y muchos piden, y muchos pedimos que la unanimidad sea superada por cláusulas pasarela o por otros mecanismos.

Mi pregunta, señor primer ministro, es si usted está a favor de que la Unión Europea pueda avanzar sin este obstáculo tan grave en su futuro.


  Anders Sellström (PPE). – Herr talman! Statsminister Stefan Löfven! Välkommen till Bryssel. Välkommen till det parlament som från och med i morgon övertar beslutsmakten om föräldraförsäkringen från Sveriges riksdag och övriga nationella parlament. Välkommen till det parlament som i framtiden kan komma att fatta ytterligare beslut på föräldraförsäkringens område. Resultatet av beslutet i morgon, och kommande, är att Sveriges barnfamiljer nu riskerar möta ytterligare inskränkningar i sin frihet och flexibilitet.

I parlamentet sitter, som statsministern vet, en mängd olika nationaliteter med många gånger en annan syn på familjeliv och regelverk än den svenska. Eftersom parlamentet söker kompromisser innan beslut kommer därför andra länder få ett avgörande inflytande över svenska barnfamiljers vardag. När statsministern på det sociala toppmötet i Göteborg hösten 2017 tog initiativ till den sociala pelaren, så lovade statsministern på heder och samvete att det inte skulle följas av någon lagstiftning. Vi varnade dock för dessa konsekvenser av att föra upp de här frågorna på europeisk nivå. Dessa varningar ignorerade tyvärr statsministern.

I den här framtidsdebatten har jag därför en enkel men viktig fråga till statsministern: Är statsministern nöjd med att parlamentet i morgon genom ditt initiativ hösten 2017 i Göteborg fattar beslut på föräldraförsäkringens område?


  Babette Winter (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Herr Ministerpräsident, herzlichen Dank für Ihre Rede. Aus Schweden kommen gute Signale in die Europäische Union: Der soziale Gipfel in Göteborg war so ein Signal, die junge Bürgerin Greta bringt gute Signale an die jungen Menschen, aber auch an die Politik, und – wie gesagt – Ihre Rede hier im Parlament gehört für mich auch eindeutig dazu. Ich möchte zuerst Ihnen herzlich danken dafür, dass Sie klargestellt haben, was bei allen Kompromissen in der EU nicht verhandelbar ist, nämlich der Kampf gegen Antisemitismus, Antiziganismus, Homophobie, dass das Werte sind, über die wir nicht verhandeln.

Ich möchte auf einen Punkt eben noch eingehen: Sie haben auch herausgehoben, dass die jungen Menschen, die für mehr Aktion im Klimaschutz und Umweltschutz demonstrieren, nicht diejenigen sind, die jetzt die Lösung finden und die Politik machen müssen, sondern dass wir das sind – wir im Parlament, wir in den Regierungen der Mitgliedstaaten. Und da Sie als Ministerpräsident angekündigt haben, der erste kohlenstofffreie, fossilfreie Wohlfahrtsstaat in der Europäischen Union zu sein und auch den Verbrennungsmotor zu verbieten, bitte ich Sie zu erläutern – auch im Rat und uns hier –, wie die Transformation gelingen kann, für mehr Klimaschutz.


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to thank Prime Minister Löfven for his inspiring pro-European speech, including mention of ABBA and Greta Thunberg – Swedish—made global leadership!

Prime Minister, thank you for reminding us of the European dream, but it is about time that the European dream came to terms with European binding law because solidarity, orderly migration and the social pillar are not just dream works. They are binding European laws, yet violated by some notorious Member States. Article 50 is also binding law on the duty of the European Union, the Brexit thing.

We heard a British MEP here calling the attention of the House of Commons to the clock which is ticking because it is about time that the House of Commons delivered on the deplorable referendum that took place in 2016. But, for the European Parliament, the consequence of it all is that we have to fight against populism by voting pro-European, as you have just advocated.


  Ana Gomes (S&D). –Mr President, my congratulations to the Prime Minister, and my thanks for your reminding us of the need to keep a moral compass for integrity, for the fight against corruption, as a central question for credibility – even in our own political family, and starting with our political family. I thank you for your initiative on Romania.

But let me ask you, if we are indeed to fight organised crime and criminality that is taking advantage of the system, do we not need to indeed move away from unanimity on taxation? Because they are taking advantage of this blocking system to actually exploit offshores, inside and outside the European Union. Indeed they divert the money that is so needed for public services to our taxpayers. This is a crucial question and we want leadership from you on that.


  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his intervention. I would like to hear a little bit more about how Sweden sees the future financing of the European Union. At the same time, Sweden represented an example on social security for other European Union countries. Unfortunately, nowadays, even when you have a minimum wage of EUR 8 per hour there are workers from Central and Eastern Europe working in Sweden who are paid EUR 5 per hour, or even illegally. Which measures are you going to take in order to respect equal rights for European Union citizens?

And last, but not least, do you see that more drugs are sold not only in Sweden, in Stockholm or in Malmö, but in Paris, in Brussels, in London? Don’t you think that all of us should enforce a policy of the European Union to fight drugs trafficking and give a chance to the new generation in Europe?


  Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to welcome the Prime Minister and say, Prime Minister, that I welcome your friendship and words on Brexit. Unfortunately, I have Brexititis, so I apologise for the coughing from the back, but a lesson from Brexit is that the left-behind areas of our countries must be listened to and heard on the negative side of globalisation and the impact of rising precariousness, and I strongly agree with you that the social benefits of EU membership have to be tangible in people’s lives and tangible in people’s workplaces.

But the influence of our market goes way beyond our borders. No one will stay in love with globalisation unless there are stronger, fairer social and environmental rules internationally and Europe can lead the way, but is our trade policy really fit for purpose? Corporations have far more rights to justice than the workers and communities that they rely on. Shouldn’t we be pushing for EU mandatory business and human rights rules to clean up labour exploitation in our supply chains at home and abroad?

Stefan, I like your vision of the future of Europe, and I hope that my country will take the opportunity and decide to stay so that we can build it together.


  Christofer Fjellner (PPE). – Herr talman! Herr statsminister! Sveriges utrikesminister Margot Wallström brukar säga att man vet om man är svensk på ett möte i Bryssel för de inleder ofta med att säga ”In Sweden we have a system”.

Alltför ofta låter svenska, inte minst socialdemokrater, så här. Föga framgångsrikt kan jag säga. Men, när vi är som bäst kan vi inspirera. Det bygger dock på att vi lyckas. För charity starts at home och många av de frågor som är viktigast just nu, som du själv tar upp, är vi ju tyvärr inget föredöme på, inspirerar vi knappast någon.

Fungerande gränser, hur ska vi inspirera någon när kommissionen dömer ut vårt eget gränsskydd? Kampen mot terror, när andra länder är rädda för att IS-återvändare ska lämna Sverige och göra hemskheter i deras länder. Gränsöverskridande brottslighet, när det finns en oro för att organiserad kriminalitet från Malmö ska rinna över Öresund eller tillväxt, där Sverige har lägst tillväxt per capita i EU.

Ord är viktiga men handling är ännu viktigare och ska vi lyckas förändra och inspirera EU, då krävs det betydligt bättre än vad herr statsminister levererar i dag.


(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")


  Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden. – Mr President, first, once again, several raised the issue of the Social Pillar, and I have the same answer. It’s not that we have the same opinion; that is not true. We have different opinions on these issues, because I believe strongly that social security is important – not least in the transition. This is something we have argued within Sweden for decades, for centuries, and all the improvements that have been made have also been fought against by the Conservatives. That’s true.

That is why we also disagree at a European level. We need to have an ambition and make sure that the population, the people, in our Member States also see that, yes, we have a strong market, but we also have a strong social dimension that makes us – everybody – winners, because today that’s not the case. That is not the case at the global level either. The case is that too many people feel they are the losers and that they don’t have a place in the future product. Our task is to show that everybody has a place, and that also goes with social security and social responsibility. It is a common task. I guess we will have to debate this in the coming decades as well, but I do not give up. We need a social justice.

When it comes, Mr Brannen, to CO2 emissions and wood, we have another argument, and that is that wooden constructions and wooden buildings are not more dangerous in terms of fire. It could actually be the other way around, but that is up to the experts to continue to decide. I will not intervene in British decision—making, but I would say this: that we will continue in Sweden. We need to build more using wood rather than other materials for exactly the reason that that was mentioned: the climate. So we need to use more of our wood.

I do not think I cannot go through everybody.

Federley, när det gäller svenska statsråds närvaro, jag kan inte det i detalj. Jag kan bara säga att det är klart att man ska vara närvarande så mycket det går. Det är vi helt överens om.

Mr Papadimoulis, yes, we need to do more of that and that is why we believe it’s very important that we have a goal.

There was also another question on the same issue – what more can we do for the climate – from Mr Kofod. We need to set goals and that is why I said in my speech here that in Sweden we decided that we should be zero neutral in 2045.

We think it’s important that the European Union make a similar decision, and we have suggested 2050, at the latest, because that’s the first goal. You need to decide that this is where we’re going and then you can adapt the goals for 2030 or 2025, look at the transport sector, the construction sector, industry, and then you’re starting. So you need the structure and the clear decision and then of course you need the tools as well so that we make it easier, also for individuals and organisations.

But I can also say this: we have a lot of businesses in Sweden and a lot of companies and enterprises that love to be in this project. They are in many ways ahead of us, telling us that we need to go faster and that they want to do more. So I think what it’s all about is creating the ‘people’s movement’ for combating climate change and making sure that we do our best for climate.

Max Andersson om skatteflykt. Nej, det är inte alls det det är frågan om, utan det finns ingen annan ambition än att här ska det betalas skatt. Naturligtvis efter förmåga och vad man har tjänat, utan vad det här handlar om är också att vi ser till att vi ska ta ut skatterna nationellt. Så det här är en fråga som är mycket mer komplex än så. Men ingen tvekan på att skattefusk ska bekämpas med alla tillgängliga, lagliga medel.

Several of you have been touching upon the subject of corruption and mentioned different countries like Malta, Slovakia and Romania. There is only one answer to that: corruption, wherever it takes place, is not acceptable. That means that, a Prime Minister of Sweden or as a party leader of the Social Democratic Party in Sweden, it doesn’t matter who is guilty of what, we will combat that: nobody gets away with saying that they belong to a certain family. Corruption and misuse of financial resources are never, never accepted, and I can assure you that we are also dealing with that, being very clear on that issue because this is about the legitimacy of democracy and of our system. We cannot undermine that so it doesn’t matter who is responsible. We will combat that.

Sällström om föräldraförsäkring. Det är ju precis det här vi säger hela tiden. Det är ju inte så att fördraget i EU har förändrats på en enda punkt med pelaren för sociala rättigheter. Inte ett enda mandat, för då krävs det en fördragsändring. Så de förslagen hade ju kunnat komma när som helst ändå och föräldraförsäkringsdirektivet har väl varit på plats, jag gissar nu, i väl över 20 år. Jag kan inte i detalj, men det har varit på plats väldigt, väldigt länge.

Det är en sak vi ska vara väldigt noga med här och det är att se till att hålla jämställdhetens flagga högt. Vi vet att om kvinnor skulle ha samma sysselsättningsgrad i EU som män så skulle vårt BNP kunna öka med 12 procent. Det är en massa resurser det faktiskt, och det är så vi skapar resurser och ser till att kvinnor får samma möjligheter på arbetsmarknaden, i livet, hemma. Det är det det här handlar om.

Det här är en jämställdhetsfråga och den är inte till bara för kvinnor. Den är till för dig och mig också som män. Den är till för hela våra samhällen. Men inget mandat har flyttats från den nationella nivån till EU-nivån så att vi ska fortsätta att slåss för jämställdhet och där hoppas jag att vi kan kroka arm.

We should not negotiate our values, I totally agree. I talked about the climate so we agree on that.

Mr López Aguilar, on the UK and Brexit we share the worry. We have to respect the referendum and what the UK will now decide and we try to be as pragmatic as possible, but there is also a line, of course. But let’s see what happens now during this, and next, week.

Ms Gomes, on the moral compass, I agree.

There was also a question about future financing. As I said, if we put more people into work, we will have more finances. Sweden is a net payer right now and we’re fine with that. That’s okay. We are a relatively rich country so we can contribute more, and that’s okay, but we cannot increase the fees so high that we cannot fulfil our obligations at home. That’s not possible. So that is why I would say that we also need to think about how to relocate resources. We cannot just add new tasks and new missions and then increase the fee. That is not possible because there is a limit. But let’s relocate.

I fully agree on drugs because we need to cooperate more to combat drugs, because that is something that will definitely – not will, is right now – poisoning our society. So the more strongly we combat drug dealing and drugs, the better for us. That is also why I went, for example, to Europol to see what we are doing together here. We’re doing a lot, but I guess we need to do more.

Ms Kirton-Darling, about the trade agreements: we need to have trade agreements that also include these kind of rights and they are doing so. The agreements that we are negotiating right now also include, as far as I understand it, social rights.

Fjellner, inrikespolitisk fråga. Men okej, jag tar den också. Då är det så här, att sedan vi tillträdde så har polismyndigheten inte haft mer resurser. Vi ser till att de får bättre verktyg. Det sitter fler busar i häkten och i fängelserna nu än det har gjort på många, många, många år.

Problemet är att det fylls på i unga åldrar och då är vi tillbaks i det sociala ansvarstagandet så den ena sidan att vara stenhård mot brotten, det är viktigt och det kommer vi att vara. Men den andra sidan, det är att se till att det är sån social utveckling för människor också i utsatta områden att de känner hopp för framtiden och att ungdomar inte dras in i brottslighet. De ska ha bättre skolor, bostadsområden, deras föräldrar ska in i arbete och det är det arbetet vi har påbörjat nu. Nu går det snabbare för människor som kommer till Sverige att komma in i arbete och då ser deras barn och ungdomar att det är den vägen vi ska gå.

Så det sociala, det mjuka, är väl så viktigt som det hårda. Det är de båda två spåren vi måste förbättra och därför var det inte bra att Moderaterna, Kristdemokraterna och Sverigedemokraterna röstade för en budget när just den satsningen togs bort. Inte bra.


  President. – The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 162)


  Birgit Collin-Langen (PPE), schriftlich. – Ich teile viele Positionen des Ministerpräsidenten, und ich freue mich, dass er ein starker Vertreter der Grundwerte der EU ist. Ich teile auch seine Ansicht, dass wir einen stärkeren Rechtsstaatsmechanismus innerhalb der EU brauchen. Denn nur, wenn wir diese Werte selbst leben und schützen, können wir sie nach außen verteidigen. Ich teile auch seinen Aufruf für einen stärkeren Kampf gegen den Klimawandel und für einen besseren Umweltschutz. Hier sollte die EU eine Vorreiterrolle in der Welt einnehmen.



Ultima actualizare: 26 iunie 2019Aviz juridic - Politica de confidențialitate