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 Full text 
Tuesday, 26 November 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Preparation of the European Council meeting of 12 and 13 December 2019 (debate)

  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Mr President, the December meeting of the Council will take place in a changed environment, with President Charles Michel at the helm of the European Council, but also hopefully with the new Commission very clear as to what the priorities for the next term should be, and this House more pluralistic and more assertive. We here in Strasbourg and Brussels will be very cooperative, but also very watchful as to checking whether the promises are being kept.

There is a widespread feeling, and I share it, that we need to significantly change our institutional gears and redirect our efforts more decisively towards meeting the expectations of citizens. We must spare no efforts to strengthen the pro-European sentiment among our main constituents, the people of Europe. And among the people I mean also migrants: I mean the British expats after Brexit, those who look for asylum to gain security for the lives, refugees from war-torn areas, and climate refugees soon to come.

The dialogue on Europe and its future with citizens and other relevant stakeholders in European future should be permanent by principle. These are the times when we can again have hope for creating a European demos. And I know that we have somehow forgotten this ambition but we must not divest ourselves of the ideal of making the Union something more than just a convenient meeting place for mutual recognition of Member States’ interests.

We see that this elusive European demos is arising spontaneously, especially among the young people in response to the climate crisis. Our role should be to facilitate the creation of a welcoming and generous space where this nascent demos will not only emerge, but will thrive and not only in response to climate emergency, but in tackling jointly other issues.

There is no better environment than the European Union to construct a sustainable and flexible space to leave to the next generation a better Europe. The political landscape is fast-changing and citizens should feel they are the primary gardeners of this new landscaping, so let me finish by wishing the new leaders of the European Council and the Commission, hopefully, God speed in the task they undertake.

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