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Debates
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Conference on the Future of Europe (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, the reason for this resolution is very simple: it is not a resolution to the Commission, it is not a resolution to the colleagues in the Parliament, it is a resolution that is in fact made for the Council. I hope that the Council this time can reach an agreement so that we can launch this conference, because let’s be honest, it becomes more and more like the monster of Loch Ness. From time to time it appears, then it disappears, it is more like an illusion, like a fantasy and we must avoid that.

This is serious business, this conference is not one or other little instrument for the European Parliament. This conference is vital, it is crucial for the future of our European Union, because let’s face it, this Covid crisis is another illustration of it. This Covid crisis will change the world. It is a world that will be completely different, a world that will no longer be dominated, I think, by the United States of America who is withdrawing from the international scene for the moment. It may well be dominated by China who wants to become, and who already is, a world power and who wants to dominate the world and international scene.

Between America and China there will be Europe stuck between them and if we don’t want to be stuck between the US at the one hand and China on the other hand, and if we want really the instruments to defend the interests of our citizens, we need another European Union. This European Union is not fit for purpose. Not fit for the future and we all know it. The Council knows it, the Commission knows it and certainly our citizens know it. So it’s time now to start really this exercise because we have not a lot of time, maybe we can tell that to your colleagues in the Council. There is the Covid crisis, there are precedent crises, tomorrow there could be another challenge.

So my hope is that we can take a decision to make this common declaration between the three institutions and we can start this conference as early as possible in September.

 
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