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Wednesday, 14 September 2022 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

2. State of the Union (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
MPphoto
 

  President. – Good morning to all of you, dear colleagues. First of all, I am pleased to welcome the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to Parliament for the annual State of the European Union address. It is also very much a special honour to have Olena Zelenska with us on this important day.

Dear Olena, we are with you and with the Ukrainian people. We are here today against an alarming backdrop of an illegal, unjustifiable invasion of sovereign Ukraine. High inflation, electricity and energy price rises, a climate catastrophe, increased food insecurity and a fast-emerging cost of living crisis. I think our message today will be that Europe will respond. And to underline how to do that, it is my pleasure to give the floor to the President of the European Commission to deliver her 2022 State of the European Union Address.

Dear Ursula, the floor is yours.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, my fellow Europeans, never before has this Parliament debated the State of our Union with war raging on European soil. And we all remember that fateful morning in late February. Europeans from across our Union woke up dismayed by what they saw, shaken by the resurgent and ruthless face of evil. Haunted by the sounds of sirens and the sheer brutality of war.

But from that very moment on a whole continent has risen in solidarity. At the border crossings where refugees found shelter. In our streets, filled with Ukrainian flags. In the classrooms, where Ukrainian children made new friends.

From that very moment, Europeans neither hid nor hesitated. They found the courage to do the right thing. And from that very moment, our Union as a whole has risen to the occasion.

Fifteen years ago, during the financial crisis, it took us years to find lasting solutions. A decade later, when the global pandemic hit, it took us only weeks. But this year, as soon as Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine, our response was united, determined and immediate.

And I think we can be proud of that.

(Applause)

We have brought Europe’s inner strength back to the surface. And we will need all of this strength. The moments ahead of us will not be easy, be it for families who are struggling to make ends meet, or businesses who are facing tough choices concerning their future.

And let us be very clear, much is at stake. Not just for Ukraine but for all of Europe and the world at large. And we will be tested. Tested by those who had to exploit any kind of divisions between us. And this is not only a war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine, this is also a war on our energy, it’s a war on our economy, it’s a war on our values. It is a war on our future. It is about autocracy against democracy.

And I stand here with the conviction that with the necessary courage and with the necessary solidarity, Putin will fail and Ukraine and Europe will prevail.

(Applause)

Today courage has a name, and that name is Ukraine. Courage has a face, and that face is the face of Ukrainian men and women who are standing up to the Russian aggression.

I remember a moment in the early weeks of the invasion when the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, gathered the parents of Ukrainian children killed by the invader. Hundreds of families for whom the war will never end, and for whom life will never go back to what it was before.

We saw the First Lady leading a silent crowd of heartbroken mothers and fathers, and hang small bells in the trees, one for every fallen child. And now these bells will ring forever in the wind, and forever, the innocent victims of this war will live in our memories.

And yes, she is here with us today.

My dear Olena Zelenska, it took immense courage to resist Putin’s cruelty. But you found the courage. And a nation of heroes has risen. Today, Ukraine stands strong because an entire country has fought street by street and house by house. And we are seeing in the last days the bravery of the Ukrainians is paying off.

Ukraine stands strong because people like your husband, President Zelensky, have stayed in Kyiv to lead the resistance – together with you and your children. You have given courage to a whole nation.

(Applause)

You have given a voice to your people on a global stage. You have given hope to all of us.

So today we want to thank you and all Ukrainians. Glory to a country of European heroes. Slava Ukraini!

(Applause)

Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine will remain unshakeable. From day one on, Europe has stood at Ukraine’s side – with weapons, with funds, with hospitality for refugees, and with the toughest sanctions the world has ever seen.

Russia’s financial sector is on life-support. We have cut off three quarters of Russia’s banking sector from international markets. Nearly one thousand international companies have left the country. The production of cars fell by 75% compared to last year. Aeroflot is grounding planes because there are no more spare parts. The Russian military is taking chips from dishwashers and refrigerators to fix their military hardware, because there are no semiconductors anymore. Russia’s industry is in tatters.

(Applause)

And it is the Kremlin that has put Russia’s economy on the path of oblivion. That is the price for Russia’s and Putin’s trail of death and destruction. And I want to make it very clear, the sanctions are here to stay. This is the time for us having resolve and not for appeasement. This has to be very clear.

(Applause)

The same is true for our financial support for Ukraine. So far Team Europe have provided more than EUR 19 billion in financial assistance, and this is without counting the military support. And we are in it for the long haul.

Ukraine’s reconstruction will require massive resources. For instance, Russian strikes have damaged or destroyed more than 70 schools. Half a million Ukrainian children have started their school year in the European Union, but many other Ukrainian children simply do not have a classroom to go to.

And you told me yesterday, dear Olena, that everyday when the parents are sending the children to school they don’t only give them the school bag but also an emergency bag with water, with food, with band aids, with medical supplies, with socks and underwear to change. Just imagine you send in the morning your child to school and you do not know whether you are going to be reunited in the afternoon after school.

So my dear Olena, I am announcing that we will work with you to support the rehabilitation of damaged Ukrainian schools. We will provide what you need, this is EUR 100 million, because the future of Ukraine begins in the schools and with the children.

(Applause)

We will not only support financially but also empower Ukraine to make the most of its potential. Ukraine has already a rising tech hub and is home to many very young smart companies. So I want us to mobilise the full power of our single market to help accelerate growth and create opportunities.

Please remember in March we connected successfully Ukraine to our electricity grid. It was planned for 2024 – we did it in two weeks only. And today, Ukraine is exporting electricity to the European Union. So I want to significantly expand this mutually beneficial trade.

We have already suspended import duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU. We will bring Ukraine into our European free roaming area – it’s really time to do that now. Our solidarity lanes are a big success. And building on all that, the Commission will work with Ukraine to go a step further and to ensure a seamless access to the single market of the European Union.

Our single market is one of Europe’s greatest success stories – and you know the power that lies in the single market. So now it is time to make it a success story for our Ukrainian friends, too. And this is why today I am going to Kyiv to discuss all this with President Zelensky and to show him what the single market is as a potential for Ukraine’s future too.

(Applause)

My honourable Members, one lesson from this war is that we should have listened to those who know Putin. To Anna Politkovskaya and all the Russian journalists who exposed the crimes, and paid the ultimate price. To our friends in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and the opposition in Belarus. We should have listened to the voices inside our Union – in Poland, in the Baltics, and all across Central and Eastern Europe.

They have been telling us for years that Putin would not stop. And they acted accordingly.

Our friends in the Baltics have worked hard to end their dependency on Russia. They have invested heavily in renewable energy, in LNG terminals, in interconnectors.

They experienced that, yes, this comes at a cost, but dependency on Russian fossil fuels comes at a much much higher price. So we have to get rid of this dependency all over Europe.

As you know, we therefore agreed to joint storage. We are now at 84% now – that’s good, we are overshooting our target. But unfortunately this will not be enough. We have to diversify away from Russia to reliable suppliers like the United States, Norway, Algeria and others.

Two figures are very interesting. Last year, Russian gas accounted for 40% of our gas imports. Today it’s down to 9%. But we also see that Russia keeps actively manipulating our energy market. I mean they prefer to flare the gas instead of sending it to Europe according to the contracts that are existing. So this market is not functioning anymore.

In addition the climate crisis is heavily weighing on our bills. Heat waves have boosted electricity demand. Droughts shut down hydro and nuclear plants. And as a result, prices have risen by more than 10 times compared to before the pandemic.

Making ends meet is becoming a source of anxiety for millions of businesses and households in the European Union. But we also see how Europeans are coping with this challenge. Think of the workers in ceramics factories in central Italy who have decided to move their shifts to early morning to benefit from lower energy prices.

And just imagine the mothers and fathers among those workers having to leave home early, when the kids are still sleeping, because of a war they have not chosen.

This is one example in a million of examples of Europeans adapting to the new reality. And I want our Union to take example from its people. So reducing demand during peak hours will make supply last longer, and it will bring prices down. This is why we are putting forward measures for Member States to reduce their overall electricity consumption.

But then targeted support is needed. For enterprises, like the glass makers across Europe who can no longer turn on their ovens. Or for single parents facing one daunting bill after the next if they look at electricity. Millions of Europeans need support.

This is why we are proposing a cap on the revenues of companies that produce electricity at low costs. These companies are making revenues they never accounted for, they never even dreamt of. And don’t get me wrong, in our social market economy, profits are OK, they are good.

But in these times it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefitting from war and on the back of our consumers. In these times, profits must be shared and channelled to those who need it most.

(Applause)

And there our proposal also includes the fossil fuel electricity producers who have to give a crisis contribution and overall our proposal will raise more than EUR 140 billion for Member States to cushion the blow directly.

These are all emergency and temporary measures we are working on, including our discussions on gas price caps. We need to keep working on lower gas prices. So on the one hand we have to ensure the security of supply. On the other hand we have to ensure global competitiveness. The security of supply because the gas still has to come to the European Union, the energy overall. On the other hand if it’s too expensive it’s damaging our global competitiveness.

So we will develop with the Member States a set of measures to take into account the specific nature of our relationship with suppliers – ranging from unreliable suppliers such as Russia to reliable friends such as our Norwegian friends for example.

I have agreed with Prime Minister Store to set up a task force so that teams work for this aim together to look at how we are able to lower in a reasonable manner the price for gas.

Another important topic is on the agenda. Today our gas markets have changed dramatically – from pipeline that we used to have in abundance mainly to increasing amounts of LNG. But the benchmark used in the gas market – the so-called TTF – has not adapted.

So this is why the Commission will work on establishing a more representative benchmark for the electricity trading that really reflects this change in the market we have seen.

At the same time we also know that energy companies are facing severe problems with liquidity in electricity futures markets. We will work with the market regulators to ease these problems by amending the rules on collaterals and by taking measures to limit intra-day price volatility. And we will amend the temporary state aid framework in October to allow for the provision of state guarantees, while preserving a level playing field.

This is very complex. This is not at all trivial. But I must say these are only the first steps, because as we deal with this immediate crisis, we must also look forward and therefore my diagnosis is that the current electricity market design that is based on the principle of merit order is not fit for purpose anymore, it is not just for consumers anymore.

(Applause)

Consumers should reap the benefits of low-cost renewables – that must be the purpose. So we have to decouple the dominant influence of gas on the price of electricity. This is why we will do a deep and comprehensive reform of the electricity market.

Now, honourable Members, here is one important point. Half a century ago, in the 1970s, the world faced another fossil fuel crisis. Some of us remember the car-free weekends to save energy. Yet we kept driving on the same road. We did not get rid of our dependency on oil. And worse, fossil fuels were even massively subsidised.

This was wrong, not just for the climate, but also for our public finances, and our independence as we know today. And we are still paying the price for that.

Only a few visionaries understood that the real problem was the fossil fuels themselves, not their price. Among them were our Danish friends. When the oil crisis hit, Denmark started to invest heavily into harnessing the power of the wind. They laid the foundation for the global leadership in the sector and created tens of thousands of new jobs.

This is the way to go. Not just a quick fix, but a change of paradigm, a leap into the future, and that must be our principle today with this crisis too, honourable Members.

(Applause)

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, la bonne nouvelle est que cette transformation nécessaire a commencé. Elle a lieu en mer du Nord et en mer Baltique où les États membres ont massivement investi dans les éoliennes en mer. Elle a lieu en Sicile, où la plus grande usine solaire d’Europe produira bientôt la toute dernière génération de panneaux solaires. Et elle a lieu dans le nord de l’Allemagne, où les trains régionaux roulent désormais à l’hydrogène vert.

L’hydrogène peut changer la donne pour l’Europe. Nous pouvons passer du marché de niche au marché de masse pour l’hydrogène. Et avec REPowerEU, nous avons doublé notre objectif: produire 10 millions de tonnes d’hydrogène renouvelable d’ici 2030. Pour y parvenir, nous devons créer un animateur de marché pour l’hydrogène afin de combler le déficit d’investissement et de mettre en relation l’offre et la demande futures. C’est pourquoi je peux annoncer aujourd’hui que nous allons créer une nouvelle banque européenne de l’hydrogène. Cette banque aidera à garantir l’achat d’hydrogène, notamment en utilisant les ressources du Fonds pour l’innovation; elle pourra investir 3 milliards d’euros pour aider à construire le futur marché de l’hydrogène. Et c’est ainsi que nous allons bâtir l’économie du futur. C’est cela notre pacte vert pour l’Europe.

Et nous avons tous vu au cours des derniers mois à quel point le pacte vert est important. L’été 2022 restera dans les mémoires. Nous avons tous vu les rivières asséchées, les forêts en feu, la chaleur extrême. Et la situation est même bien plus grave que cela. Jusqu’à présent, les glaciers des Alpes ont servi de réserve d’urgence pour des rivières comme le Rhin et le Rhône. Mais comme les glaciers d’Europe fondent plus vite que jamais, les sécheresses futures seront beaucoup plus graves. Nous devons travailler sans relâche à l’adaptation climatique et faire de la nature notre premier allié. Et c’est pour cela que notre Union poussera pour un accord mondial ambitieux pour la nature lors de la conférence des Nations unies sur la biodiversité qui se tiendra à Montréal cette année, et nous ferons de même lors de la COP 27 à Charm el-Cheikh.

Mais à court terme, nous devons aussi être mieux équipés pour faire face au changement climatique. Aucun pays ne peut lutter seul contre les phénomènes météorologiques extrêmes et leurs forces destructrices. Cet été, nous avons envoyé des avions de la Grèce, de la Suède ou de l’Italie pour combattre les incendies en France et en Allemagne. Mais comme ces événements deviennent plus fréquents et plus intenses, l’Europe aura besoin de plus de capacités. Et c’est pourquoi, aujourd’hui, j’annonce que nous allons doubler notre capacité de lutte contre les incendies. Au cours de l’année prochaine, l’Union européenne achètera dix avions amphibies légers et trois hélicoptères supplémentaires pour compléter notre flotte. Voilà la solidarité européenne en action.

Honourable Members, the last years have shown how much Europe can achieve when it is united. After an unprecedented pandemic, our economic output overtook pre-crisis level in record time. We went from having no vaccines to securing over 4 billion of these life-saving vaccines for Europeans and for the whole world.

And in record time, we came up with SURE – so that people could stay in their jobs even if their companies had run out of work. We were in the deepest recession since World War Two and we achieved the fastest recovery since the post-war boom. And all that was possible because we all rallied behind a common recovery plan.

Next Generation EU has been a boost of confidence for our economy. And its journey has only just begun. So far, EUR 100 billion have been disbursed to Member States. This means EUR 700 billion still haven’t flown into our economy.

Next Generation EU will guarantee a constant stream of investment to sustain jobs and growth. It means relief for our economy but, most importantly, it means renewal. It is financing new wind turbines and solar parks, high-speed trains and energy-saving renovations. We conceived Next Generation EU almost two years ago, and yet it is still exactly what Europe needs today.

So let’s stick to the plan and bring the money to the ground. It has to be delivered because it’s necessary now as investment And, Honourable Members, the future of our children needs both that we invest in sustainability but also that we invest sustainably. We must finance the transition to a digital and net-zero economy.

And yet, we also have to acknowledge a new reality of higher public debt. We need fiscal rules that allow for strategic investment, while safeguarding fiscal sustainability; rules that are fit for the challenges of this decade. And, therefore, in October, we will come forward with new ideas for our economic governance.

Let me share a few basic principles with you. Member States should have more flexibility on their debt-reduction path. But there should be more accountability on the delivery of what we have agreed on. There should be simpler rules that all can follow to open the space for strategic investments we needed and to give financial markets the confidence they need.

So let us chart once again a joint way forward, with more freedom to invest – that’s necessary – more scrutiny on progress – what has been agreed has to be done – more ownership by Member States and better results for citizens. So, in short, let’s rediscover the Maastricht spirit: stability and growth can only go hand in hand.

Because, honourable Members, as we embark on this transition in our economy, we must rely on the enduring values of the social market economy. It’s the beautiful, simple idea that Europe’s greatest strength lies in each and every one of us. Our social market economy encourages everyone to excel, but it also takes care of the fragility as human beings. It covers the big risks of life, like poverty, sickness, age. It rewards performance and guarantees protection. It opens opportunities but it also sets limits.

And we need this today even more than ever. Because the strength of our social market economy will drive the green and the digital transition. And our Achilles heel for the small and medium enterprises are basically three things. It’s do we have an enabling business environment? It’s the question: do we have a workforce with the right skills? And do we have access to raw materials our industry needs? These will be the three crucial questions to answer right now to have a future with the model as I’ve described right now.

We must, for our SMEs, remove the obstacles that still hold them back. They must be at the centre of this transformation, because they are the backbone of our industry and Europe’s long history of industrial prowess. And they have always put their employees first, even, and especially, in times of crisis.

But inflation and uncertainty are weighing especially hard on them. This is why we will put forward an SME relief package. It will include a proposal for a single set of tax rules for doing business in Europe, called BEFIT. It will make it easier to do business in our Union: less red tape, better access to the dynamism of our continental market.

And, honourable Members, it is high time that we revise the Late Payment Directive, because it is simply not fair that one in four bankruptcies – that’s 25% of all bankruptcies – are due to invoices not being paid on time. This can’t be possible, for millions of family businesses we have to revise this Late Payment Directive, this will be a lifeline in troubled waters.

Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Das zweite Thema ist das große Thema – Mangel an Personal. Das ist eine große Herausforderung für Europa und Europas Unternehmen. Die Zahl der Arbeitslosen ist so niedrig wie nie – 6,0 Prozent, 6 Prozent Arbeitslosigkeit! Das ist gut. Aber gleichzeitig liegt die Zahl der offenen Stellen auf Rekordniveau. Lastwagenfahrer, Kellner, Flughafenpersonal, Krankenpfleger, Ingenieurinnen und Ingenieure, IT—Technikerinnen und —Techniker, von Ungelernt bis Universitätsabschluss – Europa braucht sie alle! Wir müssen viel stärker in Aus- und Weiterbildung investieren.

Dazu müssen wir mit den Unternehmen zusammenarbeiten, denn sie wissen am besten, welche Fachkräfte sie heute brauchen, aber auch, welche Fachkräfte sie morgen brauchen. Wir müssen diesen Bedarf viel besser in Einklang bringen mit den Zielen und den Wünschen der Arbeitsuchenden selbst für ihren Berufsweg. Wir haben dieses wunderbare große Instrument ESF. Aber wir brauchen auf der anderen Seite auch eine Struktur, dass diese Gelder wirklich effektiv eingesetzt werden können.

Ein Zweites ist auch wichtig: Wir müssen gezielter Fachkräfte aus dem Ausland anwerben, die hier Unternehmen und Europas Wachstum stärken. Deshalb ist ein wichtiger Schritt, ihre Qualifikationen – die können was, diese Menschen – in Europa besser und schneller anzuerkennen. Das ist die Möglichkeit, Europa attraktiver zu machen für alle, die etwas können und die sich einbringen wollen. Deshalb schlage ich vor – das ist ein Riesenthema, das kann man nicht hier abhandeln –, ich schlage vor, dass wir das Jahr 2023 zum Europäischen Jahr der Aus- und Weiterbildung machen. Lasst uns einen Schwerpunkt darauf setzen. Das ist jetzt der richtige Schritt.

Meine Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Der dritte Punkt, der so wichtig ist für unsere kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen und unsere Industrie in Europa: Ganz unabhängig davon, ob wir über maßgeschneiderte Chips für die virtuelle Realität sprechen – haben wir viel gemacht in diesem Parlament – oder über Speicherzellen für Solaranlagen: Der Zugang zu Rohstoffen ist entscheidend für den Erfolg unserer Transformation zu einer nachhaltigen und digitalen Wirtschaft. Lithium und Seltene Erden werden bald wichtiger sein als Öl und Gas. Allein unser Bedarf an Seltenen Erden wird sich bis 2030 verfünffachen. Einerseits ist es ein gutes Zeichen, denn es zeigt, mit welchem Tempo wir beim europäischen Grünen Deal vorangehen. Das Problem ist nur, dass derzeit ein einziges Land fast komplett den gesamten Markt beherrscht.

Wir müssen verhindern, dass wir erneut in eine Abhängigkeit geraten, wie wir sie jetzt erleben bei Gas und Öl. Dazu müssen viele Schritte getan werden. An diesem Punkt kommt auch unsere Handelspolitik ins Spiel. Wir brauchen neue Partnerschaften, denn geografisch gibt es diese Rohmaterialien nicht nur an einem Platz auf der Erde. Das heißt, wir brauchen neue Partnerschaften, nicht nur um unsere Wirtschaft zu stärken, sondern vor allen Dingen auch, um unsere Interessen und unsere Werte global voranzubringen. Mit diesen gleichgesinnten Partnern können wir auch außerhalb unserer Grenzen Arbeitsstandards und Umweltstandards verwirklichen und sichern. Das heißt, wir brauchen neue Beziehungen zu neuen verlässlichen Partnern in Wachstumsregionen. Ich werde daher die Abkommen mit Chile, Mexiko und Neuseeland zur Ratifizierung vorlegen, und wir treiben die Verhandlungen mit Partnern wie Australien und Indien voran. Wir müssen aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit lernen.

But securing supplies is only a first step. The processing of these metals is just as critical. And today, China controls the global processing industry. Almost 90% – 90% – of rare earths and 60% of lithium are processed in China.

So we will identify strategic projects all along the supply chain, from extracting to refining, from processing to recycling. And we will build up strategic reserves where supply is at risk. This is why today I am announcing a European Critical Raw Materials Act.

We know that this approach can work because remember, five years ago Europe launched the batteries alliance. And soon two-thirds of the batteries we need we will produce here in Europe. That’s a big success story.

Last year, I announced the European Chips Act and the first chips gigafactory will break ground in the coming months. So we now need to replicate this success for raw materials. And this is also why we will increase our financial participation in the important projects of common European interest, the so—called IPCEIs.

And for the future, I will push to create a new European sovereignty fund, because we have to make sure that the future of the industry is made in Europe.

Honourable Members, as we look around at the state of the world today, it can often feel like there is a fading away of what once seemed so permanent. And in some ways the passing of Queen Elizabeth II last week reminded us all of that. She is a legend.

(Applause)

She was a constant throughout the turbulent and transforming events in the last 70 years. Stoic and steadfast in her service. But more than anything, she always found the right words for every moment in time. From the calls she made to war evacuees in 1940 to her historic address during the pandemic. She spoke not only to the heart of her nation, but to the soul of the whole world.

And when I think of the situation we are in today, her words at the height of the pandemic still resonate with me. She said: ‘we will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us’.

She always reminded us that our future is built on new ideas and founded in our oldest values. Since the end of World War II, we have pursued the promise of democracy and of the rule of law. And the nations of the world have built together an international system promoting peace and security, justice and economic progress.

Today, this is the very target of Russian missiles. What we saw on the streets of Bucha, in the scorched fields of grain and now in the gates of Ukraine’s largest nuclear plant, is not only a violation of international rules, it is the deliberate attempt to discard them once and for all. That we have to know. And this watershed moment in global politics calls for a rethink of our foreign policy agenda.

This is the time to invest in the power of our democracies. This work begins with a core group of our like-minded partners, our friends in every single democratic nation on the globe. We see the world with the same eyes. We share the same values. And we should mobilise our collective power to shape global goods. We should strive to expand the core of these democracies.

The most immediate way to do this is to deepen our ties and strengthen democracies on our continent. This starts with those that are already on the path to our Union. We must be at their side by every step and every day, because the path towards strong democracies and the path towards our Union are one and the same.

And so I want the people of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to know – and I think I speak in the name of this noble House – you are part of our family. You are the future of our Union and in our Union. And our Union is not complete without you. This has to be the message.

(Applause)

And we have seen that there is a need to reach out to other countries of Europe beyond the accession process. This is why I support the call for European political community, and we will set out our ideas to the European Council. But our future also depends on our ability to engage beyond the core of our democratic partners. Countries near and far share an interest in working with us on the greatest challenges of this century, such as climate change and digitalisation.

And this is the main idea behind Global Gateway, the investment plan I announced last year right at this place. It is already delivering on the ground. Together with our African partners we’re building two factories in Rwanda and Senegal to manufacture MRNA vaccines. So they will be made in Africa, for Africa, with world-class technology. And we are now replicating this approach across Latin America as a part of a larger engagement strategy that has to pick up now urgently.

All this requires investment on a global scale. So we will team up with our friends in the United States and our friends in the G7 partners to make this happen. In this spirit, President Biden and I will convene a leaders meeting to review and announce implementation projects for this investment.

Honourable Members, this is part of our work of strengthening our democracies. But we should not lose sight of the way foreign autocrats are targeting our own countries. Foreign entities are funding institutions and institutes that undermine our values. The disinformation is spreading from the Internet into the halls of our universities.

Earlier this year, the University of Amsterdam shut down an allegedly independent research centre which was actually funded by Chinese entities. And this centre was publishing so-called research on human rights, dismissing the evidence of forced labour camps for Uyghurs as ‘rumours’.

These lies are toxic for our democracies. And let’s think about this. We introduced legislation to screen foreign direct investment in our companies for security reasons. That’s correct. That’s good that we did it. But if we do that for our economy, shouldn’t we do the same for our values?

We need to better shield ourselves from online interference. And this is why we will present a defence of democracy pact. It will bring forward covert foreign influence. It will shed the light on shady funding. We will not allow any autocracy’s Trojan horses to attack our democracies from within.

For more than 70 years, our continent has marched towards democracy. But the gains of our long journey are not as short. And many of us have taken democracy for granted for too long. Especially those who, like me, who have never experienced what it means to live under the fist of an authoritarian regime.

Today we all see that we must fight for our democracies every single day, every single minute. We must protect them both from the external threats they face, but also from the vice that corrodes them from within. It is my Commission’s duty and the most noble role to protect the rule of law.

So let me assure you, we will keep insisting on judicial independence, and we will make sure that we protect our budget through the conditionality mechanism.

(Applause)

And today I would like to focus on corruption with all its faces. The face of foreign agents trying to influence our political system. The face of shady companies or foundations abusing public money. If we want to be credible when we ask candidate countries to strengthen their democracies, we must also eradicate corruption at home.

(Applause)

And this is why in the coming year, the Commission will present measures to update our legislative framework for fighting corruption. We will raise standards on offences such as illicit enrichment, trafficking in influence and abuse of power beyond the more classic offenses such as bribery. And we will also propose to include corruption in our human rights sanctions regime, our new tool to protect our values abroad.

(Applause)

Honourable Members, our founders only meant to lay the first stone of this democracy. They always thought that future generations would complete their work. And that’s true, we have to do that. It’s an ongoing process. ‘Democracy has not gone out of fashion, but it must update itself in order to keep improving people’s lives’.

You will remember these words. These are the words of our friend David Sassoli – a great European – democracy has not gone out of fashion, but it must update itself in order to keep improving people’s lives. David Sassoli thought that Europe should always look for new horizons.

And through the adversity of these times, we have started to see what our new horizon might be. A braver Union, closer to its people in times of needs. Bolder in responding to historic challenges and the daily concerns of our Europeans. And to walk at their side when they deal with the big trials of life.

This is why the Conference on the Future of Europe was so important. It was a sneak peek of a different kind of citizens’ engagement, well beyond election day. And after Europe listened to its citizens’ voice, we now need to deliver. The citizens’ panels that were central to the Conference will now become a regular feature of our democratic life.

And in the letter of intent that I have sent today to President Metsola and Prime Minister Fiala, I have outlined a number of proposals for the year ahead that stem from the Conference on the Future.

They include, for example, a new initiative on mental health. We should take much better care of our friends and partners and beloved ones, and how many who are burdened with anxiety and who are lost. Appropriate, accessible – accessible, that’s so important – and affordable support can be life-saving.

We know that this support is not there today – accessible, affordable and appropriate support. So we have to make sure with proposals on mental health that we really improve in this subject. It is for some of our fellow Europeans life-saving.

(Applause)

Honourable Members, democratic institutions must constantly gain and regain the citizens’ trust. Just like Europeans did when millions of Ukrainians came knocking on their door. What we saw was and is Europe at its best. A Union of determination and solidarity. But this determination and drive for solidarity is still missing in our migration debate. Our actions towards Ukrainian refugees must not be an exception.

(Applause)

They can be a blueprint for going forward. We need fair and quick procedures, a system that is crisis-proof and quick to deploy, and a permanent and legally binding mechanism that ensures solidarity. And at the same time, we need effective control of our external borders in line with the respect of fundamental rights.

I want a Europe that manages migration with dignity and respect. I want a Europe where all Member States take responsibility for the challenges we all share. I want a Europe that shows solidarity to all Member States. We have progress on the pact. We now have the roadmap, and we now need the political will to move forward and to match.

Honourable Members, three weeks ago I had an incredible opportunity of joining 1 500 young people from all over Europe and all over the world that gathered in Taizé. They have very different views. They come from very different countries. They speak different languages. They have different backgrounds.

And yet, there’s something that connects them. They share a set of values and ideals. They believe in these values. They are determined to reach them. They are passionate about something that is larger than themselves. And this generation is a phenomenal generation. It’s a generation of dreamers and makers.

And in my last State of the Union, I told you that I would like Europe to look more like these young people. We should put their aspirations at the heart of everything we do. And the place for this is in our founding treaties. Every action that our Union takes should be inspired by a very simple principle – that we should do no harm to our children’s future and that we should leave the world a better place for the next generation.

And therefore, honourable Members, I believe that it is time to enshrine solidarity between generations in our treaties. It is time to renew the European promise. And we also need to improve the way we do things and the way we decide things.

Some might say this is not the right time, but if we are serious about preparing for the world of tomorrow, we must be able to act on the things that matter the most for people. And as we are serious about a larger Union, we also have to be serious about reform. So as this Parliament has called for, I believe the moment has arrived for a European Convention.

(Applause)

Honourable Members, they say ‘light shines brightest in the dark’. And that was certainly true for the women and the children fleeing Russia’s bombs. They fled a country at war, filled with sadness for what they had left behind and fear for what may lie ahead. But they were received with open hearts and open arms by many, many citizens like Magdalena and Agnieszka. Two selfless young women from Poland.

As soon as they heard about trains full of refugees, they rushed to the Warsaw central station. They started to organise. They set up a tent to assist as many people as possible. They reached out to supermarket chains for food and to local authorities to organise buses, to hospitality centres. In a matter of days they gathered 3 000 volunteers to welcome refugees 24/7.

Honourable Members, Magdalena and Agnieszka are here with us today. Please stand up.

(Applause)

Magdalena, stand up. Stand up.

(Prolonged applause)

Their story is about everything our Union stands and strives for. It is a story of heart, character and solidarity. They showed everyone what Europeans can achieve when we rally around a common cause. This is Europe’s spirit, a Union that stands strong together. A Union that prevails together. Long live Europe.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President of the European Parliament, Madam President of the European Commission, Madam Zelenska, Czech Presidency, dear colleagues, last week the hemicycle in Brussels was full of young people. We organised this EPP Group 4 Youth week at the beginning of the autumn session and during the discussion, Eva Maydell, a young colleague of ours, spoke about a moving encounter during summer. She was in Bulgaria, at a supermarket checkout, and there was a young lady. She didn’t speak Bulgarian very well. She talked with her and she was a Ukraine refugee. Young, talented, she was excited to start her university studies and then war, fleeing, losing loved ones, she was from Mariupol and ending up in uncertainty. That is the brutal reality of Putin’s war. And, on the other hand, in my constituency, I received a letter from a small bakery: after decades of baking Bavarian bread, he wrote to me saying that he cannot survive with the high energy costs. The baker told me, ‘Putin is a war criminal, no doubt about this, but how can I survive?’.

These two stories mark the challenge in front of us, and our EPP answer is: we need a winter of solidarity. Solidarity, first of all, with Ukraine. More weapons, more money, more solidarity. Putin must lose; Ukraine must win. Great news from Ukraine is that they are pushing back the Russian troops from their soil. And, Madam Zelenska, we admire what your soldiers are doing there on the front line. Thank you for this. And dear friends, solidarity among Europeans, nobody left behind. We care for the poor in our societies and help our economies, especially the SMEs.

Crisis times means now, leadership, and the EPP supports the proposal of the Commission presented today on support for Ukraine but also to give an answer on the soaring energy prices.

But there is more to do. The markets are obviously speculating against European solidarity when winter will really be hard. Let us be concrete. It is not normal in a market that Scholz has to call Macron to open a gas pipeline and we will be more independent if Spain would be better connected to the European gas market. If it is true that the winter will be hard, then we must use all our energy resources. Germany cannot stop producing nuclear electricity and, on the other hand, ask the Dutch to ask for gas solidarity. That’s not the case.

And let’s be honest, it was a lost summer. The EPP has been asking for an extraordinary Council meeting to give certainty, to structure things, to show everyone that we are united and you cannot split up Europe. And the signal would have had already lowered the prices. People are paying because politics was and is for the moment, among Member States, not strong enough.

And on inflation – not only driven by energy, first, it is an ECB task that’s clear – I think we also can contribute. One example, we have a global food crisis, and that is also increasing the prices for our citizens. And the Commission is now presenting new regulations, which will limit food production in Europe and produce more bureaucratic burden for our farmers. For new legislation, the Commission promised the principle of ‘one in and one out’. If we continue like this, then at the end of the mandate we will arrive to ‘five in and only one out’.

We have war in Europe and parts of the Brussels community are continuing to make new laws and new burdens as if nothing has happened. That’s why we as the EPP Group are asking for a moratorium on new legislation. Let our businesses, especially the SMEs, do their work without burdening them.

And for creating growth and, having a recession now in mind, the EPP stand for creating a union of democratic economies on a global level. Europe is a trading continent and if we want to limit our dependency on the autocracies, on China and others, and that is a lesson we learned out of the Russian gas war, then we must speed up on trade deals with other democracies. And, as EPP, we always did so, but I just want to remind ourselves about the CETA debate in this House where the Left, Greens and part of the Socialists, were are opposing doing a trade deal with Canada. Canada, dear friends! You frightened Europeans with misleading arguments and even with lies. And, until now, Scholz and Macron are not ready to ratify CETA at national level. But they are great at doing pictures with Trudeau. That is not serious, dear friends. That is not serious.

And about democracies, yes, Madam President, you spoke about defending the rule of law and with you as Commission President – and I have to say, I was in Poland with friends like Donald Tusk – we as the EPP, we are fighting for rule of law, you stopped the money as EPP President of the Commission to Poland and Hungary. That’s why we are very, very proud about this. The rule of law must be judged and based on clear criteria and fair procedure. It must be blind like justice without looking at party books.

Speaking about democracies, I have to come back to the energy proposals. And Madam President, we spoke about this, you have our full support on the content but on the procedure, I have to say, we have to respect the European Parliament as a people’s Chamber. Can you imagine a windfall tax and a price cap being decided at national level without a vote in the national parliament? We would call this a democratic problem. But now we have proposals on the table, we are doing this in Europe and that should not be the new normal at European level. So decisions without the European Parliament should not be the new normal in Europe. And that is why please consider again the legal basis for the proposals on the table. The EPP stands for a democratic Europe and that means a Europe where all legislation is voted in this Chamber.

Finally, during the COVID-19 crisis, we were ready for doing bigger steps. The CRRF proposed by Ursula von der Leyen is bigger than the Marshall Plan was. So we changed the architecture of Europe. That was great. But today, war is back in Europe. There was no Council meeting on coordinating our defence activities, only votes. There is no initiative to stop a unanimous vote on foreign affairs, only a speech from Chancellor Scholz in Prague. No convention to strengthen the European democracy requested by this Chamber and the Conference for the Future of Europe, only, I have to say, campaigning and campaigning in Paris.

The Commission has to launch now until December a European Defence Action Plan as a concrete initiative in this field to invest together to build up a European missile defence system and a cyber brigade to make Europe stronger on this and we need – and thanks for your clear statement – a convention now.

The EPP stands for a more ambitious Europe. The times of Sunday speeches are over. Europe will not be saved by university pulpit speeches but by political leadership. And the Ukraine refugee in Bulgaria and my baker, they believe in this and they understand this. That’s why leadership and leadership now.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta Metsola, señora presidenta Von der Leyen, representante de la Presidencia checa del Consejo, comienzo con unas palabras de agradecimiento a Magdalena y a Agnieszka por vuestro compromiso, por vuestra solidaridad, pero, sobre todo, porque sois el ejemplo claro de la historia de Europa; de una Europa que siempre ha acogido; de una Europa que ha abierto sus brazos a aquellos que huían de las guerras, del hambre; de una Europa que ha querido tener el principio de solidaridad como uno de esos valores; de una Europa que se ha mezclado; de una Europa mestiza; de una Europa que nos ha hecho ricos y diversos y de la que nos sentimos muy orgullosas y muy orgullosos. Muchas gracias.

Es difícil analizar el estado de la Unión sin repetir lo que venimos diciendo desde hace tiempo, y es que nos enfrentamos a retos históricos: lo hemos hecho con la pandemia de la COVID-19 y lo estamos haciendo ahora, frente a esa guerra iniciada por Vladímir Putin que amenaza nuestros valores y el equilibrio internacional. Por eso es tan importante que mantengamos la unidad para reforzar nuestro compromiso por la libertad y la integridad de Ucrania y, al mismo tiempo, actuemos con rapidez, ambición y solidaridad para mitigar los efectos económicos y sociales de esta guerra: no hay más que ir al supermercado para ver que la cesta de la compra cada día está más cara. Se han tomado medidas para contener la inflación, pero los precios de los alimentos y del gasóleo parecen no tocar techo, y sí, el Banco Central Europeo ha elevado el precio del dinero, pero eso también va a significar que suban y que cuesten más las hipotecas, por no hablar de la factura de la calefacción.

Señorías, este es el estado de nuestra Unión, seamos claros; claros, pero no pesimistas ni catastrofistas, porque estamos aquí para eso, para solucionarlo, para aportar soluciones, que las hay; otra cosa es que tengamos la voluntad suficiente para poderlas poner en marcha. Como siempre, las crisis ponen de manifiesto nuestras debilidades, pero también nos indican dónde tenemos que incidir: refuerzo de las políticas sociales, reformas en el mercado de la energía, reformas en la fiscalidad y la gobernanza económica, y aceleración de la transición verde para no lamentarnos de haber llegado demasiado tarde. Nuestro compromiso con el pueblo ucraniano es firme, pero para asegurarnos el apoyo de la ciudadanía europea no solo vale con jalear las victorias militares —que están muy bien—, también hay que ponerse en la piel de quienes están sufriendo las consecuencias de esta guerra, y también aquí, en la Unión, porque, si no lo hacemos, vamos a ver crecer no solo el rechazo a la guerra, sino también el populismo de la extrema derecha.

Presidenta Von der Leyen, de la misma manera que fuimos socios leales frente a la pandemia, lo seremos ahora para afrontar esta crisis y evitar una recesión. Vamos tarde, pero me alegra que por fin se haya reaccionado y se haya escuchado a lo que el Grupo de Socialistas y Demócratas llevaba mucho tiempo planteando: hay que poner un tope al precio del gas y ayudar a las familias y a las empresas a pagar la factura, y eso podemos hacerlo con una parte de los beneficios extraordinarios de las compañías energéticas; todos deben arrimar el hombro porque no es justo que, mientras hay quien tiene dificultades para llegar a fin de mes, otros se estén haciendo millonarios a costa del sufrimiento de las familias.

No somos el ombligo del mundo: acabo de volver de América Latina, que debe ser una prioridad para la Unión y hasta ahora no lo ha sido. Me alegro de oír de la señora Von der Leyen las menciones que ha hecho al respecto, porque muestran la necesidad de una mayor cooperación entre nosotros: es un aliado natural para ese orden global. Hemos de estar más presentes y no dejar ese espacio a otras potencias.

Como decía, también me preocupa que crezca la extrema derecha en esta situación, y, por lo tanto, debemos actuar firmemente en la defensa del Estado de Derecho: la Comisión, señora Von der Leyen, es garante de los principios y de los tratados y por eso debe de actuar en esta materia con claridad y con firmeza.

Para terminar, dejando a un lado las cuestiones institucionales, quiero hablar de la situación política en la que nos encontramos: me da tristeza tener que decir esto aquí, pero el estado de nuestra democracia, en este momento histórico, me parece tan frágil como el de nuestra economía. Vuelven fantasmas que creíamos superados: algunos Estados miembros han devenido autocracias, como la Hungría de Orbán, y, en otros, partidos profascistas pueden ganar elecciones: es preocupante y peligroso.

Señor Weber, señores del Partido Popular Europeo, desde aquí les hago un llamamiento para que reconsideren su papel en el proyecto europeo, porque, después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los fundadores de la democracia cristiana entendieron que el mejor patriotismo era buscar el interés común del conjunto de la Unión Europea de la mano de la socialdemocracia, y no del nacionalismo excluyente; veo que están perdiendo ese camino, normalizando y apoyando la entrada de la extrema derecha en las instituciones: espero que rectifiquen.

Espero que rectifiquen porque tenemos una responsabilidad compartida: estamos a tiempo y Europa nos espera.

 
  
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  Stéphane Séjourné, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, deux cents jours. Deux cents jours que le peuple ukrainien combat l’agresseur russe. Deux cents jours que les Ukrainiens se battent pour leurs valeurs et celles de l’Europe. Leur combat est notre combat, celui de la démocratie contre l’autocratie, celui de l’état de droit contre la loi du plus fort, celui de la liberté contre l’oppression, celui de notre Union contre ses opposants. À tel point que les populistes n’osaient même plus dire qu’ils étaient anti-européens. Aujourd’hui, on entend à nouveau leurs propositions dangereuses parce que la guerre ‒ et je dis bien la guerre et pas les sanctions ‒, la guerre a des conséquences de plus en plus directes dans le quotidien de nos concitoyens, sur le prix de l’énergie, sur la quantité d’aliments, peut-être demain sur le nombre d’emplois disponibles en Europe. Or, nos démocraties ont les moyens d’y répondre vite et bien. L’Europe est l’échelon le plus efficace et votre discours, Madame la Présidente, en est la preuve, vos propositions aussi. Pour cela, je vous remercie de l’exercice démocratique que vous venez de faire à l’instant.

Sur le front de tous ces chantiers, nous vous soutenons. Nous vous soutenons d’abord sur le premier front, celui de l’énergie. Mon groupe est favorable à un bouclier énergétique européen pour la baisse des factures et je pense qu’on peut même compter sur deux types de solidarité européenne. Premier type de solidarité européenne: la solidarité envers les citoyens et nos PME, en utilisant les rentes des producteurs d’énergie et en mettant un plafond aux importations de gaz. Le deuxième type de solidarité, c’est la solidarité entre les États membres et nos voisins, en achetant ensemble l’énergie, en échangeant les surplus, en investissant davantage dans les énergies renouvelables et la rénovation énergétique des bâtiments. Il s’agit pour nous, et c’était l’objectif de notre groupe également, de faire de notre continent le premier à sortir des énergies fossiles.

Alors oui, sur les bancs des extrêmes, on a des solutions toutes faites: c’est la fin des sanctions. Comme si les sanctions étaient la cause du mal des Européens, alors même que la Russie baisse de 6 % son PIB et que l’armée russe en est réduite à se fournir en Iran et en Corée du Nord pendant cette guerre. Incompétence ou convenance? Je ne sais pas, vu les éléments et les informations que nous avons eus hier soir sur des montants astronomiques ‒ 300 millions d’euros ‒ qui auraient été versés à des partis politiques en Europe et à l’étranger pour faire de l’ingérence. Il faudra voir cette question, il faudra que le Parlement s’en saisisse, il faudra que les institutions s’en saisissent. Vous avez fait référence à des propositions contre l’ingérence à l’étranger et je pense que mon groupe se joindra à vous sur tous ces sujets. On y a déjà travaillé. Il faudra y travailler davantage puisque c’est un sujet avant tout démocratique.

Le deuxième front, Madame la Présidente, est celui de la souveraineté. Nous devons réduire toutes nos dépendances sur l’alimentation (et là, je ferais une parenthèse: sur l’alimentation, nous ne pouvons pas risquer une rupture d’approvisionnement en Europe; il faudra travailler en amont, regarder la production), sur les matières premières, sur la santé, sur le numérique, sur les infrastructures de défense. Mon groupe est favorable à un nouveau plan d’action pour identifier nos vulnérabilités et renforcer nos chaînes de valeur en Europe. En tant qu’Européens, nous devons nous poser chaque jour la même question et en tant que parlementaires, davantage: est-ce que cette décision nous rend plus souverains ou plus dépendants?

Nous proposons ainsi un test de souveraineté pour vérifier la conformité de tous les acquis européens, de toute nouvelle législation construite ici, entre la Commission et le Parlement européen, de tous nos budgets et de tout nouvel investissement dans le futur. Il est temps d’alimenter et d’aligner maintenant l’ensemble de nos politiques publiques sur les objectifs d’autonomie stratégique. Faisons de notre Union européenne une puissance économique et géopolitique. Vous l’aviez d’ailleurs indiqué dans votre première intervention devant cet hémicycle en début de mandature. Cette souveraineté, c’est la clé pour garantir l’égalité, l’équité et la qualité de vie de nos concitoyens européens, la croissance économique, la transition écologique et également notre place dans le monde.

Madame la Présidente, toutes ces propositions posent également la question fondamentale de nos cadres institutionnels et budgétaires. L’Union a démontré une certaine agilité, voire même une flexibilité ces derniers mois. Mais deux questions, au-delà de la question de génération et de la convention que vous proposez, vont nous rattraper, c’est une évidence. D’abord, jusqu’à quand arriverons-nous à décider à l’unanimité? Et à quel prix? Et deuxièmement, jusqu’où devons-nous investir en commun et sur quelles priorités? Ce sont aussi des questions qu’on doit se poser si nous lançons une grande convention, qu’il ne faut pas restreindre à un seul point, peut-être avec la question du Conseil. Nous devons agir avec organisation. Nous avons été les premiers à demander une conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe, avec maintenant une révision de notre budget et une convention qui doit faire suite. Je pense que la position de mon groupe est claire et ne vous surprendra pas.

Le dernier front, et j’en finis là-dessus, ne vous surprendra pas non plus. C’est l’état de droit. Nos valeurs doivent être notre boussole. Ce qui se joue à l’extérieur de nos frontières est aussi en jeu à l’intérieur de l’Union européenne. Je pense notamment à Viktor Orbán. Pas un centime ne doit aller à M. Orbán. Regardez, depuis maintenant dix ans, où notre indifférence nous a menés: la corruption et les discriminations ont explosé dans ce pays. Les médias hongrois sous contrôle diffusent maintenant de la propagande russe et les élections ne sont même plus équitables. Je pense aussi à la Pologne, même si le cas est différent. Mais ces dérives, Madame la Présidente, doivent être combattues.

À l’heure où d’autres pays pourraient basculer en territoire démocratique inconnu, comme l’Italie, nous vous demandons de tenir. Il faudra tenir. Madame la Présidente, nous comptons beaucoup sur vous, sur l’ensemble des commissaires européens et du Collège. Les crises multiples nous démontrent que l’agenda que nous avions défini en début d’année 2019 est le bon. Transition écologique, résilience économique, modèle démocratique. Pour tout cela, Renew est fier de ce que nous avons déjà accompli et prêt à traverser les crises, prêt à vous apporter son soutien pour mener à bien les chantiers que vous avez présentés, sans trembler, sans attendre et sans oublier nos priorités, l’ensemble de nos priorités dans ce nouvel ordre international. Madame la Présidente, je suis convaincu que nous serons collectivement, en Européens, à la hauteur.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, dear Commission President and dear Ms Zelenska, it is a big honour to have you here with us today and your presence reminds us that while we talk a lot about the problems that we’re facing in the EU, the real consequences of this war of aggression of Putin are carried by the people in Ukraine. A brutal invasion led against the peaceful people of Ukraine simply because they chose to live in freedom and democracy. Putin cannot live with the fact that people live in liberty with human and civil rights and that nations work together peacefully. Freedom and democracy – principles the EU was founded on – are the biggest threats to him.

All together, we must face this atrocious aggression with determination and with courage, just as Ukraine is showing us. Europe needs to support and continue to support Ukraine in their fight for peace and self-determination and even scale up those efforts. The past days have shown that the Ukrainian people are able to resist the attack. And it is now that Europe needs to stand by their side, by your side.

While Ukraine suffers most from the attack, there are also consequences for the EU. We must be prepared for tough times ahead. To do that, we must show solidarity to the outside but also to the inside by ensuring that the costs and consequences are carried by the stronger shoulders in our society. With skyrocketing energy and food prices, we must act. We know that many citizens in our Union are fearful of what the winter will bring. Fearful of being unable to heat their homes, feed their children, pay their bills. We cannot turn a blind eye to the situation of the most vulnerable people in our Union. Already now, every fifth person in the EU lives in poverty, and the scale of the increase in prices means that many more households will be at risk. It is our duty to ensure that people who are struggling get support and that the greed and profits of a few don’t lead to the misery of many.

So let’s take bold policy steps to make sure that everyone gets through these tough times. And I welcome the Commission President’s proposal to skim off windfall profits from energy companies, something that we as the Greens/EFA Group have been calling for since the beginning of this crisis.

The only true way to end our energy dependency is, on the one hand, to use less energy and, on the other hand, to produce more renewable energy. Sun and wind provide us with much more power than we could ever possibly use. So let’s profit from that. Fossil fuels have been a driver for ecological disaster and for dangerous dependency. Renewables are the true catalyst for peace, security and stability. Now is the time to scale up investments in renewables, to put solar panels on every roof, insulate buildings, and make sure sun and wind carry us into a new era of sustainable and affordable European energy production.

And let’s make no mistake, Commission President and colleagues, the climate crisis is probably the biggest political test for our generation. All over Europe, we experience the devastation the climate crisis is bringing and will bring to our continent and to the world. This summer, massive droughts and heatwaves paved the way for wildfires, killing a substantial amount of our harvest as well, and led to thousands of deaths that came prematurely. The cost of non-action is immense. It is time to act and to quickly build a brighter, cleaner future to capitalise on the enormous potential that the green transition brings in terms of sustainable economic development, well-paying and future-proofed jobs, cleaner air and a better quality of life for our citizens.

Dear colleagues, dear Commission President, Putin’s war against Ukraine is also targeted at our EU values and at democracy. In order to stand strong against opponents and threats, we have to defend those values within the EU and without exception. I am grateful for your strong words on the rule of law, Commission President, however, we have heard very promising words before. What we are lacking is action. Thanks to Parliament, we have instruments at hand, but now they need to be used, including the rule of law conditionality mechanism. Dear Commission President, please respect the conditionality instrument and the political will of this Parliament. No money should be given to the governments of Poland and Hungary unless they clearly return to the path of rule of law.

And I want to tell our dear colleagues from the EPP and especially you, Mr Weber, to be careful with whom we form partnerships. Looking at Italy, you are playing a risky game, with democracy and with our shared values, just for power. A game that could backfire on all of us. A group that claims to be part of the democratic majority should not partner with people who wear Putin-fancier shirts nor parties with fascist logos. Not in Italy, not in Spain, not in Sweden. Not in the EPP. Nowhere and never. And, it is a bit awkward that I say this as a Green, but the centre right has a very important role to play in Europe and part of this, together with all of us, is to ward off the extreme right. If you open the door to them, you are doing a big, big disservice to Europe but I believe also to your own party.

Dear Commission President and dear colleagues, yes, the state of the Union is full of challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine to the rule of law to the climate crisis. We are facing a big test. However, I am convinced that the EU has the strength to face these challenges if we work together. Work together towards new energy independence, a climate-neutral continent and, maybe most importantly, a European Union that deserves and maintains the trust of our European citizens, founded on values, founded on solidarity.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Zelenska, benvenuta, la sua testimonianza qui oggi è importante ed è importante il fatto che anche oggi abbia avuto la dimostrazione che quest'Aula e queste istituzioni continueranno a sostenere, a livello trasversale, il popolo ucraino contro l'aggressione russa.

Prima di entrare nel vivo degli argomenti toccati dalla Presidente von der Leyen, vorrei dare un suggerimento agli amici verdi e socialisti che, in mancanza di idee originali, continuano a gridare alla minaccia fascista in Europa: bene, vi suggerisco di parlare con i cittadini, con i commercianti, con le imprese e vi accorgerete che nessuno di loro è preoccupato da una minaccia fascista, ma piuttosto sono preoccupati di dover sopportare i danni di anni di politiche devastanti e distruttive portate avanti da questi gruppi in Europa.

Su quanto detto dalla Presidente van der Leyen, abbiamo ascoltato un bel discorso ma purtroppo, Presidente, rimane un discorso, rimangono parole. Lei ha annunciato delle misure che la Commissione proporrà per far fronte a una situazione drammatica che mai questo continente ha vissuto in passato. Ma queste misure – mi permetta di dire – non sono neanche lontanamente sufficienti per poter portare un aiuto concreto a chi oggi sta soffrendo, senza colpa, di una situazione che – ripeto – è drammatica.

Le imprese stanno chiudendo, stanno fermando la produzione, i negozi stanno chiudendo e i cittadini non sono più in grado di affrontare i costi della vita che stanno aumentando in maniera esponenziale in tutta Europa. Ed è vero, come lei ha ricordato, che la colpa principale di questo non risiede nell'Europa ma di chi ha portato avanti un'aggressione ingiustificata. Ma dal 24 febbraio in poi l'Europa è responsabile di proteggere i propri cittadini dalle conseguenze che potevamo immaginare e che sapevamo sin dall'inizio ci sarebbero state. E la colpa dell'Europa è stata quella di non aver agito in tempo.

Lei qualche giorno fa ci ha ricordato che la democrazia ha un costo: è vero, se vogliamo la democrazia ci sono dei processi che dobbiamo sopportare, c'è un dialogo, c'è un confronto e poi le cose si fanno. Ma questa non deve essere una giustificazione a una non azione e a un ritardo che purtroppo è responsabilità di alcune istituzioni europee.

Il tetto al prezzo del gas, che è l'unica misura che potrà in qualche modo aiutare cittadini e imprese contro questa crisi che stiamo vivendo, rimane ancora aleatorio, rimane ancora nelle discussioni, rimane ancora in un dibattito e in una dialettica che non ci fa sperare e non fa sperare chi sta soffrendo in maniera troppo evidente di fronte a questa crisi. E riguardo a questo grido di aiuto, a questo appello a un'azione concreta e rapida di fronte a una situazione critica, faccio anche un'altra riflessione, più interna ai meccanismi dell'Unione europea e al lavoro che la Commissione europea ha portato avanti sin dal 2019.

Nel mio Paese c'è un detto secondo cui solo gli stupidi e gli stolti non cambiano idea. Ecco, io credo che la Commissione europea debba fare suo questo detto e guardare a quanto proposto, ai pilastri di quello che era il programma nel 2019 e capire che alcune cose vanno riviste. Il mondo del 2019, quando queste norme e questi piani sono stati pensati, è un mondo che è totalmente cambiato, è un mondo che sappiamo non esisterà più. Le lancette del tempo non torneranno indietro.

Abbiamo bisogno quindi che sul Green Deal e su alcune politiche commerciali l'Europa e la Commissione guardino con pragmatismo alla situazione cambiata e, in maniera lungimirante, sappiano ammettere che ci sono diverse condizioni e quindi certe cose non solo non sono più attuabili ma ad oggi non hanno aiutato né a proteggere il clima, né a realizzare quella transizione industriale e socioeconomica di cui questo continente oggi ha disperatamente bisogno.

 
  
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  Raffaele Fitto, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signora Presidente, signora Presidente von der Leyen, onorevoli colleghi, anche io, a nome del gruppo dei conservatori, voglio rivolgere un saluto, un benvenuto, un pieno sostegno alla signora Zelenska e ribadire in questa occasione quanto sia utile e fondamentale lanciare da quest'Aula un messaggio di chiarezza nel pieno sostegno all'Ucraina.

Il suo discorso quest'anno sullo Stato dell'Unione è sicuramente il discorso più difficile degli ultimi anni, perché il contesto nel quale ci troviamo è certamente un contesto veramente complesso, non solamente per quanto sta accadendo in questi giorni ma perché veniamo da un periodo difficile, prima la pandemia e poi lo scoppio della guerra.

Ed è importante – non è formale ma è sostanziale – esprimere con chiarezza, anche e soprattutto in questa circostanza, una condanna forte dell'azione della Russia, del comportamento della Russia; esprimere un pieno e solidale sostegno, anche fattivo e concreto, all'Ucraina nell'azione di ogni giorno da parte dei governi e da parte di questa Istituzione europea.

Al tempo stesso, è altrettanto molto importante lavorare affinché, sui temi della difesa e della politica estera, l'Europa sia in grado di poter costruire una posizione differente rispetto al passato, soprattutto all'interno dell'Alleanza atlantica, laddove va rafforzata la filiera, il rapporto e la partnership con i Paesi europei.

Ma è chiaro che tutto questo ci porta oggi a esprimere una valutazione che non può che essere di pieno sostegno a una linea non semplice ma che va portata avanti con forza, che è quella del sostegno alle sanzioni, perché solo con le sanzioni si possono ottenere questi risultati e tale azione sul tema delle sanzioni è decisiva rispetto anche alla necessità, però, di invertire un'azione dal punto di vista della quotidianità. E qui serve unità e tempestività.

Serve unità, Presidente von der Leyen, non unità di facciata, unità vera all'interno del contesto europeo. Serve per poter affrontare due grandi questioni, quella dell'energia e quella degli interventi verso famiglie e imprese, per poter sostenere la crisi di fronte alla quale noi oggi ci troviamo. Ed è chiaro che in questo contesto noi abbiamo bisogno di risposte chiare: il tetto del prezzo del gas è una di questa, così come il disaccoppiamento del prezzo del gas e dell'energia. Scelte coraggiose.

Io le voglio fare un esempio concreto per spiegare il senso della speculazione in atto e della necessità di intervenire. Ebbene, noi abbiamo nei giorni scorsi, il 9 settembre, assistito a un Consiglio europeo dei ministri dell'Energia che hanno dato un segnale molto positivo e chiaro; subito dopo, il 12 settembre, il prezzo del gas è sceso sotto i 200 EUR, quando il 26 agosto era di oltre 330 EUR. Nei giorni scorsi, in queste ore, il prezzo del gas sta risalendo, perché il segnale che arriva dal contesto delle Istituzioni europee non è positivo.

Ecco perché noi abbiamo bisogno di una risposta forte, ecco perché tutti gli Stati membri devono realmente essere consapevoli della difficoltà che affrontiamo. E su questo c'è bisogno anche di tempestività perché tutte le programmazioni, da quelle della coesione – penso alla programmazione del 2021-2027 – al PNRR, scontano il prezzo di aver avuto un'analisi di contesto, nelle loro scelte, che è precedente allo scoppio della guerra.

Dobbiamo avere maggiore flessibilità sull'utilizzo di queste risorse e, al tempo stesso, dobbiamo lavorare con convinzione per dare una unità vera al contesto europeo. Vedete, io ho ascoltato le dichiarazioni dei colleghi presidenti degli altri gruppi: io capisco la necessità anche di polemizzare rispetto alle elezioni nazionali dei vari paesi. Ma non è questa la strada.

Anche io ringrazio le due ragazze che hanno accolto i profughi ucraini; sono due ragazze che rappresentano certamente un bell'esempio. Però, consentitemelo, il bell'esempio viene anche da tutto quel fronte di governi e di paesi, a partire dalla Polonia, che hanno aperto le braccia e operativamente hanno dato una dimostrazione eccezionale in tema di accoglienza, quando si è trattato di accogliere i profughi che scappavano dall'Ucraina. E allora dobbiamo essere consapevoli che l'unità non può essere ricercata qui dentro, andando allo scontro; l'unità deve essere vera, sostanziale, evitando di utilizzare l'arma dello Stato di diritto quando non ci serve e, soprattutto, evitando di utilizzare il furore ideologico che non ci accompagna da nessuna parte in positivo.

Lo dico ai nostri colleghi: noi nei prossimi mesi probabilmente lavoreremo su fronti comuni, nell'interesse generale, e non serve questa polemica, non serve questo scontro. Serve un senso di maturità e di responsabilità; serve un'Europa seria, in grado di capire, in collaborazione con i governi nazionali, la strada che deve essere portata avanti.

In questo contesto io mi auguro che ci possa essere un approccio corretto. La democrazia, vedete, non è quando piace a voi, non è quando gli elettori votano come dite voi. La democrazia è sempre, è quando gli elettori votano. E tutti quanti insieme, sia quando si vince che quando si perde, dobbiamo rispettare il mandato dei cittadini. Solo così riusciremo a costruire un'Europa seria, credibile, che possa affrontare le sfide del futuro.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Présidente von der Leyen, chers collègues, Madame Olena Zelenska, à quoi bon un discours de politique générale, si ce n’est pour répondre aux préoccupations quotidiennes des citoyens européens? Alors, pour vous les rappeler, Madame von der Leyen, je suis venue ici avec les factures que des citoyens m’ont demandé de vous montrer. Celle-là, celle de Gilles, qui a vu le prix de son électricité augmenter de 113 euros par mois et qui accompagne son message par: «Je ne suis pas sûr de me chauffer cet hiver». Celle de Grégoire, 2 300 euros de factures de gaz en à peine six mois. Et puis je pourrais en citer plein d’autres, celle de Brigitte, ici, qui se demande si elle va devoir arrêter de manger ou de s’éclairer cet hiver. Et je vais vous dire, ces gens, ils sont des millions dans leur cas, des millions à ne plus pouvoir faire face à l’augmentation faramineuse des prix, qui ne se limite pas au seul secteur de l’énergie. Des millions à ne plus supporter que pendant que leurs salaires stagnent, augmentent deux fois moins vite que l’inflation, la hausse des prix, les dividendes des actionnaires, eux, ont explosé de 29 %.

Alors, je vous le concède, ce n’est pas la crise pour tout le monde et certains nagent effectivement dans l’abondance, comme dirait un certain Emmanuel Macron. Pendant que 99 % des citoyens tirent la langue, une poignée de milliardaires enchaînent les allers-retours entre Paris et Ibiza. Une poignée d’entre eux aussi alimentent des golfs qui sont arrosés largement, le tout en pleine sécheresse et en pleine canicule. Voilà l’état de votre Union européenne, Madame von der Leyen. Et je regrette que vous n’ayez pas parlé de ces gens-là et que vous ayez d’ailleurs assez peu parlé des questions sociales dans votre discours. Et cette crise n’est pas uniquement le résultat de la terrible guerre en Ukraine et du chantage odieux de Vladimir Poutine. Elle est aussi le produit d’un système économique dont vous êtes aujourd’hui bien obligée de reconnaître les failles. Alors commençons par la taxation des superprofits. Déjà, première nouvelle, vous reconnaissez qu’il existe des superprofits des grandes entreprises multinationales? N’hésitez pas à en parler au ministre de l’économie et des finances, Bruno Lemaire, qui ne l’a manifestement pas compris.

Alors que dans ce Parlement, nous étions bien seuls à demander une taxation des superprofits, je vois que le débat progresse et que nous sommes en passe de remporter une bataille culturelle. Je ne sais pas si c’est la crainte de nous donner raison, Madame von der Leyen, mais je dois d’ailleurs saluer votre créativité lexicale. Je vous ai imaginée avec un petit dictionnaire des synonymes, en cherchant comment éviter de reprendre les termes, en contournant les superprofits, en inventant la notion de contribution des profits exceptionnels. Mais je vais vous le dire, la bataille des mots nous importe peu. Ce qui compte, c’est bien que pour lui donner tout son sens, cette taxation ne doit pas être limitée aux énergies fossiles: elle doit concerner l’ensemble des entreprises qui ont profité de la crise. Celles du luxe comme LVMH, du fret maritime comme CMA-CGM, du secteur bancaire comme BNP. Et elles sont nombreuses, les multinationales à avoir fait des superprofits, pas uniquement dans le secteur de l’énergie, il faut le dire ici.

Sur le marché de l’énergie, c’est la même chose. Je vous revois, célébrant au début de votre mandat les vertus du marché. On voit aujourd’hui le résultat, avec une débâcle qui illustre à elle seule la crise de votre système de pensée. Rendez-vous compte que la première puissance économique mondiale, l’Union européenne, en est réduite à croiser les doigts pour que les black-out ne soient pas trop nombreux cet hiver et que les gens puissent encore avoir les moyens de simplement s’éclairer ou se chauffer. Alors là aussi, face à l’échec de ce modèle, vous entrouvrez la porte à un blocage – temporaire bien sûr – des revenus des énergéticiens, en laissant quand même des marges énormes à ces entreprises, des fois qu’elles ne se soient pas suffisamment gavées. Les rustines ne suffiront pas. Il faut bloquer les prix au niveau d’avant-crise et sortir l’énergie du marché, car elle est un bien commun comme l’eau, la santé, la nature et tout ce qui nous est nécessaire pour vivre.

La lucidité tardive et partielle ne suffit pas, Madame von der Leyen, encore faut-il de la cohérence. Et en matière climatique, dont vous avez aussi peu parlé aujourd’hui, on ne peut pas dire que c’est cela qui vous étouffe. Alors que l’Europe vient de vivre l’été le plus chaud de toute son histoire, voilà que vous reprenez à tour de bras la signature d’accords de libre-échange. Notre planète brûle, on dit aux citoyens qu’il faut éteindre le Wi-Fi, mais vous nous demandez encore de vider la mer à la petite cuillère si dans le même temps vous entêtez à importer du lait et de la viande de Nouvelle-Zélande, à littéralement 19 000 kilomètres, on ne fait pas plus loin. En fait, voilà le cœur du problème, Madame von der Leyen: la crise vous contraint à changer de pied provisoirement, mais le naturel revient vite au galop. C’est d’ailleurs la même histoire avec la pandémie. Vous nous aviez dit: «J’ai compris la leçon», mais vous êtes ensuite retournée immédiatement au business as usual.

Alors, pour conclure, Madame von der Leyen, vous nous parlez du refus du carcan budgétaire. Mais comment vous croire quand c’est en échange de plus de contrôle des États membres? Vous nous reparlez d’une convention, de réforme des traités, mais comment vous croire quand vous avez ignoré les conclusions de la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe? Nous n’avons plus le temps d’attendre et de tout repousser à demain. En réalité, vous êtes prisonnière d’un logiciel en panne et d’un modèle en fin de vie, ce modèle d’une politique libérale qui s’effondre, incapable de résoudre les crises que vos politiques ont créées. Face à ça, deux alternatives: la haine, et je regrette, comme mes collègues de ce point de vue-là, que la droite ait fait le choix de s’allier à l’extrême droite, parfois ici et trop souvent dans un certain nombre d’États membres. La droite a choisi son camp, le nôtre, il est clair, c’est celui de la solidarité. Alors je vous demande, Madame von der Leyen, combien de crises faudra-t-il encore pour que vous tiriez enfin véritablement les conséquences de ces échecs ?

 
  
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  Tamás Deutsch (NI). – Elnök Asszony! Tisztelt kollégák! Először engedjenek meg egy megjegyzést a zöldek képviselőjének hozzászólása kapcsán. Magyarországon a szocialisták és demokratákhoz tartozó magyar pártok, a liberálisokhoz tartozó magyar pártok és a zöldekhez tartozó magyar pártok évek óta szoros politikai és választási szövetségben vannak egy antiszemita és szalonnáci párttal, a Jobbikkal. Így, hogyha Önök kifogásolják a szélsőséges politikai erőkkel való együttműködést, akkor először söprögessenek a saját házuk táján. Tisztelt Elnök Asszonyok! Mi, magyarok német és szovjet megszállást is elszenvedő nemzet fiaiként pontosan tudjuk, milyen az agresszióval szemben a függetlenségért harcolni. Holokauszt-túlélő zsidó magyar gyermekeként pontosan tudom, milyen a háború embertelen pusztítása. Mindannyian a megtámadott oldalán állunk.

Amikor a nyár elején a szankciókat elfogadták, az Európai Bizottság azt ígérte, hogy a szankciók térdre fogják kényszeríteni Oroszországot. Azt ígérték, hogy a szankciók Oroszországnak lesznek húsba vágóak, nem az európai embereknek. Azt ígérték, hogy a szankciók elhozzák a háború végét. Nos, a háború végét ma sem látjuk, az európai emberek energiaszámlái viszont az egekbe szöktek. Oroszország eközben soha nem látott nagyságú bevételekre tett szert az energiaárak emelkedése miatt. A szankciók bevezetése óta az infláció vágtat, az európai emberek szegényebbek lettek, Oroszország pedig gazdagabb. Európában a válság és energiahiány fenyeget. Tisztelt Elnök Asszony, a Bizottság nem ezt ígérte, amikor a szankciókat bevezette.

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Madam President, thank you very much and first of all, I want to thank all the presidents of the groups for the broad coalition supporting the proposals of solidarity for the vulnerable households and companies.

And yes, we know time is of the essence. But when I look at Madam Aubry, the bills you have shown to us – yes in French, you would say ils sont insupportables. This is right. But you know what? Send those bills to Moscow. That’s where they belong to, that’s where the source is.

I have a plea to this Parliament. We all, you all rightly so, say: speed, speed, speed. Time is of the essence. You’ve done phenomenal things with the Digital COVID certificate. Please do that again with REPowerEU, because you are all – rightly so – calling for investment for renewables, also cross-border projects. Here there are more than EUR 300 billion that could be invested in cross-border projects. You are calling for the permitting process, that it has to be sped up.

Well, the permitting process, the reform is in REPowerEU. You are calling for stabilising the ETS prices. It’s in REPowerEU, and EUR 20 billion fresh money. So please speed up. I have the same call and plea to the European Council and the Member States: please speed up because we really need you to do again a miracle like in the COVID times.

Now, Stéphane Séjourné, you’re right, we must call out Putin’s lies. And I want to look at the issue of food. Nothing, nothing in our sanctions prevents Russia from exporting food and fertilisers to vulnerable countries. We have to say that over and over again because it’s the truth. And Russia just says the opposite, which is a lie.

Russia has blocked Ukrainian harbours, a very simple truth. And our solidarity lanes, together with the UN deal – that was really helpful – have now enabled that more than 10 million tonnes of grains have left Ukraine. Today, 30% of Ukraine’s grain exports are going to low and middle income countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia. So it’s Ukraine’s grain that has made prices drop again. Prices for maize and wheat have decreased by 20%. They are almost back to pre-war levels.

So, we should be very clear in our messaging. The fact is that Putin has created the food crisis. Europe and the United Nations are working to put an end to that. That’s the truth.

And on agriculture: Europe is a top agri-food producer and exporter. And that’s a great pride. And it gives a special responsibility in times when so many countries simply don’t have enough food. This is why, as you know, we have decided to allow the cultivation of any crops on set-aside land for the next harvesting season.

We know that farmers are also coping with high prices for energy and for fertilisers. And, therefore, less than a month into the war, we triggered for the very first time the crisis reserve under the common agricultural policy. This frees up to EUR 500 million for the most effected farming sectors, and Member States can top this up with another EUR 1.4 billion for European rural development funds.

Keep in mind, Member States can also use the revenues from the solidarity contribution we just put on the table as a proposal of the oil and gas companies to support fertiliser production in Europe.

But finally – and again, this goes for the whole energy crisis – there’s one simple truth that applies to both energy and fertilisers: the more we save, the less we pay. And the less fossil fuel based fertilisers we use, the less dependent we are on fossil fuel imports.

In the last month, globally, but also across Europe, each and every one of us felt more clearly than ever before the immense impact of the global climate crisis. And you’ve mentioned it all, the heat records, the heavy rain events, the floods, the devastating droughts destroying crops and livelihoods. They urge us to move more swiftly than ever together. We need a resilient and sustainable agriculture that preserves biodiversity and, above all, the healthy, fertile soil. And that can cushion all the aforementioned disasters.

Therefore, our discussions on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers are crucial, using the natural resources entrusted to us in a careful and preserving way.

 
  
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  Mikuláš Bek, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, President von der Leyen, honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen. Let me start by thanking you, President von der Leyen, on behalf of the Council, for your cooperation and leadership in these uncertain and challenging times that Europe is witnessing since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine and its people.

Russia is fighting not only against Ukraine, but also against our values and principles. For this reason, the Czech Presidency will never cease to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, using all the means at the EU's disposal, which includes, inter alia, providing all the political, military, economic and humanitarian assistance that Ukraine may need. The challenges we face are manifold and their combined impacts are taking a high toll on our populations, especially the most vulnerable and on our economies. These challenges also present risks for our ambitious EU agenda. We need to address the immediate challenges while keeping our long-term goal goals very much in mind. It’s no easy task.

President von der Leyen, you have given us a lot of food for thought. You have addressed the most pressing issues that require our full collective attention, and the Council will no doubt give its political support to meeting these objectives.

President von der Leyen, in a number of your previous speeches, you referred to Czech President Václav Havel, and I thank you for that. And indeed, as Václav Havel once said, the task ahead of Europe deserves careful and thorough reflection.

Madam President, you can count on our presidency to help you rethink, rebuild and repower Europe. Addressing this hemicycle in July, Prime Minister Fiala outlined our priorities, which largely align with yours. The most urgent tasks are to address the various dimensions of the war on Ukraine, bring genuine energy security, strengthen Europe's defence capabilities, secure the strategic resilience of the EU economy, and ensure the resilience of our democratic institutions. Energy security and mitigating high energy prices is our most pressing task. I welcome that the Commission is today following up with its proposals on some of the measures discussed by the Council last week. We are determined to work around the clock on these proposals and reach an agreement among the Member States at the next meeting of energy ministers scheduled for 30 September. However, the situation we are facing is very difficult and complex: a European response is necessary. Therefore, we welcome the Commission's intention to come up with further measures in the following weeks. All of this we have to keep in mind, while not forgetting about our long-term goals, namely the green and digital transitions. And of course, we will also follow up on the recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Council will do its utmost to progress at pace on the many initiatives already on the table and on the new ones to come.

Finally, we welcome the Commission's letter of intent, which the Council will discuss next week, together with the annual foresight report. We look forward to continuing the dialogue among the three institutions on our common priorities for the next year. The Council will then, in November, discuss the new Commission work programme with a view to the next joint declaration on legislative priorities. Our joint programming can help us and our three institutions achieve results in a focused and targeted way. Let me reaffirm the Council's commitment to this process, and I assure you that the presidency will continue to be a determined and sincere partner.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, President von der Leyen, dear colleagues, we are all witnessing this year the people of Ukraine standing up for European values. We admire their resistance, their fighting spirit and we are inspired by this here in the European Parliament, and millions of citizens are inspired across the European Union. Wanting to live in freedom, in democracy, deciding one’s own future, this means defending European values.

Ukraine has a European path. We here in the European Parliament are convinced of this. We have done all we could for the people of Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis, and we will continue to do so.

This is why, President von der Leyen, long before EU accession will be possible, we will support what you have presented today on working towards bringing Ukraine closer to the single market of the European Union, because that means freedom of movement for people, for goods, for services, for capital. It will mean the European Union and Ukraine growing closer together, more possibilities to rebuild Ukraine and to work to develop Ukraine. We shall support this initiative, firstly.

Secondly, more measures and quicker measures to support citizens in the European Union, capping energy prices, including prices on imported Russian gas, using existing funds for energy interconnectivity, for energy efficiency, for reducing dependency, and for investing in renewables. This is what REPowerEU is about. We are finalising, President and dear colleagues working in the European Parliament, to make sure that money flows where it is needed fast.

But, President von der Leyen, as you have announced new measures today, we shall also work together on revising the budget of the European Union. We want to do more. We need to make sure that in all of those areas we have money.

To conclude, Madam President, we also have a duty to make the European Union safer. We have enlarged NATO because Finland and Sweden wanted to join and because they fulfilled the criteria. We should do the same for the Schengen area. For many years, Romania and Bulgaria are fulfilling the conditions and Croatia now fulfils them as well.

We in the Parliament have a clear position. The Commission has a clear position. We shall be united in pushing the Council to doing this because enlarging Schengen means more security for all of us.

 
  
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  Simona Bonafè (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ci troviamo davanti a un'altra grave crisi in Europa che colpisce pesantemente le nostre famiglie e le nostre imprese, strette nella morsa del caro-energia e dell'inflazione. Come per la pandemia, non possiamo stare a guardare mentre le imprese chiudono e le famiglie si impoveriscono.

Nei momenti più duri serve che l'Europa faccia fino in fondo l'Europa, che metta davanti a tutto e a tutti l'interesse comune europeo, a dispetto di chi, anche quando la pandemia picchiava duro, in nome dell'ideologia sovranista ha sempre ostacolato decisioni solidaristiche comuni e di chi, ancora oggi nel mio Paese, si candida a governare dicendo che la "pacchia" di un'Europa più unita, più solida e solidale deve finire, salvo poi venire qui e accusare l'Europa di immobilismo e inerzia.

Io oggi ho sentito parole chiare da parte sua, Presidente von der Leyen, sul futuro dell'Unione, sulle sfide che abbiamo davanti, sulle misure necessarie ora per aggredire la crisi, a partire dalla riforma dell'intero mercato energetico e da nuove risorse per famiglie e imprese.

Si agisca però con coraggio. E sul fronte dell'energia, non si perda altro tempo per porre un tetto massimo al prezzo del gas, unica misura in grado di fermare questa odiosa speculazione in atto.

"L'Europa è una comunità di destino o non è Europa". Ha detto bene, Presidente von der Leyen: la nostra unità è la nostra vera forza; le nostre divisioni, la nostra condanna. Lo ricordi però tutti, qui dentro.

 
  
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  Malik Azmani (Renew). – Madam President, dear President von der Leyen, dear Commissioners and dear colleagues, I want to start by praising the people of Ukraine for their enduring bravery and commitment to freedom. The progress they have made shows our aid and assistance to Ukraine is working. The EU must supply the weapons Ukraine needs to keep that momentum.

Let us communicate directly to the people of Europe about who is responsible for the cost of living crisis. Madam President, the origin of high inflation points to one man. We have a ‘cost of Putin’ crisis. His reckless actions have driven up everyday energy and food costs for households and businesses.

In the short term, we must do what is necessary to limit the economic shock we are facing. Europe’s small businesses cannot be left to pay unsustainable bills for the maniac in the Kremlin. They are the backbone of our economy, Madam President. So please make sure your proposals focus on them too.

That is why Renew Europe has set out a plan for an energy shield and a food security strategy and act we must. However, let us be mindful of unintended consequences. Remember that, ultimately, the market knows best how to allocate resources. Reform the market? Yes. Disfigure the market? No, thank you.

Madam President, the extreme weather we have seen also this summer shows the importance of the green transition. We have the chance to transform our economy and deliver millions of new jobs by harnessing new technologies. A temporary end to this crisis is no justification to undermine the Green Deal.

And, finally, on migration, we need to act, Ms von der Leyen, not only with arguments about the incentives of migration, but our citizens expect that we are in control of migration. And if a package approach doesn’t work, then we need to decouple and start with some important files like screening at external borders, strengthen also more our efforts on the external dimension.

If we do not act, Ms von der Leyen, we will see more Melonis on the European stage. And that is our common responsibility to prevent.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, confronted with a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU has provided a firm and united response. We have rightly decided to stand with the Ukrainian people in the face of this criminal aggression. We did the right thing. We have to be with those defending democracy, freedom and ultimately what we like to call the European values.

But it should be remembered, as you did in your speech, that within our European Union, these same values cannot at all times and in all places be taken for granted either. That here too, it is necessary to defend every day respect for fundamental rights and democracy, although luckily in our case, not with a force of arms, because we do indeed have problems in this regard, and not all of them are caused by threats coming from the outside.

While in some Member States we are spied on by the hacking of our phones – as has happened to me and other colleagues in this Parliament. We have a serious problem when political and judicial abuses committed in Member States must be called out by international organisations as it recently happened to Spain. We have a problem when the rule of law continues to deteriorate in some Member States and when we don’t really use the mechanism to correct that situation, we also have a problem.

So, Madam von der Leyen, I kindly ask you for more courage to protect, defend and improve the state of democracy and the respect for fundamental rights in our Union.

 
  
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  Jordan Bardella (ID). – Madame la Présidente du Parlement, Madame la Présidente de la Commission européenne, nous y sommes. Voilà les peuples d’Europe au pied du mur. Si l’état d’urgence énergétique doit aujourd’hui être déclaré, la guerre n’y est pas étrangère. Mais ce sont d’abord et avant tout vos errements successifs que nous payons aujourd’hui. Vous illustrez parfaitement le proverbe français «l’enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions».

Vous vouliez sortir de notre dépendance aux énergies fossiles, vous nous avez mis entre les mains de la Russie, des États-Unis, de la Chine et des pétromonarchies du Golfe. Vous prétendiez décarboner notre économie, nous rouvrons des centrales à charbon en raison d’une guerre absurde et irrationnelle menée contre le nucléaire, sous la pression des Verts. Vous vouliez effondrer l’économie russe, vous lui avez offert une manne financière inespérée en démultipliant ses revenus d’hydrocarbures. Vous prétendiez défendre l’écologie, vous importez du gaz de schiste américain à grand renfort de méthaniers. Vous vous placiez en défenseur des valeurs de l’Europe, vous vous mettez aujourd’hui à genoux devant l’Azerbaïdjan qui bombarde le valeureux peuple d’Arménie parce que vous mendiez ses hydrocarbures. Vous vantiez les mérites de l’Europe sociale, vous préparez maintenant le rationnement de millions de familles françaises et européennes qui n’ont jamais tant redouté l’hiver qui vient. Par vos incohérences, par vos revirements insensés, par vos renoncements à la souveraineté, vous plongez nos peuples et leurs entreprises dans la détresse en les confrontant à des urgences que l’on croyait d’un autre temps.

La baisse de la TVA sur l’énergie, le retour à une saine maîtrise des prix par la sortie du marché européen de l’électricité, la taxation des superprofits comme le soutien indéfectible à la filière nucléaire sont autant de mesures indispensables pour empêcher que nous revenions à l’âge de pierre économique.

Madame von der Leyen, partout, les peuples d’Europe sont en colère. Il n’est pas loin le temps où ils vous demanderont avec la sévérité d’un juge devant le coupable: qu’avez-vous fait du rêve européen?

 
  
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  Beata Szydło (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Przewodnicząca Komisji! Szanowni Państwo! Najważniejszy fragment dzisiejszego wystąpienia pani przewodniczącej von der Leyen to ten, w którym przyznała, że błędem było niesłuchanie Polski i innych krajów, które przestrzegały przed polityką prowadzoną przez Unię Europejską wobec Rosji Putina. To dobrze, że te słowa padły. Ale pytanie: czy jest to rzeczywista refleksja i chce, by na tym zdaniu, na tej refleksji budować inną, lepszą, solidarną Unię Europejską, bo takiej dzisiaj potrzebują Europejczycy? Czy też tylko i wyłącznie jest to zdanie, nad którym przejdziemy wszyscy do porządku dziennego i będzie dalej, tak jak do tej pory?

Padło tutaj wiele ważnych zdań, ale padły też zdania o konieczności obrony demokracji, praworządności w różnych europejskich krajach członkowskich. Tak, Unia Europejska musi stać na straży demokracji i praworządności. Ale to znamienne, że te słowa wypowiadają przede wszystkim politycy z frakcji liberalnych i socjalistycznych, przede wszystkim z Niemiec i Francji. I odnoszą się one do rzekomego łamania prawa, praworządności i demokracji w Polsce czy na Węgrzech. To jaka ma być ta demokracja? Czy to ma być demokracja taka, jak chcą jej Niemcy? Bo jak mam odebrać słowa pana przewodniczącego Webera, który mówi o wspieraniu Donalda Tuska, a więc włącza się w wewnętrzną walkę polityczną, w kampanię wyborczą w Polsce? Czy to ma być też demokracja, która szanuje wybory polityczne obywateli w państwach członkowskich? O jakiej praworządności my mówimy ? Czy o tej praworządności, która szanuje konstytucje poszczególnych państw członkowskich i nasze zasady, nasze traktaty? Czy takiej, która jest dobra właśnie dla Niemiec, dla Francji czy dla tych większych, bogatszych, którzy chcą swoją wizję świata i Europy narzucić innym?

Potrzebujemy jedności i solidarności. Za naszą granicą jest wojna. Ta wojna może dotknąć nas wszystkich. Dzisiaj musimy zjednoczyć się i budować jedność, żeby przeciwstawić się Putinowi, wyciągać wnioski z przeszłości. Nie chcę przypominać również o wsparciu dla Putina i dla Rosji tutaj, w tej izbie. Nie chcę przypominać, że to byli kanclerze Niemiec, były kanclerz niemiecki wspierał Putina i politykę energetyczną tego kraju. Dlatego, szanowni państwo, szanujmy się. I naprawdę więcej refleksji nad jednością i solidarnością nas wszystkich.

 
  
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  Malin Björk (The Left). – Fru kommissionsordförande! Fru talman! Jag ser med stort allvar och stor oro på den tid vi lever i. I mitt land, Sverige, ser vi ut att få en regering som vilar på ett högernationalistiskt och rasistiskt parti. Vid årsskiftet är det mitt land, Sverige, som tar över EU-ordförandeskapet.

Vad kommer det att betyda för EU:s klimatpolitik att vara beroende av klimatförnekare? Vad kommer det att betyda för EU:s demokrati- och rättsstatspolitik att regeringen i EU:s ordförandeland lutar sig på ett gäng som på en rak fråga inte kan välja mellan Macron och Putin? Jag är ingen anhängare av Macron, men jag kan välja demokratin varje gång jag ställs inför en sådan fråga.

Jag förväntar mig att du, fru kommissionsordförande, och kommissionen gör mer för att stoppa högerextrema och högerauktoritära krafter i Europa. Det behövs för klimatet, för demokratin och för en gemensam framtid.

Vi i vänstern kommer att göra allt vi kan. Vi kräver en klimatpolitik som lyssnar på forskarna, inte på klimatförnekarna. Vi kommer att fortsätta att kräva hårda tag mot Polen och Ungern, som trampar på allt vad demokrati och rättsstat heter. Fria medier, oberoende domstolar, ett levande civilsamhälle – det är inte en lyx, utan det är ju en förutsättning här i Europa.

Vi kommer att fortsätta att stå upp för kvinnors rätt till abort, att vi själva ska få bestämma över våra kroppar. Vi kommer att stå upp för hbtqi-personers rättigheter. Att ett kandidatland, nämligen Serbien, i detta nu försöker förbjuda en pridemarsch, är helt enkelt oacceptabelt!

Rysslands krig mot Ukraina – detta fruktansvärda krig – ställer också krav på oss. Naturligtvis måste vi investera i förnybart och göra oss oberoende av Putin, men vi måste också göra om vår energimarknad. Jag välkomnar de förslag som du har lagt fram – men vi får se när de ligger på bordet. Vi måste beskatta övervinster betydligt hårdare än vad du har sagt här i dag.

Det finns ingen tid att förlora – då menar jag verkligen ingen tid att förlora! Jag förväntar mig att du, till skillnad från den svenska högern, inte kommer att luta dig på högerextrema krafter. Då är det nämligen kört. Då kan vi inte stå upp för klimatet. Då kan vi inte stå upp för demokratiska rättigheter. Då kan vi inte stå upp för välfärden, och vi kan inte stå upp för det som vi behöver för att bygga ett hållbart Europa. Det är nu det gäller. Vi har ingen tid att förlora.

 
  
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  Tiziana Beghin (NI). – Signora Presidente, signora Presidente von der Leyen, onorevoli colleghi, se l'immagine simbolo dell'Unione europea durante la durante la pandemia è stata quella drammatica dei reparti pieni di malati COVID, quella di oggi è questa.

Questa è la bolletta energetica che un piccolo imprenditore ligure ha ricevuto per il mese di agosto: 5 600 EUR€ contro i 1 700 dell'anno scorso. Più che triplicata. E per colpa di questo salasso, molti imprenditori hanno già cessato la loro attività, molti saranno costretti a farlo e milioni di famiglie non potranno arrivare alla fine del mese. A queste persone non possiamo rispondere con vertici improduttivi, con parole e promesse: servono fatti!

Presidente von der Leyen, Lei ricorda gli incontri con il presidente Conte? Ecco, quello è il modello al quale vi dovete ispirare: il recovery fund è la stella polare da seguire anche in questa crisi energetica.

Poi servono subito, certamente, altre misure: un tetto al prezzo del gas, acquisti e stoccaggi comuni, una tassa sugli extraprofitti. E a proposito di questo, non chiedete consiglio al governo Draghi, perché hanno scritto male la legge dello Stato italiano e mancano entrate per 9 miliardi di EUR su 10. Uno scandalo.

Questi fondi servono ora, per tagliare le bollette dei cittadini e delle imprese. Fate presto!

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Madam President, Europe today is facing crisis with war once again on our continent. But Europe has increasingly responded well to crisis, and our determination to do so again is unwavering. People and governments are looking to the EU, now more than ever, to see how we can tackle those global problems. We know what they are: energy prices, climate change, cost of living, inflation, job creation. Announcements are important, but now the EU must act decisively. Thank you, President, for your leadership. But we now need a commitment from all our Member States to implement all of these issues without delay. Use the funding, as the President has said, that is there.

I welcome the supports that have been announced for families and SMEs. SMEs are at the heart of our economies. We know they are the job creators in our Member States. Only by working together, EU and Member States, can we ensure that the worst impacts of Putin’s winter can be avoided. This should not be about a battle of competencies, but a commitment to deliver. Our citizens are waiting.

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Sinjura President, iċ-ċittadini Ewropej bħalissa qed iħarsu lejna sabiex noffru s-soluzzjonijiet għall-kriżi ekonomika u soċjali li ninsabu fiha. L-azzjonijiet li ser nieħdu llum ser jiddeterminaw l-istat tal-Unjoni Ewropea ta’ għada. Prezzijiet tal-enerġija u l-ikel, l-inflazzjoni li qed tikber b’rata mgħaġġla ħafna, b’konsegwenzi negattivi fit-tul li ħalliet fuqna l-pandemija, żieda fil-qgħad u tnaqqis fil-kapaċità tax-xiri għall-familji tagħna, żieda tal-faqar materjali u żieda fl-inugwaljanza soċjali.

Dan kollu huwa biss parti minn problema aktar wiesgħa li qed naffaċjaw. Problema li ser taffetwa ħafna u ħafna nies fis-snin li ġejjin u li se ġġib magħha konsegwenzi drammatiċi għall-aktar gruppi vulnerabbli fis-soċjetà tagħna.

Għalhekk nemmen li wasal iż-żmien illi jkollna skema Ewropea ta’ riassigurazzjoni tal-qgħad permanenti, li tiġġieled kontra l-qgħad, li tippreserva l-impjiegi u d-dħul tal-ħaddiema u li toħloq fond ġdid tal-Unjoni Ewropea għall-emerġenzi soċjali. Jeħtieġ li nappoġġjaw lill-persuni fil-faqar, nappoġġjaw lill-persuni b’diżabilità, liż-żgħażagħ, lill-anzjani, lil dawk qiegħda, lil min jaqla’ paga minima jew min saħansitra lanqas biss għandu salarju, inkluż il-ħaddiema tal-pjattaformi, li ma għandhom l-ebda drittijiet, li ma għandhom l-ebda protezzjoni.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Madam President, Madam President of the European Commission, well, difficult moments in Europe indeed: how to continue helping Ukraine and at the same time how to mitigate the energy crisis in Europe? Households are struggling to pay the energy bills. Doctors to close their practices. Industries preparing massive redundancies.

There is a French, German, Spanish way on how to deal with this crisis. It’s time to decide what we must do at European level to help citizens in their current struggle and those industries heavily affected. Some companies will receive state aid in one country while the same sector in another country will not. We need to ensure a fair level playing field for all affected sectors in Europe.

Winter is coming, we need solidarity, common rules, targeted help for affected businesses and, above all, for our citizens.

 
  
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  David Cormand (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, merci pour ce discours. Et puis merci à cet hommage pudique que vous avez rendu aux écologistes en parlant des précurseurs qui avaient pensé dès les années 70 que le fossile avait ses limites. Je dis hommage pudique parce que vous ne nous avez pas cités, mais je sais que vous pensez nous accompagner.

Madame la Présidente, pour les efforts que nous allons devoir faire, pour la transition écologique que nous devons mener, il faut des moyens. Et il y a une question politique fondamentale qui se pose, c’est que quand on veut financer des changements, il faut poser la question: qui paye? Je vous remercie d’avoir proposé cette fiscalité exceptionnelle sur ce qu’on appelle les superprofits. Notre conviction est qu’il ne faut pas réduire la fiscalité aux superprofits, mais aux profits en général, et notamment aux transactions financières, etc. Vous savez que pour financer le plan de relance et les plans de relance peut-être à venir, nous sommes en discussion pour obtenir cette fiscalité juste. Nous avons besoin de votre soutien pour que les États consentent à ces efforts.

Pour finir, je voudrais vous dire que les visionnaires que nous étions il y a 40 ans vous appellent à entendre aujourd’hui que l’hydrogène n’est pas la formule magique pour résoudre nos problèmes énergétiques. Il faut d’abord penser la sobriété juste et le développement des énergies renouvelables de façon décentralisée.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID). – Madam President, Commission President, we expected a speech on the State of the Union and got one on Ukraine, the blessings of public debt, the green religion and the fantasy economy.

Tatsächlich herrscht in der EU Stagflation mit über 9 % Inflation und dem niedrigsten Wachstum der entwickelten Welt. Für Deutschland erwartet das IFO—Institut nun Rezession und eine Inflationsrate von zeitweise über 10 %. Die Schweiz indes hat 3,5 % Inflation und 2,6 % reales Wachstum. Das zeigt: Hyperinflation ist vermeidbar und solides Wachstum in Europa noch möglich. Unsere Stagflation ist also nicht Folge von COVID oder Ukrainekrieg, sondern hausgemacht durch undurchdachte Sanktionen und einen Green Deal, der Energie unbezahlbar macht und null Einfluss auf das Weltklima hat.

Jetzt soll der EU-Migrationspakt noch dutzende Millionen Migranten zu uns holen. Jeder Einzelne davon kostet uns nach einer dänischen Studie über 600 000 Euro. Das Geld dafür druckt die EZB, und Geldmengenzuwachs und Euro-Verfall bedeuten noch mehr Inflation.

Fragt mich jemand: „Was können wir jetzt noch tun?“, sage ich stets: ganz einfach – genau das Gegenteil dessen, was deutsche Bundesregierung und EU-Kommission seit Jahren machen. Das wäre der allzeit billigste Aufbauplan und die einzige Zukunft für NextGenerationEU.

 
  
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  Roberts Zīle (ECR). – Priekšsēdētājas kundze, fon der Leienas kundze! Man ir jāsāk ar to, ka šī ir labākā runa — State of the Union runa, ko es esmu šeit dzirdējis daudzu gadu garumā. Taču tikai tajā daļā, kurā ir ātri un konkrēti darbi, kas ir jāizdara, ko jūs prezentējāt šodien, jo tajā jūs teicāt to, kas šajā sarežģītajā situācijā ir jāizdara, un centāties, manuprāt, tajā daļā neizdabāt šeit daudzajiem politiskajiem uzskatiem. Un paldies par to!

Šis ir acu atvēršanas gads, kurā daļa Eiropas gulēja saldā miegā un plaši ciet aizvērtām acīm. Jāatver acis! Jāsaprot, ka situācija ir savādāka, un jāstiprina savs sāpju slieksnis! Piemēram, pirms gadiem mēs izveidojām Eiropas Enerģētikas savienību. Tā vietā — mēs dabūjam jaunu cauruļvadu uz Krieviju. Un tagad daudziem sāp. Un šeit es gribētu teikt, ka jūsu programma energotirgus jomā šķiet pieņemama, un ejiet ātri, manuprāt, ar šiem soļiem uz sarežģītām sarunām ar dalībvalstīm un panākat to, lai tas neizjauc enerģētikas sektorā, protams, vienoto tirgu, kas ir ārkārtīgi svarīgi.

Vēl mēs pirms kara Ukrainā sākām veidot Stratēģisko kompasu. Taču karš Ukrainā — ukraiņiem balstoties galvenokārt uz mūsu transatlantiskajiem partneriem un tās Eiropas kaimiņu valstīm — liek, manuprāt, mums pārskatīt šī kompasa virzienu. Un arī NATO paplašināšanās Eiropā arī pierāda to, kur ir drošības adata šim kompasam. Tāpēc es aicinātu jūs un arī mūsu pašu kolēģus koncentrēties uz svarīgo un izšķirošo. Un nešķiedīsim spēkus uz nebūtisko!

(Runātājs piekrita atbildēt uz zilās kartītes uzstāšanos)

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), intervenție de tip „cartonaș albastru”. – Stimate coleg, ați spus că discursul legat de starea Uniunii a fost cel mai bun de când sunteți în acest Parlament și da, dacă mă gândesc că doamna Președintă a spus de foarte multe ori „trebuie” și „vreau”, este adevărat.

Acum, când vorbim, însă, 25 de milioane de cetățeni europeni au salariul minim și nu putem vorbi de viitor și de ținte 2030 și 2050 fără să știm ce facem acum, pentru că ritmul în care se iau decizii de la „vreau” și „trebuie” la măsuri concrete este foarte lent.

Vom vota abia în octombrie o situație, o lună rece deja, un sezon rece. Ce credeți că ar trebui... (Președinta a întrerupt vorbitoarea)... totuși să facem concret pentru a ajuta și cetățenii, și IMM-urile?

 
  
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  Roberts Zīle (ECR), blue-card reply. – I think I caught the point in English. So well, of course, there are difficulties and it was a very painful time. But while my Group and also in my political view is always that everybody, all ruling bodies like governments and EU level should do their own work on this crisis situation.

For example, I think most should be done to decrease this pain level by national governments and at the same time the European Union level should take responsibilities to keep it in a balance in joint actions in the single market and energy problems and so on. That’s my ideal combination on how we can solve this crisis.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κυρία πρόεδρε, η ομιλία της Προέδρου ήταν ένα πολεμικό παραλήρημα. Γιατί; Διότι τα ευρωπαϊκά μονοπώλια, που αξιοποιούν πολύμορφα τον ιμπεριαλιστικό πόλεμο και τις κυρώσεις κατά της Ρωσίας, τώρα παίρνουν θέση για την «ανοικοδόμηση» της Ουκρανίας. Οι λαοί, λοιπόν, να μη διαλέξουν πλευρά στον ιμπεριαλιστικό πόλεμο, στην αναμέτρηση ΗΠΑ-ΕΕ-ΝΑΤΟ με τη Ρωσία και την Κίνα.

Η δε ευρωπαϊκή σας λύση για το ενεργειακό κόστος πραγματικά εκβιάζει τον λαό: «πληρώστε ή παγώστε». Όμως, η εκτίναξη της ακρίβειας ξεκίνησε πολύ πριν από τον πόλεμο. Αιτία είναι η ευρωενωσιακή «πράσινη μετάβαση», η απελευθέρωση της ενέργειας και η απολιγνιτοποίηση, που θωρακίζουν την κερδοφορία των ομίλων. Και, βέβαια, το ότι οι ενεργειακοί κολοσσοί θα μοιραστούν τα κέρδη τους με τον λαό αποτελεί κοροϊδία.

Το καπιταλιστικό σύστημα που εσείς υπερασπίζεστε στερεί σήμερα, το 2022, ακόμα και τα στοιχειώδη. Γεννά κρίσεις, πολέμους, εκμετάλλευση, προσφυγιά. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση μόνο χειρότερη γίνεται. Λύση θα δώσουν οι λαοί! Διεκδικώντας δραστική μείωση των τιμών και πλαφόν σε καύσιμα και ενέργεια, κατάργηση άδικων φόρων. Η ενέργεια να είναι κοινωνικό αγαθό και όχι εμπόρευμα, με τον λαό ιδιοκτήτη του πλούτου και αποδέσμευση από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhora Presidente do Parlamento, Senhora Presidente Von der Leyen, antes de mais manifesto toda a solidariedade à Ucrânia e saúdo esta iniciativa de trazer cá a Primeira Dama como símbolo do nosso compromisso para com os ucranianos, agradecendo muito o empenho que está a pôr na Convenção. Para o PPE é fundamental que nós comecemos já a desenhar o futuro da Europa para termos uma Europa preparada para os desafios do pós-guerra.

E agora queria deixar uma pergunta muito clara: falou no discurso, e várias vezes se referiu, aos erros que nós cometemos para estarmos na dependência energética da Rússia, como houve Estados—Membros e a própria União que não ouviram os governos e as populações de outros Estados. Pois neste momento, a propósito das interconexões entre a Península Ibérica e a França, o Presidente Macron recusa essas interconexões. Será que a Comissão Europeia vai ser cúmplice? O Primeiro-Ministro António Costa, que em tudo segue o Presidente Macron, foi incapaz de o convencer a isto.

Pergunto: a União Europeia vai deixar que a França cometa o erro cometido pela Alemanha quando fez o Nord Stream II? Vamos repetir o mesmo erro agora? Pomo-nos na dependência energética quando temos aqui uma solução excelente. Temos na Grécia, temos na Itália, mas também temos na Península Ibérica, para fornecer os mercados europeus.

Esta é a pergunta que deixo: o que vai a Comissão Europeia dizer ao Sr. Macron?

 
  
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  Pedro Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, cara Presidente da Comissão Europeia, caras e caros colegas, nos últimos meses, face à invasão da Ucrânia, os nossos cidadãos responderam com solidariedade. Hoje, com a guerra a sentir-se cada vez mais na Europa, é nosso dever proteger os europeus deste tsunami social, para que a onda de solidariedade europeia com a Ucrânia não perca força.

Presidente Von der Leyen, o compromisso de limitar lucros especulativos para fins sociais é positivo. Vem tarde, mas mais vale tarde do que nunca. Há países que andaram mais depressa nesta matéria, como foi o caso de Portugal e Espanha, protegendo os consumidores, baixando as tarifas. Ainda bem. Mas nem todos foram tão lestos.

Esperamos agora determinação da Comissão e que acabe o arrastar dos pés do lado do Conselho para baixar a fatura energética de famílias e pequenas empresas. Um novo SURE que venha para ficar, para nos proteger dos efeitos do desemprego. Um futuro com mais igualdade, sem populismos e sem tirania. Agir já, para que o inverno não congele a esperança dos europeus.

 
  
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  Nicola Beer (Renew). – Sehr geehrte Präsidentinnen! Die Lage der Union könnte kaum angespannter sein. Putin führt Krieg, auch einen Energiekrieg, gegen ganz Europa. Jetzt heißt es: Klug und geschlossen dagegenhalten, sonst droht Europa in einen Wutwinter zu schlittern. Jede Energiequelle hilft jetzt, Insolvenzen und soziale Verwerfungen zu verhindern. Wir brauchen alle verfügbaren Kapazitäten. Jetzt einen Bogen um AKWs zu machen, ist vermessen und realitätsfern. Energie muss nicht nur vorhanden sein, sie muss auch bezahlbar bleiben, und zwar quer durch die Gesellschaft.

In dieser Krise Marktverwerfungen entgegenzutreten ist richtig, aber, Frau von der Leyen, die EU-Kommission darf und wird keine Carte blanche bekommen, um dauerhaft in den Binnenmarkt einzugreifen. Das wäre keine Not-, sondern Planwirtschaft. Europa muss jetzt auf eine befristete Strompreisbremse, europäischen Einkauf, vernetzte Infrastruktur und strategisch neue Energien wie Fusionsenergie setzen.

Ein zukunftsreiches Europa braucht auch noch ganz andere Energien: Energien für Reformen, eine Reform der Fiskalregeln – endlich wieder straffen, ohne neue Schuldenberge aufzubauen –, Reformen auch für die EU. Und das, Frau Kommissionspräsidentin, war Ihr Versprechen auch heute. Jetzt ist es an Ihnen, das einzulösen. Wir warten auf konkrete Schritte mit einem Verfassungskonvent, um Europa wieder fit zu machen, nicht nur für diesen Winter.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – President, I say to President Von der Leyen: in your speech you mentioned that through trade policy we can not only strengthen our economy, but also promote shared values with like-minded countries .

And one year ago you made the important announcement: the EU will put in place a ban on imports of goods made with forced labour. And I understand that the Commission is now expected to publish its proposal for such a law in a couple of hours. Could you confirm this?

There are 50 million modern slaves in the world today and a majority of them work in the global value chains with often a European consumer at the end of the chain. We must do everything to make this legislation work, to ensure the EU or its companies are not complicit in supporting state-sponsored or other forced labour. And it’s very important that, when violations do happen, effective remedy to victims needs to take place.

Dear President finally, the report finally released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, is yet another proof of horrendous abuses, including massive forced labour amounting to, at the very least, crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.

Will you make sure that the EU enforces an effective regime alongside the US and our other global partners before even the conclusion of further trade agreements?

 
  
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  Gerolf Annemans (ID). – Voorzitter, ik hoor de laatste dagen dat steeds meer mensen zogenaamd een oplossing verwachten van de Europese Unie.

Ik weet niet of de vertaling dit zal kunnen overbrengen, maar in het Nederlands hebben wij daar een uitdrukking voor: zij gaan bij de duivel te biechten. Daarmee drukken wij in onze taal uit dat de slachtoffers zich in de armen werpen van degene die hun problemen heeft veroorzaakt.

Een Europese Unie die sinds de financiële crisis met een bijna verdubbeling van de geldhoeveelheid de inflatie-explosie zélf heeft veroorzaakt.

Een Europese Unie die met een jarenlange Green Deal-hetze, met de sluiting van kerncentrales en het ontwrichten van onze energiebevoorrading de explosie van de energieprijzen zelf mee in gang zette, nog lang voordat de Russische inval in Oekraïne een feit was.

Een Europese Unie die met haar Reset-concepten, haar duurzame ontwikkeling en haar “building back better”-onzin de de-industrialisering van ons continent en de implosie van klein ondernemerschap én van onze landbouw heeft ingezet.

Een Europese Unie die met haar opgedrongen massa-immigratie zowel onze Europese cultuur als ons sociaal systeem heeft ontwricht.

Alstublieft, mensen, word wakker. De Europese Unie is geen oplossing voor onze problemen. Ze is zélf een van onze grootste problemen.

 
  
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  Robert Roos (ECR). – Voorzitter, mevrouw Von der Leyen, minister, collega’s en Commissie, we hebben het vandaag over de staat van de Europese Unie en de staat van de Europese Unie is crisis, een crisis van energie.

Jarenlang hebben deze Commissie en het Parlement kernenergie gesaboteerd en onze eigen fossiele productie onmogelijk gemaakt. We moesten en zouden inzetten op onbetrouwbare zon en wind. Nu dreigt een koude winter en krijgt Rusland de schuld. Maar iedere zelfreflectie ontbreekt.

We bevinden ons ook in een crisis van koopkracht. Door het ECB-beleid bereikt de inflatie dubbele cijfers en gaat het zuurverdiende geld van gewone spaarders in rook op. De Europese Unie heeft geen oplossing.

En in mijn ogen komt dit alles voort uit een veel grotere crisis: een crisis van nationale soevereiniteit. Want nagenoeg alle problemen waarmee de Europese Unie momenteel kampt, worden veroorzaakt door de Eurofederalistische ideologie van deze Commissie.

Europese eenmaking is een doel op zich geworden. Alles moet groen en woke. Voor deze Commissie is de burger slechts een sta-in-de-weg. In een Unie die alleen zou draaien om handel, zouden landen ieder hun eigen oplossingen kunnen vinden. Wat werkt voor Nederland werkt niet per se voor Portugal en vice versa, maar in de EU kan dat niet meer. De Commissie trekt steeds meer macht naar zich toe en regeert bij dictaat. Eurofederalisme leidt ons van de ene naar de andere crisis.

Dit kan zo niet langer. Het is de hoogste tijd voor een terugkeer naar een Europa van soevereine landen.

 
  
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  Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Présidente de la Commission, vous avez dit que c’était une bataille entre l’autocratie et la démocratie et vous avez raison, c’est le vrai combat. Vous avez rappelé les paroles du Président Sassoli en disant que la démocratie doit être renouvelée et vous avez décrit les menaces réelles qui viennent de l’extérieur. Malheureusement, vous avez oublié des menaces très sérieuses qui viennent de l’intérieur. Vous n’avez pas eu un instant pour nous rappeler que les démocraties n’espionnent pas leurs citoyens, ni leurs responsables politiques, ni leurs journalistes, ni leurs militants et avocats, comme c’est le cas de la Grèce et de l’Espagne.

Vous n’avez pas eu le temps de nous rappeler que les démocraties respectent les arrêts de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme et qu’elles ne font pas comme l’Espagne, qui ne respecte pas 61 % des arrêts. La démocratie vaincra l’autoritarisme. Mais elle doit être renforcée de l’intérieur. Et ce n’est pas évident aujourd’hui. Surtout quand vos commissaires se font photographier avec l’extrême-droite et refusent de recevoir des eurodéputés victimes d’espionnage qui ont recueilli plus d’un million de voix.

 
  
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  Daniel Caspary (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Ein Entlastungspaket für kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen, eine offensive Außenhandelsstrategie und ein Gesetz zur Absicherung der Rohstoffversorgung – Frau Kommissionspräsidentin, danke für Ihre konkreten Ankündigungen, die Mut machen. Wir müssen jetzt auch als Parlament aber ein Zeichen setzen und jegliche belastende Gesetzgebung zurückstellen: die Richtlinie für Industrieemissionen, das Zero Pollution Package, der Vorschlag für ein Bodengesundheitsgesetz, die Überarbeitung der Umweltstrafrechtlinie, das Lieferkettengesetz und, und, und.

Meine Damen und Herren, Bürgerinnen und Bürger stehen schon jetzt vor großen Herausforderungen. Sie brauchen daher mehr Raum zum Atmen. Wir müssen daher geplante Gesetzgebung, die weitere Belastungen bringt, verschieben. Bitte prüfen Sie das alle. Ich bitte Sie, nehmen Sie das ernst! Wir zumindest setzen uns dafür ein.

Und auch gilt: Das Essen wird immer teurer, und gleichzeitig kommt die neue Pflanzenschutzverordnung. Nach Schätzungen gäbe es allein in Deutschland auf über drei Millionen Hektar Fläche sieben Millionen Tonnen Getreide weniger. Das würde unsere Eigenversorgung weiter schwächen. Deshalb meine Bitte: Überlegen Sie, ob man diesen Vorschlag nicht doch noch einmal zurückziehen und überarbeiten kann. Wir brauchen in dieser schwierigen Zeit mehr heimische Landwirtschaft und nicht weniger.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Fru talman! Fru kommissionsordförande! Kriser, klimat, pandemi, Rysslands krig i Ukraina och nu också en energikris – kriser som kräver gemensamma lösningar, politiskt mod och tydligt ledarskap. Jag förväntar mig att kommissionen lever upp till allt detta.

Stödet till och solidariteten med Ukraina måste fortsätta. Det är viktigt eftersom vi ser kvinnor och barn som lider varje dag. Vi fick ett bra besked i dag om återuppbyggnaden av skolor i Ukraina.

Före vintern krävs nu snabba lösningar för att mildra de vansinniga elräkningarna i våra medlemsstater, men det får inte innebära att vi pausar klimatomställningen. Vi måste satsa ännu mer på förnybart.

Sist men inte minst i denna oroliga tid: EU måste vara garanten för demokrati, jämställdhet och jämlikhet i en svår tid.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, c’est dommage que M. Bardella ne soit plus là parce qu’il faut avoir du culot pour dire ce qu’il a dit ici. Attaquer la présidente de la Commission, qui serait responsable de l’inflation, qui serait responsable de l’augmentation des prix, quand tout le monde sait que c’est la guerre en Ukraine avec Poutine, et que c’est eux qui défendent Poutine et sympathisent avec lui depuis des années… Il faut avoir du culot pour le faire! Et ils sont même payés, peut-être? Je ne sais pas ce qu’il y a sur la liste des Américains. ça ne m’étonnerait pas si le nom de Mme Le Pen et celui du Rassemblement national étaient sur la liste des Américains, payés par les Russes.

That said, Madam President, I thought there was one black hole in your speech – not so big as those were discovered for the moment, but – that is the absence of defence, because I think really that we are going to live in a total new world order, with huge problems for our security. And you never know what happens if tweeting Trump is returning in the US, then we will be on our own for our own security. So a defence community is an absolute necessity.

We are spending today EUR 240 billion on defence in Europe, the same amount as China, four times more as Russia. We have 130 weapons systems in Europe. We have a world record of soldiers in the world – 2.4 million. And we are powerless. That’s at least the sentiment of most people.

So my request to you is when we have a convention, and thank you for supporting it so clearly, we need to talk also by that and we need to come forward with, I shouldn’t say a copy, but a draft like the Treaty of Paris of 1952, negotiated by Adenauer, de Gasperi and Robert Schuman. That’s the way forward. Don’t forget it. And fill the black hole, please.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID). – Madam President, Ms von der Leyen, dear Guy Verhofstadt, I would start with Guy, when he mentioned that the real reason for the huge prices is Putin. I have to just correct you. The price crisis started in Greece six months before the war. We had problems already in the last year, in December and January, and Putin was just a trigger for the real reason. And the real reason is that we have had a crazy green policy in the last two decades.

We are hating fossil fuels. We are hating nuclear, like in Germany. It’s a perfect idea, of course – shut down the nuclear! It’s really bad! It’s risky. Let’s hope for the unstable wind and sun. It’s an amazing idea. Go to Sweden in January, there’s a lot of sun. It’s beautiful. It’s like in Spain in summer. Absolutely! A stable energy. And this is the reason why we gave the power to Putin to play with us. And this is also the fault of Mrs von der Leyen. What did the European Commission do at time when Germany started to build Nord Stream 2? Nothing. They said, ‘Oh, it’s just a political thing, it’s just an economical thing’. There is no economics without politics, and that’s also your fault. You’re also responsible for the last two decades, when you didn’t invest anything in the German defence, and now you are surprised, ‘Oh, we can’t help Ukraine anymore, and the Russians are playing with us’. That’s the real reason.

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Martin Sonneborn (NI). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Frau von der Leyen! Mit Karl Kraus zu sprechen: Mir fällt zum Zustand der EU nichts ein. Um uns von einem Gaslieferanten zu lösen, der einen brutalen Angriffskrieg führt – Putin –, haben Sie uns einen gesucht, der einen brutalen Angriffskrieg führt – Aliyev. Auch wenn viele deutsche Medien schweigen – derzeit überfällt die Öldiktatur, die zum vertrauenswürdigen Partner erklärt wurde von Ihnen, das demokratische Armenien.

Respekt für diese Wahl. Immerhin liegt unser neuer bester Kumpel Aserbaidschan in Sachen Demokratie, Presse und bürgerliche Freiheiten noch weit hinter Russland. Nur bei der Bestechung korrupter CDU-Honks ist Aliyev ganz vorn.

Als Sie Ihren Dienst hier antraten, dachte ich, Sie seien lediglich unfähig und ein bisschen kriminell. Inzwischen weiß ich, dass Sie auch beeindruckend moralfrei sind. An den Außengrenzen sterben täglich Flüchtlinge, Fracking, Gas und Atomkraft sind auf einmal nachhaltig, und Sie löschen routiniert Ihre SMS zu den Milliardenzahlungen an Pfizer. Mir fällt zur EU nichts mehr ein, außer: Wir sollten Europa nicht den Laien überlassen.

 
  
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  Angelika Niebler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissionspräsidentin, Herr Ratsvertreter, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Die Ukraine benötigt weiterhin unsere maximal mögliche Unterstützung. Frau Präsidentin, Sie sagten: „It is time to support, not for appeasement.” Ich kann das nur unterstützen. Aber auch unsere Bürgerinnen und Bürger und Unternehmen trifft der Krieg ins Mark: hohe Inflation, horrende Energiepreise, Haushalte haben keinen Spielraum mehr, Betriebe fahren ihre Produktionen zurück, Insolvenzen sind an der Tagesordnung.

Ich denke, zwei Sachen sind notwendig. Erstens: In Zeiten von Angebotsverknappung müssen wir alles an Kapazitäten, an Ressourcen hochfahren. Das gilt für unsere Energieversorgung genauso wie für unsere Lebensmittelversorgung. Und zum Zweiten: Entlasten statt belasten ist das Gebot der Stunde, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen. Ich habe vernommen, dass es ein SME-Paket geben soll. Ich sage mal: Die Worte hör‘ ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube.

Ich nehme wahr, dass die Maschinerie in der Kommission ungeschminkt, ungebremst weiterläuft. Business as usual ist an der Tagesordnung. Ich freue mich auf die konkreten Vorschläge. Was wird wann zurückgezogen? Ziel muss sein, Wertschöpfung bei uns hier in Europa zu halten und zu verhindern, dass andere Regionen in der Welt davon profitieren, dass es Kriege in Europa gibt.

 
  
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  Gabriele Bischoff (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Das Gespenst geht um in Europa, das Gespenst der Rezession. Wir befinden uns im Wettlauf gegen die Zeit, aber im Wettlauf der Taten, nicht im Wettkampf um die schönen Worte und Symbolpolitik.

Sie haben wichtige konkrete Projekte genannt: price caps, Übergewinnsteuer. Das ist gut so, aber ein Thema haben Sie wieder systematisch vernachlässigt, nämlich, wie wir die sozialen Folgen dieser Krise in den Griff bekommen. Denn die Angst geht um bis in die Mittelschicht, die Angst, in Armut abzurutschen, und die Angst, die Rechnungen nicht mehr bezahlen zu können. Wenn wir uns die düsteren Perspektiven zum Beispiel in den energieintensiven Industrien angucken, dann ist es doch fahrlässig, dass wir nicht jetzt zu diesem Zeitpunkt bereits SURE 2.0, SURE + – was immer – wirklich ausrüsten, damit wir gewappnet sind und nicht noch Massenarbeitslosigkeit dazubekommen. Deshalb meine Bitte: Rüsten Sie sozial nach! Der soziale Friede in Europa braucht das.

 
  
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  Adrián Vázquez Lázara (Renew). – Señora presidenta, este no es un debate más de la Unión. Señora Von der Leyen, las medidas que usted ha anunciado hoy y cómo consigamos llevarlas a cabo definirán en gran medida el futuro de nuestro proyecto común. Y necesitamos, más que nunca, coraje, solidaridad y resistencia. Y le doy la enhorabuena por la audacia de sus propuestas, que espero consigan aliviar y reducir el impacto que esa tormenta perfecta tendrá en los ciudadanos europeos durante el invierno que se avecina.

Pero también somos conscientes de que este invierno no va a durar cuatro o cinco meses, va a durar mucho más. Y, por eso, necesitamos también soluciones a medio y a largo plazo. Soluciones como la construcción de infraestructuras que nos interconecten mejor, que nos permitan alcanzar esa independencia energética que tanto necesitamos. Soluciones como respaldar una moratoria nuclear que nos permita transitar hacia los objetivos verdes sin pedir mayores sacrificios a nuestros ciudadanos. Ya les hemos pedido suficientes. Soluciones que deberíamos haber hecho hace años y que no pueden esperar más.

 
  
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  Harald Vilimsky (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Gut, dass wir heute über den Zustand Europas sprechen können. Denn so schlecht, so erbärmlich, so zum Fremdschämen, wie sich die europäische Politik aktuell darstellt, war es schon lange nicht mehr. Und ich dachte, nach Jean-Claude Juncker kann es eigentlich nur besser werden. Aber man wird täglich eines Besseren belehrt, wie schlecht eigentlich Politik gemacht werden kann. Man hat fast den Eindruck, dass hier eine Mehrheit der europäischen Nomenklatura bewusst diesen Kontinent an die Wand fahren möchte, so wie sich die Politik zurzeit darstellt.

Ich gebe Ihnen zwei Beispiele. Das Erste: der Corona-Wahnsinn – möchte ich fast sagen –, wo man mit einer kontinentweiten Lockdown-Sperre und Lockdown-Politik Wohlstand vernichtet hat, wo man Arbeitslosigkeit produziert hat und wo man Konkurse und Insolvenzen produziert hat. Und das Aktuelle: der Sanktionenwahnsinn im Krieg Russland gegen Ukraine, wo man sich nicht starkmacht dafür, dass Frieden herbeigeführt wird, sondern Geld und Waffen schickt und die europäischen Bürger in eine Notstandssituation mit Energiekrise treibt, wo man ihnen sagt: Badet nicht mehr, duscht nicht mehr, heizt nicht mehr.

Ich kann nur hoffen, dass sich mit den kommenden europäischen Wahlen die Mehrheitsverhältnisse so ändern, dass Europa wieder einen Weg geht, Frieden, Freiheit und Wohlstand – ich komme zum Schluss – für möglichst alle europäischen Bürger zu schaffen.

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, pani predsedníčka von der Leyenová, pred chvíľou ste povedali, že Európska únia musí vykoreniť korupciu zo svojich vlastných radov. Ja sa vás teda v duchu tohto pýtam, prečo nechcete zverejniť vašu komunikáciu s riaditeľom Pfizeru za nákup vakcín za 30 miliárd EUR? Prečo to tajíte pred verejnosťou a prečo to v súčasnosti tajíte aj pred audítormi?

Pretože toto je skutočný obraz Európskej únie. Toto je podľa vás, prosím vás, transparentnosť? Na základe tohto chcete, aby európski občania dôverovali Európskej únii?

Hovorili ste, že Európa dala Ukrajine už viac ako 90 miliárd EUR. A ja sa znovu, možno nepríjemne pýtam, odkiaľ a na úkor čoho tieto peniaze idú? Kam tieto peniaze smerujú? Komu tieto peniaze smerujú? Nerozkrádajú ich náhodou aj nejakí oligarchovia? Kontroluje vôbec niekto, kam tieto miliardy Európanov reálne idú?

Či už aj toto sú teraz toxické otázky, na základe ktorých sa nemôžeme pýtať, lebo to môže byť niekomu nepríjemné?

Viete, ja sa odmietam zmieriť s tým, že Európska únia alebo Európa má slúžiť len nejakým nadnárodným korporáciám alebo záujmom veľmocí. Budeme na to poukazovať znovu a znovu, pretože je to naša práca.

 
  
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  Andrzej Halicki (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Tak, mamy wojnę w Europie i nie tylko tę zbrodniczą agresję Rosji na Ukrainę, ale także wojnę o bezpieczeństwo energetyczne, o bezpieczeństwo gospodarcze, o miejsca pracy, a także walkę o prawa obywatelskie. Wszyscy, którzy atakują dzisiaj solidarność, jedność i Wspólnotę Europejską, a także nasze wspólne działania, by obronić te najważniejsze wyzwania, stają się wspólnikami Rosji, stają się wspólnikami wrogów Europy. Czy chcą, czy nie chcą, są wspólnikami Putina. Dlatego dziękuję za ciepłe słowa o Polakach, o Polsce, o ostrzeżeniach. Tym bardziej z podwójną siłą powinniśmy wdrożyć Europejską Wspólnotę Energetyczną. To koncepcja Jerzego Buzka i Donalda Tuska. Ale dzisiaj ta Europejska Wspólnota Energetyczna powinna być szersza, powinna objąć Ukrainę, Mołdawię, Gruzję, aspirujące do Wspólnoty państwa bałkańskie. Przecież na tym właśnie polega solidarność europejska, to musimy pokazać w praktyce.

Zdanie do prezydencji czeskiej – rozwiązanie umowy o polityce wizowej z 2007 r. to pierwszy ważny krok, ale przecież nie jest kontrowersyjny. Zebraliśmy tu podpisy w półtora dnia, od ID po Zielonych, by objąć zakazem wizowym i przyjazdem do Europy członków rodzin osób mundurowych administracji centralnej. Przecież nie tylko Putin jest zły. Rosyjskie społeczeństwo daje przyzwolenie na tę agresję i musimy odpowiedzieć europejską solidarnością także w tym kierunku, zakazując im podróżowania po Europie.

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D). – Doamnă Președintă, doamnă Președintă Von der Leyen, salutăm propunerile concrete pe care le-ați făcut astăzi, dar este nevoie ca împreună să acționăm imediat.

În domeniul energiei, de exemplu, măsurile pe care le ați propus, Grupul Socialist le cere de câteva luni de zile. Doamnă Președintă, nu puteți cere oamenilor să reducă consumul dacă lăsăm ca pe piața TTP să continue specula. De aceea, dacă vrem să scădem facturile pentru cetățeni, este nevoie să oprim specula pe piața gazului prin contractele spot.

Iar un al doilea aspect este Schengen. Uniunea este incompletă, doamnă Președintă. Ați declarat că România îndeplinește toate criteriile de aderare la Schengen. Avem nevoie de aderarea României, Bulgariei și Croației la spațiul Schengen, iar eu vă spun că România în fiecare zi aplică criteriile Schengen pentru apărarea frontierelor estice ale Uniunii Europene. Vă rog ca toate aceste declarații să fie transformate în realitate, astfel încât România să fie în Schengen, alături de Bulgaria și Croația.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş (Renew). – Madam President, in the last two years, Europe has gone through several crises that it managed to partially or fully solve. The food crisis, however, due to its nature, is much more difficult to tackle. Its effects are particularly devastating for the poorest and most vulnerable people, and even for our cohesion. We are dealing with a complex subject with impact on consumers, on farmers, but also on transporters, on industries, on trade, but also there is a geopolitical and strategic impact.

The warning signs are already there. We see soaring food, energy and fertiliser prices, and we cannot afford to wait any longer to take action. Let us not ignore the consequences and have a coherent plan that, together with my colleagues having experience in agri—food policy, we started working on it. But we need your support, Madam President.

The human tragedy for the war in Ukraine must not be combined with another looming tragedy – a global food crisis. Because when we are already in a food crisis, it is too late to act. It is too costly to act. So this is why we have to prevent this. And if we do not act now, the cost in social, economic and even security and geopolitical terms will become too high. So we call on you, Madam President, to come up with a comprehensive agenda for global food and nutrition security, and we will be here to help.

I heard today some ideas, some proposals. The Commission already took some measures, but what we need is more than just supporting farmers. We need supporting farmers, but we need more for that because food security means more than just producing food.

 
  
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  Ioan-Rareş Bogdan (PPE). – Doamnă Președintă, Excelențele Voastre, vin în fața dumneavoastră ca reprezentant al uneia dintre țările cele mai atașate valorilor și familiei europene.

Din solidaritate și spirit european real, România i-a ajutat pe ucrainenii și sirienii fugiți de război. În numele solidarității, camioanele și trenurile încărcate cu grâne din Ucraina, ce urmează să ajungă în țările vestice, traversează România zilnic, iar în sens invers, traversează camioanele și trenurile cu ajutoare pentru poporul ucrainean. În numele solidarității, România înțelege și acceptă că țările care au energie mai multă să reducă din consum și să dea și celor care au mai puțină.

În numele solidarității, dar și al dreptului său, România cere însă ceea ce i se cuvine: aderarea la Schengen, după 11 ani, nedrept, de așteptare. Care este starea reală a Uniunii Europene, cu state care stau în lojă și state care stau la ușă ? România îndeplinește toate condițiile și a securizat frontierele pe banii ei și nu cu companii românești.

Unde este solidaritatea? Există riscul ca în România să crească numărul populiștilor și extremiștilor, exact din acest motiv. Riscă cineva ca peste 18 luni, jumătate dintre eurodeputați să fie eurosceptici? Cine vrea ca încă un popor european să renunțe la a crede în solidaritate? (Președinta a întrerupt vorbitorul)... Ale cui interese le servesc aceia?

Poporul român nu solicită favoruri, ci un statut demn și legitim într-o Europă la a cărei stabilitate și continuitate contribuie în fiecare zi. (Președinta a întrerupt vorbitorul)... Vrem dreptate pentru România, vrem în Schengen, este dreptul nostru, doamnă Președintă.

 
  
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  Biljana Borzan (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, nitko ne može zamisliti moral i snagu onoga koji brani svoje poput Ukrajinaca danas. Mi koji smo rat i sami osjetili, to najbolje znamo. Naši građani pokazuju solidarnost s Ukrajinom, ali mi moramo osigurati da se i ova kriza ne prebije preko leđa građana. Moramo osigurati trajan europski mehanizam za krize.

Nekima je kriza bogomdana. Sustav po kojem mali obrtnik plaća veći postotak poreza od velike multinacionalne kompanije je duboko nepravedan. Trebaju nam europski porezi, ali i efikasan globalni odgovor. Uzmimo od onih koji imaju, dajmo onima kojima je potrebno.

Hrvatska se nalazi pred posebnim izazovima. Cijene divljaju, a neki i uvođenje eura koriste za zaradu u mutnom. Pozdravljam najave o sprječavanju korupcije. Europska tijela i europski zakoni su, nažalost, nekima jedina nada. Na svim razinama se moramo boriti protiv onih koji ispred interesa građana stavljaju svoj džep.

 
  
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  Илхан Кючюк (Renew). – Г-жо Председател, г-жо Фон дер Лайен, благодаря ви за всички усилия, които полагате и днес Европа трябва да бъде единна, както във вътрешен план да не позволяваме разделение, което очакват трети външни фактори, така и във външен план Европа да има моралния, политическия авторитет да изгражда нови партньорства и да отстоява своите ценности.

Говорите за политическа общност. На мен много ми допада идеята за политическа общност, за създаване на нови приятелства и партньорства. Но не мога да възприема Западните Балкани като част от тази политическа общност. За мен те трябва да бъдат интегрална част от Европейския съюз. Исторически и географски те принадлежат към Европа и искам да бъдат интегрална част от Европейския съюз.

Поколения наред европейски и национални политици работят за това. Първо важно предизвикателство пред нас е как да направим така, че Европа да изглежда по друг начин през 2024 г., когато битката на популистите срещу либералдемократите няма да бъде по-малка. И тук ние трябва да дадем правилните отговори. Струва ми се, че голяма част от тях се съдържат в Конференцията за бъдещето на Европа. Заключенията бяха много стабилни и приветствам вашата идея да придвижим тези заключения в следващ момент, когато да се създаде истински европейски конвент и идеите на гражданите на Европа да намерят място.

 
  
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  Dolors Montserrat (PPE). – Señora presidenta, hace unos días Putin enterró sin honores al presidente Gorbachov. ¡Qué equivocados están en el Kremlin! La historia recordará a Gorbachov y condenará a Putin.

El coraje, la resistencia y la valentía del pueblo ucraniano son el mejor símbolo de la justicia de su causa. Que nadie dude que Europa se mantendrá firme como una roca en defensa de la libertad de Ucrania, porque la causa de Ucrania es hoy la causa de Europa.

En estos tiempos difíciles, Europa tiene muchos desafíos: tenemos que luchar sin descanso contra la inflación porque es el impuesto más injusto para las familias, debemos fortalecer la autonomía energética europea para que la factura de esta crisis no la paguen los ciudadanos, tenemos que ser los embajadores del progreso económico en África y de la defensa de las libertades en Iberoamérica.

Yo quiero ser optimista. Hay una fuente de energía mucho más potente y poderosa que el gas y el petróleo rusos: son los valores europeos. Nuestras democracias, nuestras libertades y nuestro Estado de Derecho son, como diría un poeta español, armas cargadas de futuro y, yo añado, de presente. ¡Viva Ucrania libre!

 
  
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  Andreas Schieder (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissionspräsidentin! Ich glaube, vieles, was Sie heute gesagt haben, kann man unterstützen, muss man unterstützen. Aber ganz zentral ist, dass wir die sozialen Folgen dieser Krise keinesfalls unterschätzen dürfen. Die Bürgerinnen und Bürger können sich ihr Leben nicht mehr leisten. Sie stöhnen unter Inflation, unter gestiegenen Lebensmittelpreisen und natürlich unter den explodierenden Energiepreisen.

Deswegen ist es wichtig, Übergewinne abzuschöpfen, es ist wichtig und gut, umzuverteilen an jene Haushalte, die sich ihr Leben nicht mehr leisten können. Aber es braucht auch einen radikalen Eingriff in die Energiemärkte. So wie diese Energiemärkte designt und organisiert sind, funktionieren sie nicht mehr. Die Energiemarktliberalisierung ist fehlgeschlagen, weil sie am Schluss des Tages weder die Versorgung noch vernünftige Preise sicherstellen kann.

Daher müssen wir auch aufpassen, in anderen Bereichen nicht überbordend zu liberalisieren, wie es manchmal auch die Kommission, wie zum Beispiel im Eisenbahnwesen, immer wieder vorschlägt. Deswegen, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, glaube ich, ist es notwendig, gerade jetzt hier die soziale Frage ganz massiv auch im Auge zu behalten, damit unsere Gesellschaft nicht noch weiter auseinanderdriftet.

 
  
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  François-Xavier Bellamy (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, la crise que nous vivons nous impose à tous de revenir à la réalité, en particulier sur le plan de l’énergie, pour sortir de nos dépendances, pour protéger l’environnement, nous n’avons plus droit aux illusions. Vous voulez développer massivement l’éolien et vous avez cité le Danemark comme modèle. Mais avec près de 10 000 éoliennes, le Danemark reste dépendant de ses centrales à charbon et doit importer de l’électricité. Celle que la Suède voisine produit et exporte est 50 % moins carbonée grâce au nucléaire.

Comment sortir de l’impasse si nous n’ouvrons pas les yeux, si nous envoyons du gaz en Allemagne pour l’aider à passer l’hiver tout en la laissant fermer ses centrales nucléaires en activité? Si pour arrêter de payer le gaz russe, nous payons le gaz azéri, devenant ainsi dépendant d’une autre dictature criminelle. Et j’ose espérer, Madame la Présidente, que nous sanctionnerons ensemble l’agression lancée hier par Aliyev contre l’Arménie.

Il ne s’agit pas seulement d’énergie. Revenir à la réalité, c’est refuser ces nouvelles règles qui feront baisser la production agricole en Europe alors que les prix de l’alimentation augmentent partout dans nos pays. C’est recommencer à produire plutôt que de miser sur la multiplication d’accords commerciaux datés. C’est rompre avec la spirale d’une dette commune qui nous rendra vulnérables demain. C’est défendre Frontex et maîtriser nos frontières plutôt que de fragiliser son mandat. Ce n’est pas recruter seulement des talents à l’étranger, mais c’est d’abord mieux former nos jeunes. Vous voulez, Madame la Présidente, inscrire la solidarité entre les générations dans nos traités et nous partageons cet esprit. Mais cela commence sans doute par là.

 
  
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  Javier Moreno Sánchez (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señora presidenta de la Comisión, gracias por su brillante presentación del estado de la Unión. Pero yo creo que se puede hablar más bien de la evolución positiva de la Unión, y eso se debe a un cambio de paradigma.

Si ante la crisis financiera se optó por la austeridad, la destrucción social y la división, ante estas últimas crisis hemos optado por la protección social, la unidad, la solidaridad y el interés de las mayorías frente al de unos pocos. Hemos vuelto a situar a los ciudadanos y las ciudadanas en el centro de nuestra acción política. Tenemos dos tareas urgentes: la primera, evitar los cortes y apagones este invierno en los hogares y en las empresas europeas, y, la segunda, frenar la inflación desbocada, ayudando a los más desfavorecidos.

Por ello, señora presidenta, los socialistas españoles saludamos las medidas que ha propuesto en este sentido, medidas que son las mismas que lleva proponiendo y aplicando el Gobierno de España desde hace más de un año. Me alegra ver que, por fin, son retomadas a nivel europeo, pero es lamentable que la derecha de mi país las esté rechazando una por una, solo para tratar de derribar al Gobierno. Pero no lo conseguirá.

 
  
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  Angelika Winzig (PPE). – Sehr geehrte Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissionspräsidentin, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die europäische Wirtschaft geht düsteren Zeiten entgegen. Immer mehr Belastungspakete schwächen die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit. Ob bei der Umsetzung des Grünen Deals oder bei den Russlandsanktionen, es fehlen einfach die Begleitmaßnahmen für unsere Betriebe. Jedes fünfte deutsche Unternehmen überlegt, ob es seinen Produktionsstandort ins Ausland verlegt.

Auch die Aussagen des deutschen Wirtschaftsministers, dass die Bäckerei wegen hoher Energiekosten doch vorübergehend schließen soll und die Bevölkerung ja billiger bei dem Discounter einkaufen kann, schaffen nicht nur Zuversicht. Das ist ganz schlecht für die deutsche Wirtschaft, aber auch für die europäische Wirtschaft. Daher ist es umso wichtiger, dass wir jetzt rasch auf europäischer Ebene die Energiekosten im Sinne der Unternehmen, im Sinne der Arbeitsplätze und auch im Sinne der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit senken. Die Europäische Union muss jetzt zeigen, dass sie sich nicht durch selbsternannte politische Alphawölfe wirtschaftlich in die Knie zwingen lässt.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, signora Presidente von der Leyen, onorevoli colleghi, "la speranza siamo noi quando non chiudiamo gli occhi davanti a chi ha bisogno, quando non alziamo muri ai nostri confini, quando combattiamo ogni forma di ingiustizia". Anche queste parole di David Sassoli vanno ricordate oggi e sono un monito per tutti noi.

La nostra Europa, come Lei ha giustamente sottolineato, deve aprire una convenzione per riformarsi, per abbandonare il diritto di veto, per avere finalmente i poteri necessari per proteggere i nostri cittadini dalla guerra, dall'inflazione, col tetto europeo ai costi dell'energia, che ancora viene bloccato dalla destra nazionalista in Polonia e da quella ultraliberista in Olanda.

È molto importante il pacchetto per la difesa della democrazia da lei annunciato oggi. Spero che la Lega lo voti, dopo essersi astenuta su una risoluzione sugli stessi temi, unico partito del mio Paese, l'Italia. La destra italiana purtroppo non ha rotto con queste ambiguità e, con Fratelli d'Italia di Giorgia Meloni, spera nel ritorno di Trump e flirta con chi ha realizzato la Brexit. Per questo sono, come sempre, contro i nostri interessi di italiani e di europei.

Ma il nazionalismo ha già perso in questo continente e, nonostante la complicità vergognosa dei cosiddetti moderati, anche in questo tempo sarà fermato. Ne sono certo.

 
  
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  Андрей Ковачев (PPE). – Г-жо Председател, приветствам волята на Европейската комисия да продължи подкрепата и солидарността към Украйна и украинския народ, които се сражават за нашата обща свобода срещу руската агресия.

Българският девиз „Съединението прави силата“ трябва да е водещ и за членовете на Европейският съвет. Колкото по-обединени сме по всички теми - цени на енергийни източници, възстановяване и конкурентоспособност на нашата европейска икономика, социални компенсации и създаване на пазар на водорода - толкова по бързо ще превъзмогнем предизвикателствата, които са пред нас.

As we are talking now, Madam President, High Representative and the President of the Council, we have another armed conflict on the sovereign territory of Armenia. I urge you very much that the European Union is doing the utmost to stop this killing of people. In the last two days, tens, if not hundreds of people are killed. The civil infrastructure is destroyed. This must stop. I do not believe that the Russians are interested in a long—standing peaceful solution. They like to stay there and to have their influence there, but not to have a peace in the Caucasus region. So this is up to us, the European Union, to take the role of a mediator to stop this conflict.

 
  
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  Jens Geier (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau von der Leyen! Ich bedanke mich für Ihre Vorschläge gegen die Energiepreiskrise. Die Preise zu deckeln, die Übergewinne abzuschöpfen – das ist alles richtig. Den Strompreis wenigstens vorübergehend vom Gaspreis zu trennen, auch das halte ich für eine ausgesprochen gute Idee. Und wer weiß, vielleicht fällt uns ja etwas ein, was auch in Friedenszeiten besser funktioniert. Und das Wichtigste ist der Gaspreisdeckel. Da hören wir leider bisher nur, was nicht geht und dass an neuen Vorschlägen gearbeitet wird. Das muss aber hoffentlich schnell gehen.

Frau von der Leyen, ich finde, wenn Sie über die Lage der EU sprechen, können Sie über die Lage der Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Demokratie in der EU nicht schweigen. Diese Leerstelle in Ihrer Rede darf nicht bedeuten, dass das Thema von der Tagesordnung verschwindet. Denn wenn die EU zerfallen sollte, dann deswegen.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Go raibh maith agat a Uachtaráin agus comhghairdeachas Ursula as ucht an aithisc bhreá a thug tú dúinn.

Thank you, Ursula, for staying for the entirety of the debate.

You spoke a lot about energy, and rightly so. And to your credit, you’re going around the world trying to get LNG supplies for Europe. But I’m sorry to say that in my country we have an opportunity to build an LNG terminal free of charge for the government, which one arm of government is blocking. We also have vast gas resources of our coast which are not being utilised, and yet we are largely dependent on one pipeline from the United Kingdom. And today the United Kingdom said if Russia cut off supplies of gas to Europe, then there will be gas rationing and electricity outages in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

So I would ask you to ask countries like Ireland to use the resources and opportunities they have and not to be scrounging on the supplies that other Member States need, and also to remove the roadblocks to the deployment of renewables, especially planning and permission. And one final ask, maybe not to put the clocks back this winter to save energy.

 
  
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  Christel Schaldemose (S&D). – Fru formand! Den største test for et fællesskab er, hvordan man håndterer de kriser, man møder sammen. Og hvis Putin troede, at han med sin invasion af Ukraine kunne splitte os, kunne splitte EU, så tog han fejl! Vi har bevist, at når internationale regler og europæiske værdier bliver angrebet, så står vi sammen. Det gjorde vi også under coronaen, og nu er det så inflations- og energikrisen, der truer. Virksomhederne bliver truet på deres eksistens. Borgere trues med at skulle gå fra hus og hjem. Det skal vi have løst. Men krisen truer ikke kun vores alles økonomi. Den truer også vores fremtid. Flere i EU taler åbent om, at vi skal slække på vores grønne ambitioner, at vi skal udskyde nogle af vores grønne tiltag. Det er ikke den rigtige vej at gå. Mit budskab i dag er derfor meget simpelt: Inflations- og energikrisen må ikke blive en stopklods for den grønne omstilling. Den skal være en trædesten. Vi skal ikke sænke farten, vi skal øge den. EU har vist, at vi står sammen, når det gælder. Det er også på tide, at vi viser det sammenhold i forhold til klimakrisen.

 
  
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  Benoît Lutgen (PPE). – Madame la Présidente du Parlement, Madame la Présidente de la Commission, merci pour votre discours inspirant, qui doit tous nous inspirer. Merci d’avoir rappelé que la force de l’Union, c’est de pouvoir agir ensemble, en étant unis. Merci aussi d’avoir exprimé à nouveau votre solidarité à l’égard du peuple ukrainien. Ce qui se joue en Ukraine, c’est aussi notre avenir et l’avenir de nos enfants. Merci de l’avoir dit avec autant de force.

Vous avez aussi proposé des mesures très concrètes et à court terme qui concernent le domaine de l’énergie. Vous savez ô combien, dans nos contrées, beaucoup de familles sont dans une forme de désespérance, des entreprises aussi ont de grandes difficultés. Eh oui, vous avez osé proposer, et c’était bien normal, de faire contribuer les grandes entreprises énergétiques qui ont bénéficié d’éléments et de budgets colossaux de façon spontanée, sans qu’il n’y ait les coûts réels liés à ces entreprises. Oui cette cotisation, cette taxation va permettre de dégager des moyens, et vous avez raison de demander qu’on affecte ces moyens aux ménages les plus vulnérables et à nos entreprises qui sont en difficulté.

Il est aussi essentiel d’essayer à l’avenir de pouvoir découpler les marchés du gaz et de l’électricité pour éviter ces surcoûts, demain, pour nos entreprises et pour nos ménages. Et enfin, surtout, il est essentiel d’avoir jeté les bases d’une stratégie européenne pour parvenir à une souveraineté plus grande, une autonomie au niveau de l’énergie.

Madame la Présidente, je souhaite évidemment que le Conseil européen et tous ceux qui se sont exprimés ces derniers temps fassent preuve de la même diligence, de la même rapidité d’exécution, parce que l’urgence est à nos portes. L’urgence de soutenir l’Ukraine, mais aussi l’urgence, bien sûr, de soutenir tous nos concitoyens pour qu’ils croient en une Europe plus forte, plus solidaire.

(L’orateur accepte de répondre à une intervention «carton bleu»)

 
  
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  Μαρία Σπυράκη (PPE), ερώτηση με «γαλάζια κάρτα». – Κυρία πρόεδρε, αγαπητέ συνάδελφε, θα ήθελα να σας ρωτήσω το εξής: είστε ικανοποιημένος από τον τρόπο με τον οποίον περιέγραψε η Πρόεδρος της Επιτροπής την αλλαγή του νέου μοντέλου αποσύνδεσης της τιμής του φυσικού αερίου από την τιμή του ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος; Δεν πιστεύετε ότι χρειάζεται η Επιτροπή να προχωρήσει σε λεπτομέρειες για να σταθεροποιηθεί η αγορά και να έχουμε έτσι τη δυνατότητα να προσελκύσουμε επενδύσεις; Ξέρετε, αύριο θα πάω στην πόλη μου, τη Θεσσαλονίκη, και πρέπει να εξηγήσω στους πολίτες τι σημαίνει η αλληλεγγύη στην πράξη αυτόν τον δύσκολο χειμώνα. Όλα τα μέτρα που πρότεινε σήμερα η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή έχουν ήδη υιοθετηθεί από την Ελλάδα. Ποιο είναι το επόμενο βήμα; Πόσο γρήγορα θα έρθει.

 
  
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  Benoît Lutgen (PPE), réponse «carton bleu». – Alors effectivement, je souhaite qu’on ait des détails plus importants sur ce découplage. C’est une bonne chose de découpler et de faire en sorte que l’électricité qui n’est pas produite à partir du gaz ne soit plus impactée et n’impacte pas aussi fortement nos entreprises et nos familles. C’est une bonne décision pour l’avenir, me semble-t-il. Ce qu’on essaye d’éviter, de corriger au travers de cette taxation des surprofits, c’est tout simplement parce que des entreprises, dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables ou du nucléaire, ont fait des bénéfices colossaux sans justification liée au coût. Nous devons donc envisager ce découplage. On attend effectivement, vous avez raison, de la part de la Commission et du Conseil demain, d’aller plus loin dans le détail des propositions.

Les principes et les objectifs qui ont été fixés par la présidente de la Commission vont dans le bon sens, dans le sens tout simplement de soutenir nos entreprises, les ménages et l’ensemble des associations.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, aan het begin van de maand al weten dat je financieel niet uitkomt – en dat is voor heel veel Europeanen een realiteit –, die onzekerheid vreet aan mensen.

Bij de Nederlandse regering ontbreekt de urgentie om de koopkrachtcrisis werkelijk te lijf te gaan. Men zegt: “regeren is vooruitzien”, maar bij Rutte IV hobbelen we eigenlijk achteruit. En in deze tijden kunnen we dat niet gebruiken, want ik denk dat het eerlijke verhaal is dat er een recessie kan volgen op deze koopkrachtcrisis. En die recessie kan dan een voedingsbodem zijn voor onrust, een voedingsbodem voor populistische partijen.

En daarom, mevrouw de voorzitter van de Commissie, doe ik een beroep op u. Laat het alstublieft niet bij loze woorden. Spoor de lidstaten aan om nu te voldoen aan de Europese fatsoensnormen en hun minimumlonen te verhogen. En zorg ervoor dat er een permanente deeltijd-WW, een permanent SURE-programma, komt, want zo houden we de werkgelegenheid op peil en gaan de bedrijven niet kopje onder.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Maria Walsh (PPE). – Madam President, I very much welcome a new mental health initiative through a citizens’ panel. This is an incredibly important and positive step forward following our Future of Europe Conference, following the impact of COVID, the stresses of isolation and the war that we are all living through. We must, through an EU year of education and training and a citizens’ panel dedicated to mental health, really look at and finally understand the root causes of mental health and how it is impacting all facets of a person’s life, especially our young people.

You mentioned SMEs. We know from research that an employee is over 30 days more productive if an employer looks at their wellbeing and the mentality that they have, that is sustainability. Let’s together deliver a citizens’ panel and prepare for a 2024 EU year dedicated to mental health.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, obrigada Senhora Presidente Von der Leyen pela sua apresentação sobre o Estado da União.

Na sua apresentação enumerou um conjunto de novas iniciativas: um Banco Europeu para o Hidrogénio, um Fundo Europeu para a Soberania, um novo programa para as PME, um programa para a saúde mental, novas iniciativas em matéria de energia e capacidade adicional para o mecanismo de proteção civil. A minha questão é se, na proposta de revisão do orçamento plurianual que a Comissão está a preparar, vai transpor para o orçamento todas estas iniciativas.

Segunda questão: enumerou um conjunto de princípios para a revisão das regras orçamentais, princípios que estão na linha dos princípios aprovados pelo Parlamento Europeu há um ano. A minha questão é: para quando as iniciativas legislativas que efetivamente abram a porta para a revisão destas regras?

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Mevrouw de voorzitter, mevrouw Von der Leyen, dank u wel voor uw speech. U heeft vandaag opnieuw een menselijk gezicht gegeven aan de Europese Unie. U heeft vol moed gesproken over Oekraïne. U was heel ferm over die Russische sancties.

En wat betreft energie zat u eigenlijk helemaal op onze lijn: inkomsten afromen, prijsplafond. Alleen had ik heel graag een beter tijdschema gehad. Een heel strikt en heel concreet tijdschema, dat is wat de burgers van ons vragen. Dus ik hoop dat u de komende dagen met dat heel strikte tijdschema kunt komen.

En u zou het mij niet kwalijk nemen, maar het verwonderde mij – gezien ik u heel goed ken – dat u hier niets zei over Europese defensie-unie, en wat mij betreft over dat Europese leger. Dus misschien kunt u ons daar dadelijk toch nog wel wat hoop geven, want dit hebben we nodig.

En een tweede punt, mevrouw Von der Leyen: we hebben die conventie gehad. We hebben die burgerpanels gehad. Die hebben keigoede voorstellen neergelegd. Maak nu werk van die conventie!

Als we Europa een plaats in de wereld moeten geven, dan moeten we die unanimiteit afschaffen. Doe dat gewoon! Onze steun heeft u.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Frau Präsidentin von der Leyen, ich möchte zwei Themen ansprechen, die Sie in Ihrer Rede gestreift haben. Zunächst: Global Gateway. Werden Sie die bislang ungelösten Governance-Fragen der Initiative Global Gateway vor Jahresende klären? Wie viele Leuchtturmprojekte von Global Gateway werden bis zum Dezember konkret identifiziert? Wie wird die Kooperation mit unseren Konnektivitätspartnern Japan und Indien forciert?

Zum Zweiten zur Chinapolitik: Ziehen wir die richtigen Konsequenzen aus der russischen Erfahrung? Xi Jinpings Regime wird immer repressiver nach innen und immer gefährlicher nach außen. China unterstützt die Aggression Russlands in der Ukraine ganz offen. Welche Schritte sehen Sie vor, um Taiwan besser zu unterstützen, um die europäische Menschenrechtspolitik wegen Xinjiang deutlicher zu machen, statt die Kritik von Frau Bachelet herunterzuspielen, und um wirkliche Unabhängigkeit im Wirtschaftsbereich gegenüber China zu erkämpfen?

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (The Left). – Κυρία πρόεδρε, κυρία von der Leyen, όσα μας ανακοινώσατε για την αντιμετώπιση της ενεργειακής κρίσης είναι καθυστερημένα, γενικόλογα και ανεπαρκή και την ίδια ώρα πολύ λίγοι αποκομίζουν απίστευτα, ουρανοκατέβατα κέρδη ενώ υποφέρουν οι πολλοί: νοικοκυριά, επιχειρήσεις, αλλά και εργαζόμενοι που βλέπουν τον πληθωρισμό να ροκανίζει το εισόδημά τους. Πρέπει να μας πείτε πώς, πότε και με ποια αποτελέσματα θα αποδεσμευτεί η τιμή του ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος από το φυσικό αέριο. Πρέπει να μας πείτε πώς, πότε και με ποια αποτελέσματα θα φορολογηθούν τα υπερκέρδη των εταιρειών που παράγουν και πωλούν ηλεκτρικό ρεύμα. Και επιπλέον, πρέπει να μας πείτε πώς είναι δυνατόν όλα όσα μας εξαγγείλατε να χρηματοδοτηθούν με έναν προϋπολογισμό που είναι μόλις το 1% του ευρωπαϊκού ΑΕΠ. Επίσης, δεν είδα καθόλου κάποιον απολογισμό. Από όσα ωραία μας εξαγγείλατε έναν χρόνο πριν, τι κάνατε πράξη; Κυβερνάτε την Επιτροπή πάνω από τρία χρόνια και ο απολογισμός σας είναι ελλειμματικός.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, thank you very much for this very lively debate. First of all, I want to thank you for the broad and united support for the support we are giving to Ukraine. This was overwhelmingly the case here in the European Parliament. I know you’re a staunch supporter of Ukraine, and I thank you that you reiterated it today with all force.

So to a few topics – I will not be able to respond to all the questions that have been put forward, I have spoken long. I want to have a look at the topic of the energy crisis. And I want to make very sure that there is no doubt about the fact in this House that it is Putin who triggered this energy crisis. I had the strange experience that I listened to an ID MEP who really seemed, at least, to be so naive to think that Putin started to use gas as a weapon only on 24 February this year. This has been prepared since long. I mean, beg your pardon, but look into the last year where you could have seen systematically Gazprom, a Russian state—owned company, reduce the deliveries of gas so that we had a 10—year low of gas storage. Are you so naive or do you just want to ignore the facts if you look at that?

Then I heard from an MEP of Renew – rightly so – that the energy measures that we proposed yesterday and that I explained today have to be time—limited. And of course they are time—limited, because this is the reason why we use the ‘one to two’, to speed up, to be time—limited. It is the emergency instrument. I know it is not highly valued in the European Parliament. I understand that. But if you look at the ‘one to two’ explicitly, the topic of energy is mentioned in ‘one to two’. And one of the preconditions to the question here is it must be appropriate, it must be speedy, and it must be time—limited. It’s a logic in itself.

You have asked, Hilde, about timelines. Indeed, the proposals we’ve put on the table yesterday we hope and expect that Council will decide on them end of September, so that then they can be on the road exactly, but – and this is important – the big, big reform many of you were rightly so calling for, for example to decouple the gas from the merit—order system, this big reform will be coming at the end of the year. And this is a big task all of us have to tackle together before this mandate ends because it is urgent now to move forward with the completely changed energy markets.

On defence, Guy, I understand your request. May I remind ourselves that we’ve done a lot to create the army of the Europeans. So structures are in place, the PESCO is in place, the Defence Fund is in place. What we have to do now is bring it on the road and deliver. I know I am partially preaching in the wrong church here, because my call has to go to the Member States, but there is a reason why we put all of these instruments in place, so let us work on it together. This should be now our task.

To Mr Bütikofer, Global Gateway and the whole topic of how to deal with China – so first of all, global gateway, I think this deserves an own debate because yes, of course the governance has to be in the place. But I told you that with President Biden we will invite leaders to a summit to go through these projects now and to be very concrete on where we deliver together these investments that are a concrete alternative to what the world has seen so far from China. They are transparent, they are high quality, and they do not leave the finances of the countries in which these projects are with a huge debt burden like the Chinese projects always do. So where China is concerned, this tool needs an own debate. But the fact that a few weeks before Russia started the invasion in Ukraine, China and Russia signed a contract of unlimited friendship, this is telling enough.

And finally, honourable Members, I thank you for the broad support to strengthen our SMEs. We will come forward with a package, as I said. I would be very happy to hear not only what should not be, but pleased to hear also what we can do. I think this positive, constructive approach towards these reforms that we want to look forward and that we want to address, this has to come too. I think this is a noble task of the Commission and of this Parliament.

And finally, to fortify our democracies I got the question here on, for example, ‘when are you acting on forced labour in our products?’ The good news is yesterday we tabled a proposal to combat forced labour. So this is done. It now goes towards you and I hope that there too we will be united and swift. Long live Europe!

Thank you very much for a very lively debate.

 
  
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  Tamás Deutsch (NI). – Elnök Asszony! Európa energiaválsággal küzd. Az energiaárak drámai mértékben emelkedtek, az ellátás pedig bizonytalanná vált. Emiatt a vállalkozások mennek csődbe, és a polgároknak brutális rezsiszámlákkal kell szembesülniük. A Bizottság eddigi válaszlépései visszafele sültek el. A szankciók következtében, a Bizottság ígéreteivel ellentétben az európai gazdaság gyengült meg, az infláció pedig az egekben. A gáz- és áramárak nyári emelkedését a Bizottság tétlenül szemlélte, új javaslatai pedig a válságot nem oldják meg.

Az importált földgáz árkorlátozása újabb szankció, amelyik tovább csökkentené az egyébként is szűkös földgázkínálatot, ami a fűtési időszak küszöbén teljesen abszurd ötlet. A Bizottság elnök asszonya a vitában azt javasolta a megfizethetetlen energiaszámlákkal küszködő európai családoknak, hogy küldjék a számláikat Moszkvába, hogy fizessék ki ők. A visszafele elsült szankciók, az emiatt vágtató infláció, a Bizottság tétlenkedése miatt az európaiak Brüsszelbe fogják küldeni a rezsiszámláikat, hogy fizessék ki Önök.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, Madame von der Leyen, la seule réponse que vous m’avez faite, c’est donc de demander aux citoyens européens d’envoyer leurs factures à Vladimir Poutine. Pardon, mais c’est tout ce que vous avez à dire aux millions de personnes qui n’arrivent pas à finir leurs fins de mois? Eh oui, chers collègues, vous pouvez me huer. Mais moi, je suis fière de venir porter ici la parole des gens qui galèrent plutôt que celle des actionnaires!

Alors c’est cela que vous allez dire aux gens, aux gens qui galèrent? Envoyez vos factures à Poutine! Bien sûr que Vladimir Poutine est le seul responsable de la guerre terrible en Ukraine. Mais vous, vous êtes responsable devant les citoyens européens et vous ne pouvez pas uniquement vous cacher derrière lui. Et votre rôle, c’est d’apporter des réponses concrètes. D’ailleurs, vous l’avez reconnu vous-même, le marché de l’énergie ne fonctionne pas. Oui, il y a des surprofits qui ont été faits par les entreprises sur le dos des gens. Alors, sans les règles européennes absurdes, l’électricité n’aurait pas augmenté autant que le gaz et la crise de l’énergie aurait pu être amortie par un blocage des prix par les États. Et cela, vous le savez très bien, Madame von der Leyen. Donc arrêtez de vous cacher derrière d’autres, tirez toutes les conclusions de l’analyse de vos échecs en sortant l’énergie du marché, en bloquant les prix et en taxant les superprofits. Et croyez-moi, je crois que ces propositions seront bien plus efficaces que d’envoyer ces factures à Vladimir Poutine.

 
  
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  Beata Szydło, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Jeszcze raz przytoczę i przypomnę słowa pani przewodniczącej von der Leyen, które dzisiaj tutaj już padły: „trzeba było słuchać Polski i innych krajów”. I życzę Pani Przewodniczącej i wszystkim Państwu odwagi, żebyście zmienili podejście do tego, co dzieje się w Unii Europejskiej, i mieli odwagę słuchać siebie nawzajem. Pani przewodniczącej von der Leyen życzę również odwagi i przypomnienia sobie budowania jedności i przypomnienia sobie też wniosków z tego, jakie błędy popełniły rządy niemieckie, w których Pani przecież pracowała.

 
  
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  Marco Campomenosi, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ringrazio la Presidente von der Leyen, anche per l'attenzione che ha dato a quest'Aula, perché, a differenza di molti colleghi, Lei è stata qui presente dall'inizio fino ad adesso e questo devo dire, anche da gruppo e partito di opposizione, lo abbiamo apprezzato.

Il mondo di prima non tornerà, ne siamo consci. Abbiamo anche noi supportato le sanzioni. Dovremo poi trovare un momento anche per domandarci quali sono le responsabilità sul perché siamo arrivati ad avere certe dipendenze dalla Russia ed evitare, come ha detto Lei, di averne in futuro altre nei confronti della Cina, che già sono abbastanza rilevanti oggi.

Ci sono dei temi irrisolti su cui dobbiamo intervenire: il patto di stabilità è uno di quelli. Abbiamo un grave problema e un grave rischio sulla competitività; abbiamo un Paese, la Cina – e torno sulla Cina – che ha stoccaggi impressionanti di materie prime e terre rare e che va a riaprire 174 miniere di carbone.

Lei ha citato il settore della ceramica italiana, mi ha fatto piacere: ma quello, per esempio, parlando di temi commerciali, è uno dei settori che non è stato mai sostenuto e difeso dalle politiche commerciali dell'Unione.

Meno retorica, più trasparenza e attenzione: sul tema del Mediterraneo l'Italia è sempre stata lasciata sola in questi anni. Ricordiamoci anche di quella emergenza.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, things are difficult, but what we need now is the message of ‘Yes, we see all the difficulties that everyone is facing. Yes, we are doing whatever we can to make things better. Yes, we will get through this very difficult time together – there is light at the end of the tunnel. And yes, Europe is a vital part of the solution’.

And for that, we need action now from the Commission, from the Council and from this House. One opportunity lies just ahead of you with the vote on renewables and on energy efficiency, and I hope we will do the right thing.

 
  
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  Stéphane Séjourné, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, je vais peut-être être un peu plus explicite que vous sur les interventions qu’il y a eu dans cet hémicycle. Monsieur Bardella, je suis désolé mais votre intervention est irresponsable. Elle est irresponsable parce que ce ne sont pas les sanctions qui sont la cause des Européens, c’est vous et les Russes. Vous avez été depuis des années en lien avec le pouvoir russe et vous nous faites aujourd’hui des leçons sur ce qu’il faudrait faire aujourd’hui au niveau européen. Je l’ai dit dans mon intervention, Madame la Présidente, mais il faudra se saisir des sujets d’ingérence. La question, notamment, de l’argent qui est versé aux partis politiques de la part du Kremlin est un vrai sujet d’indépendance et de souveraineté européenne. Il faudra ici se saisir de ces questions et je compte également sur la Commission pour pouvoir organiser ces travaux.

Et puis un message aussi aux collègues italiens dans ce débat dans le débat: excusez-nous de ne pas avoir les mêmes idées que vous, chers collègues. Excusez-nous de penser que l’élection italienne n’est pas encore jouée et excusez-moi de vouloir une Italie qui soit ouverte en Europe, ouverte au monde. Donc, nous respecterons évidemment les résultats en Italie, mais permettez-nous de faire campagne. Et la démocratie, c’est de faire campagne, c’est de faire campagne sur des sujets européens et c’est de faire campagne contre vos idées. Je suis désolé.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, ha sido un debate intenso. Hemos podido intervenir y hemos podido escuchar. Y permítanme que haga una referencia a algo que no he visto presente en este debate y que me hubiera gustado ver presente. Y es hablar más de la dimensión social de Europa, de esa Europa que tiene que avanzar para estar al lado de los que más lo necesitan.

Necesitamos un paquete de resiliencia social para abordar cuestiones como un instrumento permanente sobre desempleo, para abordar la lucha contra la pobreza, para que la gente no deje de confiar en el proyecto europeo. Porque no podemos permitir que la ciudadanía vuelva a sentir que les hemos dejado en la cuneta. Así que vamos a trabajar en todo aquello que nos une, construyendo también la Europa social, la Europa de la ciudadanía.

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, I also want to thank Ursula von der Leyen for the contribution, for the great speech and a great discussion today. There is a broad consensus about now activating going further social means, also creating jobs, that’s why I think we have a lot in common that we want to work on.

But I want especially to thank Ska Keller because she was presenting to the EPP the flowers that we are the founding fathers of today’s European Union – you said it – with Adenauer, with De Gasperi, with Schuman; Christian Democrats together with Socialists, together with Liberals and then finally also Greens, when you grew up as a party, contributed to this.

But I want to say one thing: when we speak about pro-Europeans and not pro-Europeans, we should not politicise this thing.

(Laughter)

Because, I tell you – please listen – in the Spanish Government, there is Podemos. Three Spanish Podemos ministers voted against NATO membership for Finland and Sweden – three of them in a government with Socialists.

We have the Five Star Movement in government with Lega in Italy. Nobody did a debate here. Nobody asked for a debate here. And this was taking place in Italy. I give you another argument: dear Ska, you had a coalition in France to do campaigning together with Mélenchon. Mélenchon publicly said that we do not respect European law any more if we come in office. That was the position of Mélenchon. And I give you another point: in the last COP, we had a debate about Bulgaria. We will have a debate on Bulgaria.

(Heckling)

No, it’s really serious. Two independent judges in Bulgaria said over the summertime that detaining the opposition leader in Bulgaria was unlawful. And I was simply asking for a debate about the Bulgarian rule of law situation, but that was refused by the Greens.

So don’t politicise things. When we talk about the rule of law, it is independent. It’s about being based on facts and not about party-political orientation.

 
  
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  President. – Dear colleagues, for those of you commenting about the time, if you had been sitting here for four hours now you would have known that nobody was stopped from speaking in this Chamber and I will not stop now.

The debate on the State of the Union is now closed. Commission President, thank you for the whole time you spent with us.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Andrus Ansip (Renew), kirjalikult. – Ma tunnustan Euroopa Komisjoni presidenti väga ühemõttelise Ukraina toetamise eest. Nagu president, olen ka mina veendunud, et konflikt tuleb lahendada, mitte külmutada. Ukraina peab sõja võitma ja Euroopa Liit peab teda selles abistama. Venemaa ei sõdi mitte ainult Ukraina vastu, vaid ta on alustanud ulatuslikku energiasõda ka Euroopa Liidu vastu. Tarnetega manipuleerimine on viinud kiire hindade kasvuni. Tunnustan Euroopa Komisjoni pakutud energiakriisi leevendamise meetme eest ning jagan komisjoni seisukohta, et kõrgete hindade allikas asub Moskvas.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – Gerbiama Pirmininke, Komisijos pirmininke, kolegos, Šiandien Europos Sąjunga išgyvena įtemptą ir sudėtingą laikotarpį. Šalia Europos sienų vyksta karas, kasdien pareikalaujantis nekaltų žmonių aukų. Mūsų žmonės su dideliu nerimu stebi rekordiškai augančią infliaciją, didėjančias maisto ir energetikos kainas. Europa šiandien yra kaip niekada anksčiau socialiai pažeidžiama, todėl turime duoti skubų ir solidarų atsaką, palaikydami savo piliečius ir verslą. Šiandien išgirdome iš Komisijos apie planuojamas pateikti priemones energetikos srityje, siekiant sumažinti energijos kainas, ir tai sveikiname. Tačiau dabar svarbiausia yra tai, kad tokios priemonės būtų nedelsiant įgyvendinamos valstybėse narėse, kur situacija yra labai skirtinga, o taip pat ir skirtinga vyriausybių reakciją į šią krizę. Kaip niekuomet svarbu investuoti į mūsų žmones, jų švietimą ir perkvalifikavimą prisitaikant prie šios sudėtingos situacijos. Negalime leisti, kad mažiausias pajamas gaunantys žmones atsidurtų dar didesniame skurde. Gerbiami kolegos, priešakyje mūsų laukia itin sudėtingas laikotarpis, kai yra reikalingi skubūs sprendimai stabilizuojant maisto ir būtiniausių prekių kainų augimą bei pagalba mūsų žmonėms ir įmonėms, ypač smulkioms ir vidutinio dydžio įmonėms, kompensuojant energijos sąskaitas. Šiandien Europa privalo išlaikyti solidarumo egzaminą, kad taptume tvirtesni ir atsparesni bei užtikrintume tikrą socialinę Europą savo piliečiams.

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR), na piśmie. – Bardzo cieszy mnie fakt, że pani przewodnicząca Komisji Europejskiej Ursula von der Leyen podczas tej ważnej debaty przyznała, że powinniśmy posłuchać głosów podnoszonych w Polsce, ostrzegających przed niebezpieczeństwami, jakie niesie nieodpowiedzialna polityka wobec Rosji, czym grozi uzależnienie energetyczne od tego państwa, w końcu do czego jest zdolny Putin wobec swych sąsiadów, Europy i świata. Ogromnie szkoda, że to stwierdzenie pada tak późno, że zarówno KE, jak i ta instytucja była tak wiele razy głucha na ostrzeżenia ze strony tylu polskich mężów stanu, począwszy od Prezydenta RP Lecha Kaczyńskiego, pani premier Beaty Szydło czy premiera Mateusza Morawieckiego. Wielokrotnie przed tymi zagrożeniami ostrzegał premier Jarosław Kaczyński, jednak woleliście słuchać Donalda Tuska, który dbał o jak najlepsze stosunki z Władimirem Putinem, a którego nawet dzisiaj na tej sali i podczas tej debaty tak promuje pan przewodniczący Weber, włączając się tym samym w wewnętrzną walkę polityczną w Polsce. Zamiast tego przydałaby się bardziej jego refleksja co do dotychczasowych poczynań Niemiec i współpracy niemiecko-rosyjskiej, np. przy realizacji projektów Nord Stream i Nord Stream 2, przed którymi wielokrotnie ostrzegaliśmy, słysząc w odpowiedzi, iż cierpimy na rusofobię połączoną z krótkowzrocznością. Zbrojna agresja Putina zweryfikowała najlepiej, kto na tej sali był i jest krótkowzroczny.

 
  
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  Josianne Cutajar (S&D), in writing. – We are today in the face of a Europe of crises, a Europe of opportunities and a Europe that needs to work towards more solidarity. The rocketing energy prices are increasingly affecting the stability of our industry, with small businesses closing down all over Europe, as is the ongoing inflation. European citizens need transparency and reassurance that they will not be forced to choose between heating their homes this winter and buying food.

While the already spiralling energy prices and the COVID-19 pandemic had their own negative effect, it should be acknowledged that Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has had a severe impact on the current crisis. Given all this, Europe should learn from its mistakes and look towards diversifying its energy supplies while also investing in renewables, ensuring more energy autonomy, all this whilst taking into account the various specificities and realities of our regions and Member States and ensuring security of supply.

May I conclude by emphasising that, in these precarious times, it is paramount that we continue striving relentlessly towards concrete measures so as to ensure that our most vulnerable do not bear the brunt.

 
  
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  Robert Hajšel (S&D), písomne. – Niektoré z opatrení navrhovaných šéfkou Komisie Ursulou von der Leyenovou na riešenie kritickej situácie s cenami energií idú správnym smerom, prichádzajú príliš neskoro. V Európe, ktorej obyvatelia platia za našu podporu Ukrajine vysokými cenami, potrebujeme silné a rýchle opatrenia. Ľuďom je jedno, aké opatrenia prijmeme, ale treba to urobiť hneď. Miliardy eur, ktoré na špekuláciách s cenami energií zarobili niektoré veľké spoločnosti, musíme dostať do rozpočtov domácností a ohrozených podnikov. Navrhované opatrenia sa mi v tomto smere nezdajú byť dostatočné a dokonca odporúčané šetrenie energiami mi v prípade ľudí žijúcich už na hranici chudoby pripadá absurdné, akoby sme hladujúcemu odporúčali jesť ešte menej.

 
  
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  Alin Mituța (Renew), in writing. – The State of the European Union address has become a landmark in the political life of the EU. However, the European citizens are left somewhere in the background during this important moment. They are meant to receive the address and not to contribute to creating the priorities that are at the cornerstone of the SOTEU. This can no longer continue as such, especially after the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Citizens have asked during the Conference to be involved more often in the decision—making process of the EU. Not only 5 years, when they vote, or every 20 or 30 years when something similar to the Conference happens. A permanent consultation mechanism should be created as a result of this key request, that will integrate the citizens in the political discussion revolving around the European Commission Work Programme, and thus, around the SOTEU. Replicating the positive experience represented by the CoFoE Citizens’ Panels is necessary to reinforce the credibility of the EU towards its citizens. I hope that the next SOTEU address will involve an element of participatory democracy in a meaningful way and will continue to empower citizens to contribute.

 
  
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  Victor Negrescu (S&D), în scris. – În contextul crizelor actuale, Uniunea Europeană s-a dovedit a fi o plasă de siguranță pentru multe state europene prin măsurile și răspunsurile pe care le-a oferit pentru a genera siguranță și bunăstare cetățenilor săi, dar nu trebuie să ne oprim aici.

Agresiunea Rusiei împotriva Ucrainei, consecințele pandemiei generate de coronavirus, creșterea prețurilor la energie sau insecuritatea alimentară reprezintă doar câteva dintre provocările cu care ne confruntăm și la care UE trebuie să ofere soluții mai concrete și mai practice.

Avem nevoie de o Europă capabilă să acționeze mai rapid, mai eficient dar mai ales să ofere răspunsuri la problemele și la nevoile cu care se confruntă cetățenilor. Să depășim zona de discursuri și să mergem spre soluții.

Anul 2023 reprezintă un moment important pentru redresarea și stabilizarea UE, motiv pentru care salut instrumentele de sprijin anunțate pentru populație și IMM-uri, Anul european dedicat educației și formării cât și programele noi, conturate în urma concluziilor Conferinței privind Viitorul Europei și nevoilor de revizuire a planurilor de redresare.

În acest sens, am amendat bugetul european pentru a ne asigura că fondurile disponibile vor fi utilizate corespunzător, inclusiv prin flexibilizarea programelor existente sau extinderea programelor și a perioadelor de implementare, astfel încât să putem genera rezultate rapide.

 
  
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  Matjaž Nemec (S&D), pisno. – Nagovor predsednice von der Leyen je dodobra osvetlil aktualne pereče izzive Evrope in sveta, med katerimi sta bili v ospredju vojna v Ukrajini ter energetsko krizo, draginjo in inflacija, klimatskimi spremembami ter grožnjo človekovim pravicam, mednarodnemu pravu in temeljnim zavezan, na katerih je zgrajena EU.

A besedam morajo sedaj slediti dejanja. Zato pozdravljam napovedi Komisije odločnemu boj proti „vojnemu dobičkarstvu“ zlasti elektro industrije, kot tudi nujno napoved glede samostojnega oblikovanja cene elektrike, brez vezanosti na plin ter korenito reformo trga plina in elektrike.

Komisija glede na nagovor ne kaže znakov popuščanja trgu, kar je za zaščito zlasti najranljivejših ključnega pomena. Veselim me tudi napoved Komisije po podvojitvi zmogljivosti za gašenje požarov, na kar sem tudi po uničujočih požarih pozval EU in ob tem naslovil tudi pobudo za vzpostavitev vseevropskega mehanizma za upravljanje in obnovo pogorišč.

Današnji nagovor – sicer bolj kot smerokaz delovanja Unije v prihodnjih mesecih – vidim kot željo predsednice Evropske komisije, da popravi slab vtis o nezmožnosti pravočasnega in enotnega ukrepanja do sedaj. Ne moremo pa mimo tistega, česar predsednica ni povedala ali omenila. In sicer prehranske draginje, kako povečati socialno varnost najšibkejših pa denimo glede delovanja Schengena ter sodbe sodišča EU glede nadzorov na notranjih mejah.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – Num contexto de economia de guerra, a capacidade de aplicar medidas colaborativas e solidárias é crucial, prosseguindo com determinação um caminho que reforce a autonomia estratégica da União, proteja os seus valores e garanta a segurança das pessoas e bens, as condições de vida, a dinâmica económica e social e a capacidade de apoiar de forma robusta a Ucrânia na resposta à agressão da Federação Russa.

As medidas e agendas anunciadas pela Presidente da Comissão Europeia estruturam uma resposta globalmente positiva, que exige rapidez na aplicação e solidez na visão estratégica implícita. Saliento a importância de uma nova agenda para a governação económica, mais flexível e promotora do investimento. O Pacto para a Defesa da Democracia Europeia e os projetos comuns, designadamente no lítio e nas terras raras, as medidas de apoio às PME, as novas alianças globais e a criação de um Fundo Europeu para a Soberania, reforçam a UE na geopolítica global.

Destaco ainda a importância da reforma conjuntural e estrutural dos mercados da energia e a proposta de criação de um Banco Europeu para o Hidrogénio.

Realço finalmente a oportunidade de designar 2023 como o Ano Europeu da Educação e da Formação.

 
Last updated: 17 November 2022Legal notice - Privacy policy