Kamall: EU informal summit will discuss threats
An informal meeting of EU Heads of Government will discuss the pressing threats facing the EU whether from radicals, on Europe’s borders, or the economic threats, Syed Kamall MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists Group Chairman said today in a debate in the European Parliament.
Mr Kamall said that EU leaders need to show strong leadership to address the drivers of radicalisation in the EU. He stressed that Putin should ‘get his tanks off Ukraine’s lawn’ otherwise he should face stronger economic sanctions; and he said that the EU must be honest with people about what being members of a single currency entails.
“This is a summit to discuss threats.
Threats from radicals.
Threats to our economies.
And threats on our borders.
All of these threats require strong leadership.
On the terror threat, most of Thursday’s Council will rightly be devoted to the law enforcement aspects of our response: the internal security strategy and PNR.
It’s shameful that the other Group leaders want to play cheap politics and undermine the Kirkhope report as he seeks to get the right balance between our security and our liberties.
However, we should not ignore the other strand of this problem. The drivers of radicalisation itself.
Why are people from all backgrounds – some highly educated, killing and dying in the name of God.
It’s a question that I’ve been asked a lot recently.
But there is no one path to radicalisation.
There are different drivers:
– like a search for identity amongst some second and third generation Muslims,
– or violent criminals radicalised in prison giving them another cause to fight for.
– or radicals from other countries given a platform for their extreme views in some of our communities.
There are many paths.
There is no easy answer.
There is no silver bullet, metaphorically or literally.
And most of the answers are found at the local level, rather than at the EU.
However, at the EU level we should not fear discussion on these issues in an open and frank way, exchanging best practice and asking what works in our countries.
If terrorism is the threat amongst us, then there is a serious threat on our doorstep.
On Ukraine, the ECR shares concerns about the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding right under our noses.
But frankly, only Vladimir Putin can put an end to this crisis. He must literally get his tanks off Ukraine’s lawn and today’s meeting is perhaps the last chance for a deal.
We must be clear: we seek a peaceful and political solution. But if Putin continues to aggress then we must deploy every economic weapon available to us.
In a 21st Century Russia, money talks.
Which is why it is so unfortunate that in the EU we are not in a stronger economic position.
There are no shortcuts to economic growth, no easy fixes for the Eurozone and no alternatives to much-needed reform. Anybody who says there is, is simply not telling the truth.
Frankly, the European Council needs to be honest about what Economic and Monetary Union entails.
If you want to keep the weaker economies in the Eurozone, taxpayers in richer Eurozone countries – Germany, Netherlands, Finland – will have to pay for fiscal transfers to poorer eurozone countries, maybe forever.
Bot those countries benefitting from the transfers must also understand the old saying: “He who pays the piper gets to call the tune!”
As politicians we should be straight about this and let people make up their own minds.
Voters made up their minds in Greece and they chose Syriza.
You won’t be surprised to hear that I disagree with Syriza’s platform.
But the people of Greece voted for it.
And we have to recognise that.
The time for grandstanding on both sides is over.
If Greece wants to discuss its sovereign debt with creditors in a mild mannered way, it should get a hearing.
But if Greece wants to splash the cash, then it must understand that voters in other Eurozone countries may want to show it the exit door.
So this might be an informal council but the subjects being discussed could not be more serious.
Tackling the Eurozone crisis.
Let us all hope that the European Council will make some headway and lead us to calmer waters.”