Co-Chairman Fitto: “The ECR Group is ready to work together, guided by pragmatism and common sense”

In today's plenary debate on 'The presentation of the programme of activities of the Slovenian Presidency', MEP Raffaele Fitto, Co-Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, stated that the ECR Group is ready to work together, guided by pragmatism and common sense.

ECR Group Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto’s full speech:

“Thank you President,

President of the Commission,

Prime Minister Janša,

Your presidency begins while the pandemic is still ongoing. Of course the situation is improving, but in the coming months our continent will nevertheless face complex and important challenges in order to get out of the crisis once and for all.

I believe that the Eurorealism I have heard today in many parts of your speech can be an excellent guide and a concrete opportunity for the Europe of tomorrow; that a true spirit of solidarity and cooperation between the different European states and peoples can lead us.

Cooperation and solidarity are often hampered by political prejudices that lead to a lack of respect and fair treatment for all EU countries.

We are therefore reassured by your words and your approach to the fundamental values and principles of the Union, including the rule of law.

In that regard, it seems rather suspicious that the topic of the European Deputy Prosecutor is being used against Slovenia right now. But I believe that your explanations have been exhaustive.

The rule of law monitoring mechanism must operate in an objective and transparent manner, respecting the equality of member states, not following the ultra-political approach used so far: using the mechanisms agreed at EU level to punish those with different political views.

Unfortunately, this only serves to create divisions, discord and mistrust between the states and peoples of Europe. The main objective at this time, which we should all have, is to ensure a stronger and more resilient Europe.

Countering the pandemic, strong and lasting economic recovery, integrity of the internal market, trade interests and strategic autonomy. Also security and defence of our borders to counter phenomena such as terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration, as well as new hybrid forms, must see us able to deploy a rapid and effective response.

On these issues, Prime Minister, our group is ready to work together, guided by pragmatism and common sense: we say yes to the defence of the environment, but with the right compromise between environmental sustainability and economic and social sustainability; we welcome your focus on the management of illegal migration and the construction of a functioning asylum system, but at the same time we ask for support for the Member States on the front line to stop illegal arrivals and human trafficking.

We welcome your special focus on the Western Balkans. However, in doing so, we must not forget the additional importance of the eastern neighbourhood in ensuring peace and stability in Europe.

Finally, yet importantly, Mr Janša, your presidency will continue the work on the Conference on the Future of Europe. A conference whose outcome we fear is already a foregone conclusion. However, at the same time we appreciate and share your approach to taking into account all the legitimate different views in developing a common position on solutions for the future.

Prime Minister, I appreciated your reference to dialogue, cooperation and equal treatment as essential conditions for improving the situation, the well-being and the security of our citizens. In wishing you a semester of important results, I hope that this spirit will guide your action accordingly.”

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