Speech by ECR Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto during the presentation of the programme of activities of the French Presidency:
“Thank you President, President Macron, representatives of the House.
We have experienced different emotions and feelings in this chamber this week. From the commemoration of President Sassoli to the election of President Metsola – very different emotions and feelings, ranging from joy to sorrow. They also bring into play a fundamental element that I think should characterise our debate: Confrontation and respect. This is the approach we want to adopt as a group for the six months of the French Presidency. We want to do this because we also want to make some fundamental demands on the main topics on its agenda.
First, the rule of law has been mentioned. The rule of law is not an issue that can be used in an ideological battle; it is not an issue that can be weaponised. We are asking for a substantive debate to take place over these six months. We want to try to understand the individual dossiers, whether they justify choices or not, and whether they should be placed within an institutional reference framework that must be clear and precise, respecting the will and mandate of our voters.
We would also like to reiterate our positions on the other issues: The urgency of the immigration situation. Immigration must be tackled with a broader vision, that tries to understand the situation in Africa, where Europe must play a stronger role to counteract China’s influence in the continent.
What has happened in recent years in Libya has created the conditions for a total lack of control over the flow of migrants to the Mediterranean, with an ever increasing role for Russia and Turkey. We talk about these fundamental aspects in order to address the urgencies linked to migratory flows with which we will inevitably have to deal. And we are doing so in the midst of a pandemic in which economic intervention measures have certainly been an important breath of fresh air.
But we have a decisive match in the form of the Stability Pact. We will have to discuss this in detail, because it will determine whether or not we can consolidate growth at the most crucial economic moment.
To this I would like to add another very important priority, which is that of the climate, where we need to be realistic about the current economic, social and business structures of our continent, and about the overall assessment of these structures with regard to the large numbers of major global producers and manufacturers. We will do so, however, with the same approach, the same spirit, and the same emotion that we have felt in this Chamber over the last few days.
We will continue to engage with colleagues here with respect and confrontation, through strength of our ideas, with the strength of our proposals and, above all, with the strength of our conviction, which is that we are not against anyone, and not against Europe.
We are here because we want to put forward a project to profoundly change the rules, the structures and the decisions taken at the European level. The kind of debate will lead us to such reform, our proposals will not be lacking, we will not denounce anyone, but we will bring forward our ideas with a conviction and certainty that these ideas have the possibility to represent a great opportunity for the future of Europe.