15 March 2023
Today, the European Parliament discussed its priorities for the Council meeting of 23-24 March. The ECR Group wants to see decisive breakthroughs in the EU's support to Ukraine and its people, who experience atrocious daily suffering under Russia’s brutal illegal invasion.
ECR Co-Chairman Nicola Procaccini, who spoke on behalf of the Group, also warned against becoming dependent on China in the energy transition. An economic conflict with the US must be avoided at all costs.
In particular, the ECR co-chair stressed that the EU must now get a grip on illegal migration. “Looking back, we cannot but note the failure of European policy on immigration policy”, Procaccini said.
“Immigration is a complex problem and a European problem, and as such it needs a European response. We don’t need manipulation or the political instrumentalisation of blood. This has become quite typical these days”, the ECR co-chairman concluded.
Mr Procaccini’s speech reads in full:
“Thank you President, Colleagues, President Von Der Leyen, President Michel. At the next European Council you will have to deal with major issues.
On behalf of the ECR Group I want to reiterate our support for the Ukrainian people called upon to resist the Russian invasion, amidst atrocious daily suffering.
And while it is good news that independence has been achieved in a short time from Russian gas and oil, we don’t think it’s good news to shift our energy dependency towards China for years to come. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past. Nor can we hope at such a delicate time to get into an industrial conflict between Europe and the United States.
But let us go back a step, to the last European Council, when at the behest of the Italian government, the migration situation was again discussed. European leaders identified initiatives that go in the right direction: increasing the EU’s external action, promoting cooperation on returns, enhancing the external border control to counter human trafficking in the Mediterranean.
Unfortunately, reality did not wait for the byzantinisms of Brussels. And in the same days in which the Italian military authorities rescued thousands of migrants at sea, never so many in such a short time time, the Cutro tragedy unfortunately occurred. Not the first of its kind and perhaps not even the last.
There is a bitter realisation from which there is no escape: more people entrust their lives to smugglers, paying them handsomely, the more deaths at sea we will have to mourn together.
Looking back, we cannot but note the failure of European policy on immigration policy. Whichever way you look at it. For our socialist colleagues on the Left, recent events have been yet another pretext to attack a government of the opposite political colour. I will not hold against you the many dead migrants in Italy, as in Spain, Greece, or France, during the years of the Left in government of the respective nations. Nor will I list the consequences of unrestrained immigration in the European cities at the mercy of that crazy ideology called ‘no borders’.
Dear colleagues, I will simply observe objectively that on these issues your hypocrisy is comparable only to your inability to find solutions.
When will we finally be able to agree that immigration must be governed and not suffered? That we cannot leave it to the smugglers or mercenary militias to determine who has the right and who does not have the right to enter Europe?
Nobody ever thought that the Italian government could solve everything in four months, but fortunately, the Italian government has clear ideas. On the other hand, immigration is a complex problem and a European problem, and as such it needs a European response.
This is why we will carefully evaluate the ‘Communication on the integrated management of European borders’, launched yesterday by the Commission. We need urgent, concrete and efficient action. What is needed is the courage to make the right choices, we don’t need manipulation or the political instrumentalisation of blood. This has become quite typical these days.”
17 March 2023