Fitto to von der Leyen: We need clarifications

ECR Group co-chair Rafaelle Fitto has called for more clarity from European Commission President-designate, Ursula Von Der Leyen, on her programme for the next five years.

Speaking during a debate with Mrs. von der Leyen in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, Fitto said:

“It seems we are hearing different things today to what we heard last week in our Group meeting. The socialists have already asked for clarifications on the rule of law mechanism being proposed. Now in the ECR we would also like some clarifications as I think we are talking about different things. There really is no clarity on what is actually being proposed.”

Fitto also talked about the importance of respecting rules but highlighted that this is not happening in the European Parliament. He continued:

“Mrs von der Leyen has said the European Parliament is the heart of democracy and also talked about the importance of rules. But democracy only works if everyone respects the system, and we are continually seeing MEPs disregard parliament’s own rules just because candidates have a different point of view than their own. It’s hypocritical and is a serious threat to pluralism.”

On the migration debate Fitto also highlighted his concerns over the disregard parliament is showing to Italian authorities and their legal processes after they invited the captain of the NGO ship Sea Watch 3, who is currently under investigation in Italy, to a hearing in the Civil Liberties Committee. He concluded:

“We heard from Mrs. von der Leyen a heart-warming story of a refugee who came to Germany and started to build a life. It’s a nice story but it doesn’t give a true reflection of the debate. Migration & human trafficking is a serious issue and it is not right that a committee of MEPs invite the captain of SeaWatch3 to the parliament when she is currently under-investigation for ignoring the direct instructions of the Italian police and coastguard.”

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