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Nicola Procaccini: “The EU Council should look at reality as it is, not as we would like it to be”

On behalf of the ECR Group, Co-Chairman Nicola Procaccini has called on the EU to focus on the current concrete challenges of migration, competitiveness and the promises made to Ukraine.

Speaking at the debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg ahead of the Council meeting on 13-14 December, Procaccini said the Council should not open further flanks with plans to amend treaties or tighten Green Deal measures that would further strain relations between states or burden citizens. “The geopolitical context requires us to see reality as it is and not as we would like it to be. The world is much bigger than the EU. And it is not moving in the direction we would like,” Procaccini said.

He warned that “this is not the time to change the founding treaties to deprive nations of their prerogatives. This is not the time to reintroduce old budgetary parameters and austerity measures, this is the time to cut red tape and invest in economic growth. This is not the time for green ideological radicalism, but for a technology-neutral approach. This is not the time for a Europe suffering from globalisation, but for a continent capable of taking the initiative on the international stage and defending its interests”.

Procaccini also described EU enlargement as important and urgent: “It is right to press ahead with enlargement without hesitation, but also without discrimination.”

The full text reads:

“Thank you, Mr President, dear colleagues,

The geopolitical context requires us to look at reality as it is and not as we would like it to be. The world is much bigger than the European Union. And it is not moving in the direction we are pointing. It has not done so with sanctions against Russia or in the fight against Islamic terrorism; it is not doing so with energy sources and global warming. Now, more than ever, Europe needs unity and pragmatism.

This is not the time, and it is not the right time, to amend the founding treaties in order to deprive nations of their prerogatives; this is not the time to reintroduce old budgetary parameters and austerity, but to reduce bureaucracy and invest in economic growth; this is not the time for green ideological radicalism, but for a technologically neutral approach; this is not the time for a Europe that suffers from globalisation, but for a continent capable of taking the initiative on the international stage and defending its interests, firmly if necessary.

That is why it is right to proceed with enlargement, without hesitation, but also without discrimination. There are not, and should not be, first-class nations, second-class others and others destined to travel standing up or at the back of the wagon. For us Conservatives, Europe exists only in its complexity, not in the leadership of a few governments who arrogate to themselves the right to decide for everyone else. Of course it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus on every decision, but with what face can we bring other nations into the European Union and deprive them of their political sovereignty?

Never before has Europe made sense, when it was able to confront in a compact way those who seek a world of violence and prevarication.

In a few days it will be Christmas. And however much some here may ignore it, Europe is the fruit of Christian civilisation. I hope that the next Council can be a moment of light and not just a political showcase. Never before has there been such a need for an alliance of nations to light the way for the rest of the world. Merry Christmas to all, including those who do not believe.”

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