Pedro Sánchez: We must protect Europe, so Europe can protect its citizens

pedro sanchez

MEPs debated the future of Europe with the President of the Government of Spain Pedro Sánchez © CC-BY-4.0 ©European Union 2019 – Source:EP

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

The EU needs to be defended in the face of new challenges and against those who want to destroy it, said Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday to the European Parliament.

In a plenary debate on the future of the EU, the President of the Spanish Government underlined that “we must protect Europe, so Europe can protect its citizens”. This should be done through a rights-based Union that gives shelter to the most vulnerable, offers opportunities to youth and the unemployed, ensures citizens’ safety, reaffirms its commitment against climate change and completes the Economic and Monetary Union.

Ahead of the European elections in May, Mr Sánchez said that the main priority should be harnessing globalisation to guarantee the survival of the European social model. He demanded an end to the austerity approach adopted after the financial crisis that caused a split in the European Union. “It is time to close that phase”, and make Europe valid again to Europeans. He refused, in that context, to cut the EU budget, because it would imply accepting the idea of a “retreating Europe”.

Speaking about extremist and anti-European discourses, he warned that “peace, democracy and freedom can never be taken for granted” and insisted we should all defend EU values. In this context, Sánchez emphasized that his main concern is “not the far-right itself, but how the far-right is shaping the agenda and discourse of political parties that previously had a strong commitment to the European project”.


The Spanish Prime Minister noted that the deal rejected by the UK Parliament was “the best deal possible”, offering the highest level of protection to both sides, including citizens’ rights and economic actors, and aimed at an orderly exit. Brexit is a “disgrace” in which everyone loses, he said, hoping there will be a compromise for the closest relationship possible.

Women’s rights

Noting that his government has the highest number of women in the world, Mr Sánchez called on the EU to adopt a binding strategy for gender equality, focused on reducing the gender gap and the higher rate of unemployment and lack of security that affects women. He also proposed establishing a children’s guarantee to prevent social exclusion from early stages.

Global challenges

The EU should move towards creating a truly European army and become a credible power on the world stage, advocating a global order based on the rule of law and common rules, said Mr Sánchez. We must show the world the European Union “is a soft power by choice, not due to weakness”.

Regarding migration, the President of the Spanish Government called for cooperation with countries of origin (particularly in Africa), transit and destination, while supporting the global approach developed within the UN. Responsibility and solidarity should be the guiding principles in the reform of the asylum system, he added.


Replying to MEPs, Sánchez explained that in Catalonia, despite the parliamentary majority enjoyed by pro-independence forces, there is no social majority supporting independence. “They cannot impose a political project on a majority that has repeatedly stated that it does not share that direction”. He urged the pro-independence forces to open up a process of dialogue within Catalan society, with the support of the Spanish government, which is determined to solve the situation through dialogue and respect to the Constitution.

“In Catalonia, the problem is not independence, but coexistence”, he concluded.














the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Parliament sets the way for the European Banking Union

Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but UN health agency cites progress in community trust-building

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

JADE at European Business Summit 2015

Mali peace process in a ‘critical phase’, says head of UN Mission

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

Generalist practicing: is it worth it?

Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

The future of science could be in your gut. Here’s why

Commission Work Programme 2019: Delivering on promises and preparing for the future

This app uses augmented reality to rewrite ‘herstory’

Terrorism and migrants: the two awful nightmares for Europe and Germany in 2016

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

Electronic Cigarettes: A booster or alternative to Smoking?

UNIDO promotes post-harvest excellence for mangoes in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

We need to talk about integration after migration. Here are four ways we can improve it

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

How the North Korea-U.S. detente is a leveling of the playing field

How technology can help India breathe more easily

How solar is powering the Middle East towards renewables

25 years on from genocide against the Tutsi, UN Chief warns of ‘dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance’

FROM THE FIELD: Green shoots of peace in South Sudan

EU Youth Conference in Riga concludes with recommendations for ministers

Who are the winners and losers in Africa’s Continental Free Trade area?

UN boosts humanitarian appeal to help tackle Zimbabwe’s ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis

These countries are leading the way in green finance

How to future-proof India’s economy

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

European Youth Event 2016 – bridge between youth and policy makers

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

Localized microfactories – the new face of globalized manufacturing

Is there a drug for every disease?

Worth going ‘extra mile’ for a new Syrian constitution, UN envoy urges

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica: MEPs demand action to protect citizens’ privacy

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

On the first day of 2019, over 395,000 babies to be born worldwide: UNICEF

MEPs back plans to boost joint assessment of medicines

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

A third of world’s out-of-school youth live in conflict, disaster-affected countries: UNICEF report

5 facts about global military spending

Why Europe’s high productive performance is discredited?

From Sweden to India, School climate strikes have gone global

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

5 futuristic ways to fight cyber attacks

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

Ebola: EU releases additional €3.5 million to tackle epidemic

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s