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”.

Brexit

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.

Catalonia

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 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

Cameron’s Conservatives and UKIP are exploiting and cultivating anti-EU immigration sentiment but Labour party isn’t?

Why and How: Advocating for the inclusion of Palliative Care in Universal Health Care

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Climate-proofing Timor-Leste

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

Charlotte in Ghana

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

The Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Explained

GSMA Mobile 360 – Latin America at Mexico City: Intelligently Connecting to a Better Future, in association with The European Sting

UN Children’s Fund chief condemns ‘horrific’ Kabul bomb attack

4 key steps to support cross-border payments and digital trade growth

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Medical Studies During COVID-19: How the Pandemic Affects this Generation of Doctors-to-be

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

Companies that put employees first perform better

The 4 types of leader who will thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Climate Change Revolution: by-laws for the world

Is there a drug for every disease?

Mobile Technology Saving Lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

The final countdown towards achieving 2030 Agenda

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

Here’s how China is going green

How each country’s share of global CO2 emissions changes over time

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

Application of EU Law in 2020: Protecting our agreed rules and shared values during a pandemic

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

European Commission steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets

Commission reports on progress in risk reduction in the Banking Union and calls for faster progress on Capital Markets Union ahead of EU Leaders’ meetings

From sun-powered trikes to mind-controlled TV – 10 top gadgets unveiled at CES 2020

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

The future of suicide and depression prevention

Study finds sharks are ‘functionally extinct’ in 20% of reefs observed

The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

These are the skills young people will need for the green jobs of the future

Understanding and demystifying the new outbreak of Coronavirus

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

Do you dare to go to China?

Libya ‘in race against time’, but dissolving conflict ‘a realistic prospect’, Security Council hears

These are the world’s 10 most innovative economies

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

Immigrant integration policies have improved but challenges remain

COVID-19: MEPs call for measures to close the digital gap in education

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

St. Vincent and the Grenadines breaks a record, as smallest ever Security Council seat holder

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

EU countries should ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

Why practicing medicine privately at home is still a (difficult) option?

Gender gap in medicine: from when, why and until when?

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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