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Tale: 'Bevæger sig mod en samvittighed i Europa'

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barrosoEuropa-Kommissionens formand, José Manuel Barroso (pictured)
Address at the Natolin College of Europe
Warsaw, 9 May 2014

"Good evening everybody,

"First let me thank our hosts the Rector of the College of Europe, Jörg Monar and the Vice rector of the College of Europe in Natolin, Ewa Ośniecka - as well as the Head of the European Commission Representation in Poland, Ewa Synowiec - for their kind words of welcome.

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"It is wonderful to be back to the Natolin campus of the College of Europe especially as we celebrate Europe day

"The history of the College of Europe and the history of European integration are indeed two sides of the same coin. And in many aspects we can even consider that the College of Europe is a frontrunner of the European Union, not only as we know it today, but as it might become tomorrow.

"As early as the Hague Congress in May 1948, which was convened with the specific objective of promoting a united Europe; the Spanish writer, historian, and diplomat Salvador de Madariaga proposed the establishment of a college where university graduates from many different countries, some only a short while before at war with each other, could study and live together.

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"Just two years later, the College of Europe was opened in Bruges by the great intellectual Henri Brugmans, its first Rector. And four decades later, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the campus of Natolin was opened as early as 1992 that is 12 years before the EU's biggest enlargement.

"This is, I think, a revealing illustration of the power of ideas and culture in the construction of European unity. The aspiration to European unity is indeed as old the history of Europe itself. It has suffered many setbacks but it proved to be indestructible. It has been tirelessly promoted by European intellectuals over the centuries. Ultimately the European integration process turned this intellectual aspiration into a political, economic and institutional reality.

"And I fully appreciate that the current promotion of the College of Europe has chosen to be named after the French philosopher Voltaire who defended the vision of a European Respublica literaria where all European intellectuals could meet and exchange ideas on the ground of a shared belief in the values of the Enlightenment.

"This is an ideal that you do keep alive. And at a time when risks of European fragmentation and emergence of new dividing lines in Europe are widely discussed you send a clear and powerful message on European unity.

"When I last visited the Natolin campus in September 2011, to deliver the opening speech of the new academic year, the Bronisław Geremek European Civilisation Chair had just been inaugurated. And I remember that on this occasion I recalled that Professor Geremek, paraphrasing the Italian Massimo D’Azeglio, used to say: "We have made Europe, now we have to make Europeans." This is exactly what the College of Europe has been contributing to for more than half a century now.

"Indeed the purpose of the College of Europe is not only for students from all over Europe to study together but also to live together.

"To study together is key to promote excellence, to stimulate exchange of ideas and best practices. Besides the specific case of the College of Europe, programmes to promote transnational learning mobility, such as the Erasmus programme or the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships, have proven to be a great success, helping people to acquire the new skills that will be needed for the jobs of tomorrow. It also helps to better grasp the manifold and interrelated challenges of today's globalised world.

"And to live together is key to promote mutual respect and understanding. It contributes to the shaping of a European identity based on unity in diversity. It helps to be true to Immanuel Kant's principle that the imperatives of morality be 'universalized' so as to apply to all, or his own words: 'Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.'

"This contributes to forging a deep sense of togetherness and solidarity. And this is what the European Union is fundamentally about: the centrality of the individual, solidarity and shared destiny.

"Solidarity is clearly a word that has a special resonance here in Poland; the country where in the Gdansk shipyard, under the banner of Solidarność, started a wave of freedom that ended up by overcoming oppression, liberating millions of people, not only in Poland, but across Central and Eastern Europe and ultimately opening the way to the reunification of Europe.

"And I am so pleased to be with you today as we also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2004 EU enlargement. This was arguably the last and decisive step to wipe the scars of the Iran Curtain off the map of Europe. As Pope John Paul II said then: "Europe was able again to breathe with both lungs."

"Enlargement to the Eastern and Central European countries has helped to correct grave historical injustice. And more generally the EU enlargement policy has proven to be one of the most important instruments for European security, extending the area of peace and prosperity, liberty and democracy. It has strengthened the European Union's position as a global economic and political player. Enlargement has made Europe more stable and stronger. And Poland is clearly a case in point.

"The European Union has greatly benefited from Poland's accession. And let me stress in particular Poland's deep commitment to the European Union cause that has proved to be a powerful asset for the European Union as we had to face the worst financial, economic and social crisis since the start of European integration.

"It was Jerzy Buzek who became first president of the European Parliament from the so called new member states.

"It was thanks to a very efficient blend of pragmatism and European enthusiasm, the 2011 Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union which helped to find concrete solutions to move forward a stronger, more united and open Europe. Fundamental decisions were taken then on the strengthening of European economic governance that laid the foundations on which any further reforms will be built. Everything was done to defend the stability of the euro area while preserving the integrity of the European Union as a whole. And it was also under the Polish Presidency that we signed the Accession Treaty of our 28th Member State, Croatia.

"Finally, it was Commissioner Lewandowski whose commitment and skills led to the successful conclusion of one of the most challenging and crucial negotiations for our future: the European budget for 2014-2020.

"But Poland has also greatly benefited from joining the European Union. The economy and the entire country has been changed and modernized beyond expectations.

"Let me give you a few telling figures: Poland's GDP grew 48.7%, 2 million jobs have been created, the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion decreased by 7 million, 1.3 million were lifted out of poverty, 36,000 km of sewage treatment plants have been constructed and 673 km of motorways have been built .

"The cohesion policy, a European solidarity policy par excellence, has played an instrumental role in speeding up the modernization of the country from the expansion of its infrastructures and the development of its agriculture sector to the setting up of thousands of new preschools and the creation of computer labs in over half of Polish schools. Between 2009 and 2011 the cohesion policy funded more than half of Poland's public investment. And since 2009 Poland has been the principal net beneficiary of the European Union budget.

"This is far from being only a question of how much you receive this is also – and more importantly - a question of how you use what you receive. And I have to say that a vibrant and purposeful Poland has made full use of the transformative power of Europe to improve itself.

"Finally let me add that in 1990 Ukraine was ahead of Poland in both overall GDP and GDP per capita. In 20 years, Poland's total GDP became three times bigger than that of Ukraine. Poland is now classified as a high-income economy, a remarkable achievement over two decades, which shows that the economic integration in the European Union over the past decade has been an effective mechanism in promoting convergence.

"These were certainly some of the reasons why the Ukrainian people made the clear and legitimate choice of backing closer political association and economic integration with the European Union: because they wish to live a better and more decent life in a more democratic and freer country.

"The paradox is that as thousands of people in our close neighbourhood and also far beyond are looking at us as a source of inspiration for their own future; we Europeans are too often confronted to a confidence deficit: deficit of confidence in our own strengths and skills; deficit of confidence in the future itself. There is clearly a growing feeling of estrangement among European citizens, and we even see a growing disillusionment among pro-Europeans. But if we want to safeguard peace and prosperity for citizens we need a Europe that is much more aware and more willing to project its influence and power in the world.

"It is not enough to say that we, Europeans, share a common destiny! A sense of belonging to Europe, to a community of values, culture and interests, is essential to forge that common destiny.

"Today Europe is very different from what it was in 1950 when European integration was about safeguarding peace and prosperity in the free part of Europe; very different also from what it was in the late 1980s and even 1990s.

"Europe has now a truly continental dimension and a global outreach, and the forces of globalisation have resulted in a new dimension of interdependence that affects every European country and every European citizen. Past and current global evolutions force us to adapt.

"Over the last decade, as the forces of integration turned out to be stronger than the forces of disintegration, the European Union has also moved to a greater level of political and institutional maturity. But we cannot take what we have today for granted. What we have today needs consolidation if it is to endure. And this requires a clear sense of purpose, a clear idea of the need for Europe.

"As Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki put it: 'We can differ, we can disagree, but we can't hate each other.' The next step for Europe to take has to start with and come from the people. Now, the consensus needs to be made explicit. We need a genuine debate, so that we don't leave it only to the political extremes. And we have to get it in the right order and not put the cart before the horse.

"The main challenges ahead should not be examined first from the point of treaty change. Before we discuss technical details of yet another treaty we must answer the fundamental question to know what kind of communality we do acknowledge as necessary. So we must discuss first the politics needed, then the policies needed and only third, the polity needed to achieve the first two.

"We must start from a common vision on what we want to do together and we also need a cooperative approach. This is not a beauty contest. This is not about nationalising successes and Europeanising failures. This is a collective game with collective responsibility and collective gains. It is not a zero sum game.

"Dear friends,

"Let me conclude by stressing again that what is most needed today is leadership, and ownership for and of the European project. Foresight, political will and the power of persuasion still make the difference between shaping our future and letting it be shaped by others

"In the course of this process we could also give an answer to Salvador de Madariaga's point when he said that Europe "is already a body and a soul, not yet a conscience." How to create this consciousness remains our task for the years to come; a task for you, the future leaders of Europe who have had the great privilege to be trained in the College of Europe. I am confident you will be up to it!

"I thank you for your attention."

EU

Uge frem: Den tilstand, vi er i

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Denne uges store opslag vil være EU -kommissionsformand von der Leyens 'State of the EU' (SOTEU) tale til Europa -Parlamentet i Strasbourg. Det er en indbildning lånt fra USA, da USA's præsident i begyndelsen af ​​hvert år taler til kongressen om sine (og det har altid været en han til dato) planer for det kommende år. 

Jeg er altid overrasket over amerikansk selvtillid og næsten uforgængelig tro på, at Amerika er den største nation på jorden. Selvom du synes, at du bare er fantastisk, må være en fornøjelig sindstilstand, får USA's parloøse tilstand på så mange niveauer i øjeblikket mig til at tro, at det overdrevent kritiske blik, europæerne har på deres lod, kan være et sundere perspektiv. Alligevel ville det nogle gange være rart, hvis vi kunne anerkende de mange fordele ved EU og være lidt mere 'europæiske og stolte'.

Det er svært at vurdere, hvor stor interesse SOTEU udøver uden for dem, der er mest engageret i EU's aktiviteter. Som regel går europæere, bortset fra en lille gruppe af de mest fromme, ikke rundt og bumser over, hvor bare blomstrende stor EU er, eller generelt begejstret for dens retning. Selvom vi måske har funderet over det kontrafaktiske, har Storbritannien givet alle EU -borgere et meget skarpt blik på "hvad nu hvis?" 

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Når man ser på hvor verden ser ud, ser EU ud til at være i en sundere tilstand end de fleste - dette har også en bogstavelig betydning i år, vi er nok det mest vaccinerede kontinent på jorden, der er en ambitiøs plan om at turbo oplade vores økonomi ud af dens pandemiske nedgang, og kontinentet har stukket hagen ud og besluttet at gøre intet mindre end at lede verden i kampen mod klimaforandringer. Jeg føler personligt en stor stigning i håbet fra det faktum, at vi tilsyneladende kollektivt har besluttet, at nok er nok med dem inden for EU, der ønsker at tilbageskridt demokratiske værdier og retsstatsprincippet. 

Flere forslag kommer fra Kommissionen i denne uge: Vestager præsenterer planen for 'Europas digitale årti'; Borrell vil lægge EU's planer for forbindelser til Indo-Stillehavsområdet; Jourova vil skitsere EU's plan om beskyttelse af journalister; og Schinas vil præsentere EU's pakke om sundhedsberedskab og beredskab. 

Det er naturligvis en plenarmøde i Parlamentet. Bortset fra SOTEU vil den humanitære situation i Afghanistan og EU's forbindelser med Taleban -regeringen blive diskuteret; mediefrihed og retsstatsprincippet i Polen, Den Europæiske Sundhedsunion, EU's blå kort for højtuddannede migranter og LGBTIQ -rettigheder er alle til diskussion.

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Uge frem: Forvarslet er underarmet

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Kommissionens næstformand Maroš Šefčovič forelægger onsdag (8. september) Kommissionens anden årlige strategiske fremsynsrapport. Rapporten kommer en uge forud for den årlige tale om 'EU -tilstand' af Kommissionens formand. Initiativet er en del af bestræbelserne på at sikre, at EU er modstandsdygtig over for udfordringer, men også i stand til at forberede sig ved at indlejre fremsyn i alle aspekter af politisk beslutningstagning. Rapporten for 2021 vil se på strukturelle globale megatrends frem mod 2050, der skal påvirke EU, og vil identificere områder, hvor EU kan øge sit globale lederskab. 

Tirsdag (7. september) holder kommissær Hahn et pressemøde om vedtagelsen af ​​Green Bonds -rammen, EUGBS (European Green Bond Standard) har til formål at være et "robust værktøj til at demonstrere, at de finansierer legitime grønne projekter i overensstemmelse med EU -taksonomi ”.

Europa-Parlamentet

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Europa passer til Digital Age Executive Vice President og konkurrencekommissær Margrethe Vestager mødes (6. september) med formændene for fem udvalg (INGE, ITRE, IMCO, LIBE, AIDA) i parlamentet for at udveksle synspunkter om den digitale dagsorden. 

Kvinders rettighedsudvalg og delegationen for forbindelserne med Afghanistan vil mødes for at diskutere situationen for kvinder og pigers rettigheder.

Særkomitéen for bekæmpelse af kræft mødes torsdag (9. september) for at diskutere udveksling af sundhedsdata og digitalisering inden for forebyggelse og pleje af kræft samt en opdatering om implementeringen af ​​EU's kemikaliestrategi for bæredygtighed i sammenhæng af kræftforebyggelse.

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Underudvalget om sikkerhed og forsvar vil drøfte situationen i Afghanistan samt en undersøgelse af 'EU -beredskab og reaktioner på kemiske, biologiske, radiologiske og nukleare (CBRN) trusler' og Sven Mikser MEP (S&D, EE) udkast til rapport om ' Udfordringer og udsigter til multilaterale masseødelæggelsesvåben til våbenkontrol og nedrustning. 

Ret

EU-domstolen vil afgive udtalelse om inddrivelse af 2.7 mia. EUR fra Det Forenede Kongerige på grund af manglende indførelse af en risikobaseret tilgang til toldkontrol, på trods af gentagne advarsler fra OLAF, EU's uafhængige svigbekæmpelseskontor. Manglen på at løse dette problem betød også, at EU -producenter skulle konkurrere med undervurderede varer, der kom til EU via EU. OLAFs tal dækker årene 2011-2017. Andre vigtige domme forventes inden for asylområdet (C-18/20, C-768/19).

Rådet

Landbrugs- og fiskeriministre mødes uformelt fra 5.-7. Økonomi- og finansministre vil have et uformelt møde ved videokonference den 6. september og have endnu et uformelt møde den 10.-11. Som sædvanlig vil Eurogruppen mødes forud for det inklusive møde den 10. 

ECB

Den Europæiske Centralbank vil have sit regelmæssige månedlige møde torsdag, hvor inflationen nu overstiger 2%, og alle øjne vil blive rettet mod, hvad ECB vil gøre næste gang.

Tunesien

EU's højtstående repræsentant Josep Borrell besøger Tunesien fredag ​​(10. september). I juli afskedigede den tunesiske præsident Kais Saied premierministeren og mistænkte parlamentet for at påberåbe sig nødbeføjelser i lyset af demonstrationer over økonomiske vanskeligheder og en stigning i Covid-19-sager. EU har opfordret Tunesien til at respektere dets forfatning og retsstatsprincippet. . 

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Tilbage til skolen, EU Reporters blik på den kommende uge

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Til dem af jer, der formåede at komme væk til en genoprettende sommerferie, godt gået, du får brug for det. Næste sigt bliver (endnu) travlt. 

Meget lovgivning har startet sin lovgivningsrejse gennem EU's komplekse beslutningstagningsmaskine med masser af meget kødfulde forslag på vej til at blive skåret, skåret i tern og krydret og til sidst smidt i forligsudvalgets stegepande, der skal præsenteres klokken fem af en bleary-eyed politiker som en hårdt vundet formandskabs triumf. Blandt biggies er de digitale og 'Fit for 55' klimaforslag. Klimaforslagene lover at være særligt blå mærker i betragtning af, at der allerede er aftalt en 'klimalov' om fastsættelse af COXNUMX -forpligtelser; at finde en endelig balance mellem forslagene vil kræve handel med heste af en hidtil ukendt skala.

Bruxelles-vejbanen lå ganske i dvale i august, indtil de katastrofale begivenheder i Afghanistan bragte 20 års vestlig intervention til en mindre end triumferende panikfyldt og grådig exit. 'Vesten' ligger i et ødelagt rod, med tillid til et alletiders laveste niveau. Von der Leyen -kommissionen præsenterede sig som en "geopolitisk" en, Bidens administration erklærede 'America's back!' - og alligevel er vi her. En ting jeg har lært er, at tingene aldrig er så slemme, at de ikke kan blive værre. Talebans triumf og den brutale påmindelse om, at ISIS ikke er forsvundet, vil hjælpe dem, der støtter deres idealer andre steder. Det er ikke et smukt billede, men Europa og det bredere 'Vesten' skal have sit bedre selvs mod, der forsvarer rettigheder, demokrati, retsstatsprincippet og velstand både i ind- og udland. 

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I næste uge vil udenrigs- og forsvarsministre samles til uformelle råd for at diskutere følgerne af de seneste begivenheder. Den alvorlige ustabilitet tættere på hjemmet i blandt andet Nordafrika, Libanon og Hviderusland - og selvfølgelig Afghanistan.

Forsvarsministrene mødes for at diskutere EU's strategiske kompas, målet er at have et komplet dokument inden november; de seneste begivenheder har vist, at EU er nødt til at tage mere ansvar og samordnede foranstaltninger inden for sikkerhed og forsvar.

Tirsdag (31. august) vil der være et ekstraordinært møde mellem justits- og indenrigsministre, der samles for at diskutere, hvordan de vil håndtere den uundgåelige bevægelse af mennesker fra Afghanistan, genbosættelse i EU og også støtte de nabolande, der allerede har taget imod millioner af flygtninge, der får brug for mere økonomisk støtte.

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Lovregel

Det er svært at være et fyrtårn for retsstaten i udlandet, hvis dine egne bestanddele med glæde river normer op, hvilket bringer mig til Polen og Ungarn, hvor statstilstanden har været i løbet af sommeren.

Von der Leyen afviste parlamentsmedlemmer og juridiske eksperter i et brev på fem sider, der angav, hvordan Ungarn havde overtrådt seks af otte retsstatsprincipper i forbindelse med udgifterne til EU-budgettet og derfor skulle udløse den nyligt præget 'retsstatsprincipalitet' mekanisme til at forhindre misbrug af midler. Von der Leyen skrev, at MEP'erne ikke havde fremlagt tilstrækkeligt bevis for overtrædelserne, og at Kommissionen "ikke er blevet opfordret til at handle ordentligt".

Polens regningsdag den 16. august var en ikke-begivenhed, med yderligere præarikation fra Kommissionens hovedkvarter. Man kan ikke lade være med at tro, at der er nogen i Kommissionens juridiske tjeneste, der har Douglas Adams -citatet indrammet på deres væg: ”Jeg elsker deadlines. Jeg elsker den hæsblæsende støj, de laver, når de går forbi. ”

Kommissionen sparkede dåsen ned ad vejen, da de ”læste og analyserede” Polens svar. Næstformand Jourova besøger Polen mandag (30. august). Støjene fra justitsminister Zbigniew Ziobro er ikke opmuntrende, for nylig tweetede, at EU er involveret i en "hybrid krig" mod EU. 

I mellemtiden bliver Slovenien ved med at gå i stå med at nominere anklagere til den europæiske anklagemyndighed, mens den slovenske premierminister Jansa blokerer for nomineringer.

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