Merkel’s pro-European sentiment is not enough. EPP must show what type of Europe they truly stand for, says Bullmann
In the latest of the series of debates on the Future of Europe in the European Parliament, German Chancellor Angela Merkel came before the plenary this afternoon. Responding to her intervention on behalf of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Group President Udo Bullmann said:
“There is no doubt that the Chancellor Merkel is a pro-European. As expected, she underlined this in her address today to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. However, our expectations for Chancellor Merkel go beyond mere confessions of pro-European feeling. And where it matters most at the moment, Mrs Merkel has not delivered. She has not taken a clear position on her European family’s acceptance of right-wing populists like Victor Orbán, who reject the European ideal she believes in.
“Instead of clearly distinguishing themselves, many conservatives look the other way or even imitate far right leaders like Matteo Salvini in the hope of gaining votes. Which Europe does the EPP stand for? For the Europe of Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman? Or for the Europe of the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who rejects the UN migration compact and plays war games at the Slovenian border? Or even for the Europe of Viktor Orbán, who is against the EU, drives a university from Budapest, and restricts the freedom of the media? If Merkel is serious about a positive future for Europe, she must finally speak clearly against the right-wing populist cliques in her family and the fellow travellers within her own ranks.
“We also expect Merkel to support the strengthening of the Community method in Europe. Only if the house of European democracy, the European Parliament, is truly involved will we have a successful and democratic Europe. Merkel must also push for the European projects set out in the German coalition agreement to be realised. This concerns the Economic and Monetary Union, climate protection and the directive for better working conditions. For us Social Democrats, Europe is not a place on a map, but a state of mind to defend freedom and democracy. This is what we underlined in the debate today.”