Schoinas: Europe has the power to solve problems that concern Europeans

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The vice-president of the European Commission and responsible for the Promotion of the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinastalked about her Europe and the power it should have to solve problems affecting its citizens. As he characteristically said, “Europe should have the legalizing power, to provide solutions to the problems of our fellow citizens in the field, as it did with the vaccine strategy, as it succeeded in Evros and as it is struggling to achieve now in Ukrainian crisis».

“This new Europe of action must also have a leadership that will be legitimized by the will of the citizens, no longer by decisions in closed rooms and bazaars”, continued Mr. Schinas, noting that “the European elections of 2024 offer us a unique political opportunity for precisely this legitimization of European leadership, which is a call of the times.

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The threat, the need, the external enemy – in a paradoxical way – is also an opportunity for Europe. On the contrary, inactivity, immobility, eudaimonism are Europe’s greatest enemies. We need this sense of collectiveness to succeed against all and sundry that threaten us. This is the European catalyst, the lever, for a better and stronger Europe. The way we want it: A place of peace, prosperity, justice and progress for all”.

Proceedings of the Conference on the Future of Europe

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According to the Athens News Agency, regarding the work of the Conference on the future of Europe, the main lessons and the next decisive steps, Mr. Schoinas emphasized that, without a doubt, it is “a great exercise in European participatory democracy”, as for a whole year the European citizens, and especially the young people, “the tomorrow of Europe, our best ambassadors”, found themselves “at the heart of an unprecedented process”, which has a single goal: “The formation of a better, of a stronger, more understandable Europe in a world that is unfortunately proving to be increasingly dark, increasingly uncertain. Where Democracy, our fundamental European principles and values ​​are, unfortunately, under constant challenge and permanent threat.”

He recalled that the Conference began in the midst of a pandemic and continued in the midst of war, which, as he said, “did not prevent the European citizens who participated in the Conference from testifying – in a clear and massive way – their vision and wants”.

Since the start of the work of the Conference in May 2021, four European Citizens’ Groups have been set up with the participation of 200 citizens from all EU Member States in each, following a random selection, who submitted their own recommendations to the Plenary of the Conference on its subject each one. Specifically, the Conference on the Future of Europe has submitted to the three EU institutions (European Parliament, European Commission, Council of the EU) “49 proposals and 326 individual specialized measures”, which “constitute the baton that has been given to us for to formulate actions and decisions for everything that European citizens ask and demand, in all sectors, without omissions and exceptions”, as the vice-president of the Commission pointed out.

He added that these concern her climate change and the environment, health, the need for a stronger economy, social justice and the demand for more and better jobs, the EU’s place in the world, the values ​​that unite us, the rule of law, security, digital transformation, immigration, education, culture, youth and sport.

Europe’s obligation to respond adequately

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Mr. Schinas assured that these clear messages from our fellow citizens are not only taken seriously, but will catalyze the next stages in the formulation of European policies. “No one in the European institutional order has the right and is not going to disappoint the participants in the process”, he underlined to add: “The bar of expectations has justifiably been set very high and this is precisely what gives rise to the obligation on the European leadership to respond adequately”.

He clarified, however, that for all this the time for reflection and theoretical discussions is not inexhaustible and that “we have proven the value of a Europe that acts in the field, makes decisions, changes the data, successfully manages unprecedented crises”. “Let the Conference on the Future of Europe be the starting point for a stable, permanent and strong participation of European citizens in the decision-making process”, he said characteristically.

“What often seems complicated and often time-consuming as an institutional feature of the Union, i.e. the co-decision between the EU institutions, now must pass into the hands of the European citizens – who with their speech and the power of their speech – enter dynamically into the co-shaping this tomorrow’s European Union”, he said.

The first “tangible decisions”

As he informed, the first “tangible decisions” will be announced in the framework of the speech of the president of the European Commission on the state of The European Union in the European Parliament in mid-September, will be followed by a large Conference in the autumn where citizens will once again have a leading role and the final crucial details of the specific acts that will lead to the decisions will enter the work program of the European Commission for 2023. It is reminded that from the beginning of the Conference the three EU institutions had committed to promote the recommendations of the Conference according to their competences.

Its vice president European Commission noted that the EU is open “to every proposal and idea that improves the lives of Europeans”, stressing that even amending the EU Treaties is no longer a taboo and that “in the world’s mind, Europe cannot and should not to be an obscure concept, something like a nuclear physics course, if you’ll allow me that comparison, since I’m speaking to an academic audience.”

“The one and only question that rightfully concerns every European and by which all of us who are responsible for decisions at the European level will ultimately be judged: ‘What does Europe do for me?'”, he pointed out, stressing that the answer to this question is “one and rather clear: Europe should have the legitimating power, to provide solutions to the problems of our fellow citizens in the field, as it did with the vaccine strategy, as it achieved it in Evros and as it is now struggling to achieve it now in the Ukrainian crisis.

This new Europe of action must also have a leadership that will be legitimized by the will of the citizens, no longer by decisions in closed rooms and bazaars. The European elections of 2024 offer us a unique political opportunity for precisely this legitimization of European leadership, which is a call of the times. The threat, the need, the external enemy, in a paradoxical way, is also an opportunity for Europe. On the contrary, inertia, immobility, eudaimonism are Europe’s greatest enemies.

We need this sense of collectiveness to succeed against all and sundry that threaten us. This is the European catalyst, the lever, for a better and stronger Europe. The way we want it: A place of peace, prosperity, justice and progress for all”.

The conference is held hybridly at the Municipal Theater of Piraeus with the participation of distinguished representatives of European institutions and politics, science, politics and public administration.

Source: News Beast

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