Published on July 26th, 2018

Let us talk for a sec about how the EU leaders discussed the Future of Europe in the European Parliament 🔊

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe. The leaders of EU Member States are now able to set out publicly their vision for Europe's future in a dialogue with the only directly elected European institution, during its plenary sittings. 

So far, we heard
📌Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar: calls for a more democratic Union and states that what has been promised in Brexit negotiations must be delivered☃️ 🇮🇪 🛂

📌Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic: Solidarity should remain one of the cornerstones of EU action. The future must be built on equality of states, citizens and opportunities. ❄️ 🇭🇷 🤝🏽

📌Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa: Convergence is key for unity in Europe, he supports Parliament’s position on EU’s long term budget and own resources 🌱 🇵🇹 💶

📌French President Emmanuel Macron: responsibility to hold ‘real European debates’ that enable the citizens to vote in 2019 🍃 🇫🇷 📣

📌Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel: “Persuade with an ideal and concrete results [...] European, national, regional and local democracies must complement and reinforce each other"
🌼 🇧🇪 🗳️

📌Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel: Single market a prerequisite for Europe’s business 🌻 🇱🇺 📈

📌Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte: Greater commitment needed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030  🇳🇱 📗

📌Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki: Solid defence spending and strong borders needed for EU security ☀️ 🇵🇱 🔒

January: Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar☃️ 🇮🇪 🛂
➡️ called for a more democratic Union, that takes concrete steps to protect citizens’ way of life, security, values and identities and secures social welfare and prosperity jointly in a globalized world. Most stressed that EU member states and citizens are stronger together than apart. Like Ireland in the past, the EU should be able to transform and adapt itself to tackle new challenges to the benefit of all citizens. MEPs also reiterated their firm pledge to stand by Ireland in the Brexit negotiations so as to ensure full respect for the Good Friday agreement.

February: Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic❄️ 🇭🇷 🤝🏽
➡️ highlighted the importance of growth and cohesion and that the EU needs all of its members to advance equally. “Our citizens should all feel the benefits of EU membership; they should embrace and actively participate in the continuation of its construction”, he said. He underlined that the EU must invest in education, culture and creativity, in research and development, while at the same time providing for financial stability, which guarantees the protection of citizens from possible financial crises.

March: Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa 🌱 🇵🇹 💶
➡️ highlighted the need to complete the Economic and Monetary Union and to equip the EU with resources to live up to its responsibilities and the challenges ahead. “More than a single currency, more than an internal market, Europe is a community of values”, he said, adding that “It is in the EU, and with all those who want it, that we wish to build our future”.

April: French President Emmanuel Macron 🍃 🇫🇷 📣
➡️ said that "The European Parliament is [...] the seat of Europe’s legitimacy, its responsibility and hence its vitality. It is here that part of Europe’s future is being played out [...] I wish us to move beyond the divides between North and South, East and West, small and large, and national setbacks”.

May: Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel 🌼 🇧🇪 🗳️
➡️ listed three imperatives: fostering prosperity, delivering security and protecting fundamental values. “Putting our public finances in order, delivering economic and social reforms, taking security measures and promoting peace are an endless battle to serve the European ideal and European citizens, he stressed, calling for a "culture of results” and efforts to ”release the exceptional potential of our continent”.

May: Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel 🌻 🇱🇺 📈
➡️ spoke in favour of taxing internet companies fairly, while ventilating the idea of tax decreases as a means to boost global competitiveness, without it resulting in tax dumping. He also insisted on the importance of proceeding with the EU digital single market, the great benefits of the Erasmus exchange programme and the need for solidarity in tackling the migration crises.

June: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ⛅ 🇳🇱 📗
➡️ listed the common migration policy, joint control of the EU external borders and collective security and climate action as areas upon which the EU needs to focus. He said that the current EU target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 is not enough, proposing a 55% reduction instead.

July: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki ☀️ 🇵🇱 🔒
➡️ proposed a secure union, protecting citizens against the power of global corporations and fighting disparities with ambitious cohesion policy. He stressed that Poland is closing the loopholes in its tax collection system and tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion. He also claimed Poland’s allegiance to clean energy transformation efforts and urged the EU to be more realistic in managing migratory flows if it wants to regain its citizens’ trust and offered to double efforts to help finance a development plan for Africa.

Coming Up:
🔜Over the next few months, leaders from Greece (September); Estonia, (October); Denmark, (November) are scheduled to attend. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, will speak on 23 October, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will address plenary in November, Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in December and Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, and Finnish Prime Minister, Juha Sipilä, in January next year.

🔥 If you want to be updated, too, we suggest the European Parliament's press service and the European Commission's news room