Europe Day: The COVID-19 crisis showed the EU remains an unfinished project – EP

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Today the European Union celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration which comes at a moment when Europe is facing its most difficult challenge since the end of the Second World War, that is a health, economic and social crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement for this occasion the European Parliament President, Davide Sassoli and the leaders of the EU political groups stated that the Schuman Declaration, which laid the foundations of the European Union, started a unique and genuine political project to guarantee peace and prosperity and to improve the lives of all European citizens – this step-by-step approach led to the European Union we know today.

The European Parliament referred to Jean Monnet, the author of the Schuman Declaration, who had declared that “people do not change if it is not out of necessity, and they only see the need in times of crisis”.

The EP said that the coronavirus crisis has shown at a very high cost that the EU remains an unfinished project and that the failure to organize solidarity or to counter the on-going attacks on fundamental rights and rule of Law are not theoretical debates.

“Beyond the joy and gratitude at having been united and at peace for 75 years, we need to remember that solidarity does not end at our borders. The current pandemic reminds us of the importance of multilateralism in tackling common challenges and crises together” – said the EP.

In this context, the EP said it believes that the planned European-wide project, the conference on the future of Europe is the appropriate forum to fulfil this ambition.

Sassoli and the political leaders emphasised that the conference needs to be convened as soon as possible and has to result in clear proposals by engaging directly and meaningfully with citizens, in order to bring about a profound reform of the Union.

They reaffirmed the Parliament’s position and took note of the Commission’s position that the conference process, its concept, structure, timing and scope should be agreed upon jointly by the three institutions. Therefore, they called on the Council to come forward with an ambitious position concerning the conference.