“The future of Europe lies with a more united Europe”, were President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca’s words, “reflecting the values of solidarity, equality, human rights, the rule of law, and peace.”
She said this during the 14th meeting of the non-executive European Union Presidents of the Arraiolos Group, entitled ‘The Future of Europe’, where she discussed issues of equality and inclusivity in terms of economy, gender, technology, the environment, as well as globalisation, which must be addressed by presenting a united front as Europe. President Coleiro Preca went on to say that she imagines “a united Europe that is a leader on the world stage, that is truly not only concerned, but actually acts about all that is happening within, around and across it.”
President Coleiro Preca addressed the issue of poverty, as over 100 million Europeans are poor. Furthermore, she went on to discuss the issue of gender pay-gap, which currently stands at 16.2%, as well as the digital divide, which places around half of Europe in an offline state, with clear geographical divides between north and south.
Furthermore, she talked about the importance of the green transition, positing it as vital vital to conserve natural resources and combat climate change. However, she stressed the importance of this transition being inclusive, saying that “we must ensure that in the process, we do not create another divide – a green divide.”
President Coleiro Preca then called for a remodelling of the European approach towards Africa, positing it as a continent of opportunity, perhaps even the land of economic growth for Europe. However, she stressed that it is an “opportunity of sustainable investment and partnerships, where the young people of Africa can guarantee for themselves a dignified future.”
She concluded her speech by appealing to other Presidents to act fast to ensure that the future holds European values, while reiterating that “united, we can be successful.”