The President of the ECR Party: "We conservatives are at the forefront of a real refugee crisis"...
More than a month has passed since Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine. An unprovoked, unjustifiable and unacceptable act that European Conservatives have condemned at all levels and without hesitation. In conjunction with the important European Council, the plenary session of the EU Parliament and the European mission of U.S. President Biden, I urgently convened the Bureau of the ECR, the party of European Conservatives and Reformists, which I have the honor to chair. At the outset, I would like to express my thoughts to the victims, in particular the civilians, the more than three million refugees and the proud Ukrainian people, who are resisting in extremely difficult conditions, showing extraordinary devotion to their homeland and freedom. Freedom is a non-negotiable value. The answer to the decay of values in Western democracies can never be autocracy, but an even more courageous battle to fill Western democracies with values. This is the mission of conservatives.
In recent days, the Ukrainian crisis has given a wake-up call to a sleepy EU, too busy expending its bureaucracy and promoting an "inclusive" Christmas, to deal with its geostrategic projection.This Crisis has brought back to reality a European elite, too often timid and lacking in vision. This reality speaks a language that we at the ECR know better than others. It is no coincidence that three conservative prime ministers, our own Mateusz Morawiecki (Poland) and Peter Fiala (Czech Republic), together with Janez Jansa (Slovenia), have so far been the only European politicians to break the siege of Kiev, concretely demonstrating on behalf of all of us our closeness to the Ukrainian people. It is no coincidence that conservative governments, often attacked by the European mainstream for their alleged unwillingness to accept refugees, are instead the front line in addressing the humanitarian crisis. To them we say "thank you" and it would be the case that the EU would do the same, after so much senseless hostility.
The information from the battlefields tell us that the Russian offensive is stalled and that the sanctions implemented are having some important effects. However, it is now urgent that the EU support the nations that suffer the greatest repercussions with a special compensation fund (as was done on the occasion of Brexit) to which flexible monetary policies on the part of the ECB and other international monetary institutions must be added. On the military front, the choice of sending weapons to Ukraine was confirmed by NATO and the EU summits. With no other alternative at this time as we want to avert further escalation and bring Russia to the negotiating table. But for the future, without a common foreign policy, it will be difficult to build a common defense and the five thousand soldiers planned for the launch of an EU rapid reaction force approved yesterday in the so-called "strategic compass" won't be of much use.
On the energy issue, after years of ideological environmentalism espoused by the EU Commission, we return to talk about gas and the need to diversify suppliers to limit our dramatic dependence. We have been urging this for some time, since well before the war, but more incisive action is also needed to curb the cost of bills that are strangling families and businesses. Also on the food crisis, the Commission seems to have overcome some environmentalist dogmas by releasing thousands of hectares inexplicably set aside, but much remains to be done on financial support to a sector on which another important slice of our sovereignty and our very survival depends.
All the more reason why it is absolutely necessary to bring greater flexibility in the implementation of Next Generation EU and therefore in the use of the resources of our Recovery Plan, which must be allocated for the most part to support strategic sectors in crisis. This is a time for pragmatism and we Conservatives want to put forward our recipes, based on realism and a Europe that is truly useful to its citizens.
Federica Celenari • 28.01.2022.
Federica Celenari • 28.01.2022.