The leader of the Socialists and Democrats, Iratxe García, regrets that the European Council to be held tomorrow forgot an important point in their agenda: how to help European citizens cope with the social and economic consequences of the war in Ukraine.
During a plenary parliamentary debate held today in Strasbourg, Iratxe García said:
“It is urgent to stop the exorbitant prices in the energy market because of Putin’s War. The European Commission’s proposal to limit the price of gas on the market is ridiculous, and it is also wrongly done. The Commission applied Article 122 of the EU Treaty to exclude the Parliament from the negotiations, and this is unacceptable. Had the usual legislative procedure been followed, the Parliament would have been able to propose realistic and effective limits.
“Citizens cannot wait any longer. The absence of ambitious social measures to tackle the crisis is exasperating. This is why the S&D Group is calling for a European energy cheque. We have identified more than 100 billion euros in the European budget that can be used for urgent direct aid to households. This is a temporary measure, but we need to prepare an EU-wide response to deal with this crisis for the next year, to support people’s income, tackle the risks of unemployment, redistribute profits and establish an EU fiscal capacity.
“The Council also forgot another important point: Schengen. Of course, I welcome the inclusion of Croatia in the Schengen Area. But not doing it also with Romania and Bulgaria is a mistake. An error and an injustice that feeds frustration and anti-European feelings.”