During today’s debate on the State of the Union, Iratxe García, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament said:
“We are facing historic challenges. First the pandemic and now a war started by Vladimir Putin that threatens our values and the international balance.
“As always, crises reveal our weaknesses, but they also show us what needs to be done: reinforce social policies, reform the energy market, reform taxation and economic governance – we have seen that reforming the Stability Pact is a necessity today – and fight the climate emergency.
“Our commitment to the Ukrainian people is solid. However, to ensure the support of European citizens, it is not only worth cheering on military victories: we must also put ourselves in the shoes of those who are suffering the consequences of this war.
“We must put a cap on the price of gas and help families and businesses pay the bills. And we can do that with part of the extraordinary profits, the “windfall profits” of energy companies. Everyone must pitch in. Also, the time has come, it seems clear to me, for the European unemployment reinsurance system, SURE, to be permanent.
“The state of our democracy, at this historic moment, seems to me as fragile as that of our economy. Ghosts that we thought were overcome are coming back. Some member states have become autocracies, like Orbán’s Hungary. In others, pro-fascist parties can win elections, with the approval and help of the EPP. It is really worrying and dangerous.
“I appeal to the EPP to reconsider its role in the European project, its responsibilities and allies. After World War II, the founders of Christian democracy understood that the best patriotism was to seek the common interests of the European Union as a whole, hand in hand with social democracy, and not exclusive nationalism.”