Pedro Sánchez sets out a ten-step plan to build a stronger European Union, with strategic autonomy and global influence

President's News - 2022.5.9

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Upper House of Parliament, Madrid

The president of the Government of Spain reaffirmed that "We must strengthen the European Union's capacity to defend its own interests independently and assertively, while continuing to work with partners around the world to find solutions to major global challenges. It is about detecting and reducing strategic dependencies, being prepared for crisis or emergency situations and mitigating threats, securing our interests and protecting our citizens.

Today is Europe Day in recognition of the 'Schuman Declaration', a speech delivered on 9 May 1950 by the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, in which he proposed that a united Europe could contribute to world peace.

On Putin's war in Ukraine, Sánchez stressed that Europe, faced with the "greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War", has united in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, welcoming refugees, sanctioning the Russian oligarchy, donating military and humanitarian material to both Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. "If Putin's war was intended to divide us, he has achieved exactly the opposite," the president stressed.

During his speech, Borrell warned of "the dangers and threats looming over Europe" and defended the role of the EU's recently approved 'Strategic Compass' in defending itself against them. Metsola highlighted the many advances that Europeans have made in the last 72 years of union, and pointed out that the war in Ukraine has shown the importance of multilateralism, democracy and dialogue.

The event was attended by the Second Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Work and Social Economy; the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation; the Minister for Justice; the Minister for Defence; the Minister for Home Affairs; the Minister for Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson; the Minister for Health; the Minister for Science and Innovation; the Minister for Equality; and the Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.

Decalogue for the Europe of the future

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoPedro Sánchez pointed out that the Government of Spain, which is deeply pro-European, wants to contribute to forging this new European Union based on a Decalogue that renews and strengthens the institution.

The president argued that, first of all, the energy market must be reformed to reduce dependence, something Spain has been working on since September 2021. "In these times of uncertainty, energy supply is key, it is decisive, and electricity bills are a symbol of the purchasing power of many families," Sánchez stressed.

Another challenge is the fight against climate change which, as he argued, is the biggest problem that future generations will face. In this sense, he is committed to "work for youth" and in programmes such as 'Erasmus' and 'ALMA'.

The Decalogue includes the need to work for an entrepreneurial EU that favours innovation and start-ups, economic development, social justice and employment. Sánchez stressed that the pandemic has shown the need to continue to move towards the International Pandemic Treaty and towards the production of vaccines in other continents, as is already happening in Africa, or as is going to be done in Latin America, at the initiative of Spain.

Sánchez is also committed to an EU that is a leader in gender equality, in the fight against sex-based violence and where people with disabilities feel fully integrated in all areas.

Sánchez argued that "all states on the European continent have the right to ask to join" the EU. At the same time, the Government of Spain wants an EU with a strengthened identity. The president concluded the Decalogue by insisting on the need to "humanise Europe" and to strengthen collaboration with other countries in order to find global solutions to global challenges.

Sánchez stressed that decisions taken now will define the future of Europe for decades to come. "Spain will hold the Presidency of the Council of the Union in the second half of 2023. You can count on our drive and our tenacity to consolidate and advance these principles over the coming years", stressed the president of the Government of Spain.

Non official translation