Roberta Metsola: “The world needs the best of Europe because Europe is the hope”

In Lisbon, Parliament President Roberta Metsola spoke about the importance of a Europe that picks itself up to meet today’s global challenges. “The world needs Europe at its best. We need this hope.

“Europe is a choice – a choice countries have made because they understand that our best chance is to be together. We have chosen Europe.” This was the message of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, when she addressed the 2022 Estoril Conferences in Lisbon.

Speaking days before the State of the Union, President Metsola stressed that decisions had to be made, and quickly. “Europe has the power to transform, but we need to find the political courage to take that leap forward and change the world. We can and we must. Because if we don’t write the future, it will be written by those with a very different narrative and a very different ending.

Regarding the illegal invasion of sovereign Ukraine, she said: “I am proud of Europe’s response. We have supported Ukraine, we have provided military aid, political and diplomatic support, we have welcomed millions fleeing, we have provided funding on an unprecedented scale. The most important political decision was to grant Ukraine EU candidate status, because Ukraine needs hope. Ukraine is fighting for Europe and we will not turn away.

Regarding actions against inflation, she said: “People are worried about their bills, about getting to the end of the month, about the world they are going to leave for their children. Europe must rise to this challenge. Whether it’s tackling the cost of living, electricity prices, climate change, defence, food security. The only way forward is for us to be united. There are decisions we can make now to limit the impact: capping bills, fixing our pricing systems or decoupling the price of electricity from gas – to offset the immediate pressure while we implement strategies long-term. If there was ever a time for ‘more Europe’, it’s here and it’s now. »

“Europe will only survive if we fight for it. If we stop taking it for granted. If we understand and explain its advantages. If we rebuff those determined to undermine it. If we are able to reform and reinvent our project,” she stressed.

Following the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the next step should be a Convention. “It’s about making sure we continue the conversation to leave a Europe worthy of the next generation. We cannot risk falling behind because our bureaucracy is too heavy to be challenged or allow narrow interests to prevail. The last major reform took place a generation ago. We know that what once worked for EU15 is at its limits for EU27, and will not work for EU32 or EU36. It’s time.”

Despite the many changes and hard truths facing the world, Metsola concluded, “I am optimistic. I am convinced that thanks to Europe, the world to come will be better than the one we leave behind. I am full of hope. Hope in the future, hope in the next generation. I have faith in the possibilities of our times and when I look at young people across Europe, I know the future is bright”.

Mary I. Bruner