Tag Archives: Antonio Tajani

Brexit: EU27 Political Declaration

The European Council (Article 50) on 13 December 2018 adopted conclusions on Brexit.

1. The European Council reconfirms its conclusions of 25 November 2018, in which it endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and approved the Political Declaration. The Union stands by this agreement and intends to proceed with its ratification. It is not open for renegotiation. 

2. The European Council reiterates that it wishes to establish as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future. It stands ready to embark on preparations immediately after signature of the Withdrawal Agreement to ensure that negotiations can start as soon as possible after the UK’s withdrawal.

3. The European Council underlines that the backstop is intended as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and ensure the integrity of the Single Market. It is the Union’s firm determination to work speedily on a subsequent agreement that establishes by 31 December 2020 alternative arrangements, so that the backstop will not need to be triggered.

4. The European Council also underlines that, if the backstop were nevertheless to be triggered, it would apply temporarily, unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement that ensures that a hard border is avoided. In such a case, the Union would use its best endeavours to negotiate and conclude expeditiously a subsequent agreement that would replace the backstop, and would expect the same of the United Kingdom, so that the backstop would only be in place for as long as strictly necessary.

5. The European Council calls for work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes.

Tajani calls for release of Sentsov

Sakharov Prizie winner Oleg Sentsov  cousin Natalya Kaplan and lawyer Dmitriy Dinze represented him during the ceremony in Strasbourg  Sentsov was not in the Parliament to collect the award in person, because he remains in prison in Siberia.

Oleg Sentsov was nominated for his peaceful protest against the illegal occupation of his native Crimea. Also for his courage, determination and his convictions in support of human dignity, democracy, the rule of law and human rights; these are the values on which our Union is built, even more after the terrible attack of yesterday, values that this Parliament cherishes, upholds and promotes.” the Parliament President Antonio Tajani said, while awarding the Prize.

Sentsov’s hunger strike and courageous public stance made him a symbol of the struggle for the release of political prisoners held in Russia and around the world,” he added. Noting that the award comes against a backdrop of serious tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Tajani called for a de-escalation of the situation and reiterated support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The President called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sentsov and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and the Crimean peninsula as well as other imprisoned laureates: “The Sakharov Prize is not only an award. It is a commitment. And we keep standing close by our laureates.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strasbourg Europarl in lock down after shooting

Europeans Parliament in lock down after Christmas market shooting in Strasbourg. Reported one dead and four injured. Details to follow.

AMENDNED: According to press reports there are two dead and 11 ‘hurt’, it is unclear if they are are wounded or they have accidental injures in the cause of the incident. The inhabitants of Strasbourg are advised to stay home.

German media reports two killed and 11 ‘injured’, and the perpetrator ‘at large‘. He has a criminal, non-terrorist record. The prosecutors has opened terrorist probe.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who chairs the European Council rotating Presidency, expressed his sympathy to the victims, and underlined the determination to stand by the European values, condemning the attack.

The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed his condolences to the victims, and ensured the MEPs will be not intimidated by the attack, and “move on”.

We will continue to work, and react strengthened by freedom and democracy against terrorist violence”.

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AMENDED:  European Parliament president Antonio Tajani summoned MEPs on the situation in Strasbourg.

LUX Film Prize: “Woman at war” striving for change

Woman at war”, an Iceland/France/Ukraine co-production, has won the 12th LUX Film Prize, European Parliament PresidentAntonio Tajani announced in Strasbourg on November 14.

“I am remarkably proud of our film competition, dedicated since 2007 to European film productions focused on themes which are fundamental to our European Union: universality of European values, integration and tolerance, and defence of cultural diversity. Awarding the LUX Prize has never been as difficult as this year. The nominees in the competition were extraordinary, both in terms of originality and the relevance of the subjects they covered” President Tajani said, while congratulating the three finalists.

The finalist films tackle three key themes for the future of Europe: the risks associated with extreme nationalism, the urgency of acting to save the environment and the need to find coherent and cohesive responses to the migration issue. Differing in genre and subject, these films have an important point in common: they tell stories of strong women who are determined to change the status quo.

“On behalf of the European Parliament, I would like to thank the directors and writers present, as well as all those who contributed to making these films and to the success of this edition of the LUX Prize. By showing us new and personal points of view on this Europe of ours, you are contributing significantly to the political debate that takes place every day in this institution” President Tajani added.

Woman at war” (Kona fer í stríð) by Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson, a political film, feminist saga and a fable, tells the story of a woman who is a music teacher and who lives a double life as a passionate environmental activist. She sees her political convictions challenged when her plans to adopt a child come true.

The other two films shortlisted for the 2018 prize wereThe Other Side of Everything” from Mila Turajlic and Styx by Wolfgang Fischer (Germany/Austria).

Woman at war (Kona fer í stríð) tells the story of Halla, a music teacher who lives a double life as a passionate environmental activist. As she begins planning to sabotage an aluminium production plant, which is destroying the Icelandic highlands, she finds out that her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine. At that moment she faces the dilemma of how to reconcile her fight for the environment and her deep wish to become a mother. She finds strength in nature and in the people who support her cause.

 “It’s about democracy, spin media, and this environmental fight and the right of people to act even if you break the rules”, describing the film, director Benedikt Erlingsson said. The funny and surreal “arthouse action thriller with a lot of music” employs breath-taking Icelandic nature to illustrate the dramatic urgency of the environmental issues the world is facing.

Armistice 100: Patriotism versus nationalism

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is its betrayal,” the   President of  France Emmanuel Macron said after paying tribute to the fallen soldiers. one hundred years after the end of the First World War.  Some 70 leaders including Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Angela Merkel celebrated in Paris the commemoration of the Armistice 1918.  However the peace today is threatened according to Emmanuel Macron by the “demons” of the past and a return of nationalism.

At 11:00 am, a hundred years ago to the day, hour by hour, in Paris and throughout France, the bugles sounded and the bells of all the churches sounded,” Emmanuel Macron said in his speech. “It was the armistice, it was the end of four long and terrible years of deadly fighting“.”During these four years, Europe failed to commit suicide. Humanity had sunk into the hideous labyrinth of merciless clashes in a hell that engulfs all the fighters, “added the head of state. “Remember, let us not forget because the memory of these sacrifices exhorts us to be worthy of those who died for us“.

We commit to defending with all means available our common EU values, first and foremost, liberty and peace. This is what patriotism is” said the president of the European Parliament Antonio reacting upon the words of Emmanuel Macron.

‘The longest period of peace in written history in Europe started with the formation of the European Communities” said the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker,  who participated in commemoration ceremony.

 

 

EP president Tajani seeks to renew mandate

Incumbent president of the European Parliament  Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia)  expressed his readiness to seek for the second mandate.
“I think the EU institutions need an Italian at their head,” he told reporters during his attendance at European People’s party Helsinki congress.
“I’m ready to stand again, if there are the conditions, obviously inside the parliament, and if there is a good electoral result for the European People’s Party to lead the EP for the next two and a half years”.

Previously the position of the speaker of the European parliament was a subject for rotation each two and a half years between two major political groups. The tradition was ended by Socialists & Democrats, who promoted their leader Martin Schulz (Germany) for two successive terms.

MEPs nominate Sentsov for Sakharov Prize

This week  the European  Parliament president Antonio Tajani and the leaders of the political groups during the Conference of Presidents  meeting will select this year’s winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from among the three finalists. The prize will be awarded in a ceremony in Strasbourg on 12 December.

The biggest  political group – the European Peoples Party (EPP) – has nominated Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov who was sentenced for 20 years’ imprisonment by a Russian court on charges of plotting terrorist acts against Russian authorities in Crimea, in a process deemed unfair by human rights watchdogs.

On 14 May, Sentsov went on hunger strike, lasting over 100 days, to call for the release of around 70 other Ukrainian citizens who are to his opinion illegally arrested and convicted to long prison sentences by Russian judges.

“Still time to reach a deal”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she considers Brexit deal was still possible as she arrived in Brussels Europa building to meet her 27 European Union counterparts, in spite of the talks impasse over how to the Irish border functional arrangements.

At the European Council Article 50 working dinner, EU27 leaders will review the state of the negotiations with the UK. EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said weeks of hard work were needed to solve the problem, promising to approach the talks “calmly and patiently”.

The president of the European Parliament  Antonio Tajani said the Article 50 deal is still possible but requires ‘hard work‘. He once  again backed the proposal of the MEPs for three year transition period for finding the best solutions for existing issues, namely the Irish border arrangements.

AMENDED:

Dutch Prime minister expressed “cautious optimism” concerning possibility to reach a deal.

 

Nadia Murad: from ISIS slave to Nobel prize winner

Iraqi Nadia Murad, the winner of the Sakharov Prize 2016 of the European Parliament shared with Congolese Denis Mukwege the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon in war.

The courage and resilience of Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, in their fight for common human values, deserve the . Proud that the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize has already saluted their extraordinary humanitarian work” wrote the Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament in his microblog.

Captured by soldiers of Islamic state, Murad was transported to Mosul, the de facto “capital” of the ISIS’s caliphate.

During her ordeal Murad and the other women sex-slaves held captive and systematically gang-raped, tortured and beaten.

The terrorists organised slave markets for selling off the women and girls, and Yazidi women were forced to renounce their religion.

Determined to join her family Murad escaped and cross the few dozen kilometres to Iraqi Kurdistan to enter camps of the displaced Yazidi, where, she learnt that her mother and her six brothers were killed. Helped by an organisation that assists Yazidis, she reunited with her sister in Germany. Since then Murad has become a global voice, campaigning against violence.

Tajani calls Commission to avoid offensive language

There are no “dictators” in Italy, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani pointed out, reacting upon European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici offensive comments, naming politicians in Italian government “little Mussolinis“.

I don’t share the words of Commissioner Moscovici,” Tajani said.
The European Commission must not use offensive language towards member States.”
As an Italian I say there are no dictators in our country“.

Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said previously Moscovici should “wash his mouth out” after the remark Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio said the remarks were “intolerable“.

Moscovici said that the rise of European “populists” showed that “today there is a climate that very much resembles the 1930s. Certainly, we must not exaggerate, clearly there isn’t Hitler, perhaps little Mussolinis“.

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