Brussels 15.10.2020 “I regret to announce that next week’s plenary will not take place in Strasbourg, but will be held remotely” David Sassoli announced on his Twitter micro blog.
“The situation in France and Belgium is very serious and travelling is not advised” he added.
However “Strasbourg remains the home of the European Parliament, and we will do everything we can to return”.
President Macron will impose a 9pm-6am curfew for Paris and eight other big French cities from Saturday, October 17, in an attempt to contain a “second wave” coronavirus outbreak that has spread across Europe.
During the announcement on October 14 President Macron ensured his compatriots, that the exceptional measure will last four weeks, with a possibility of prolongation until December 1. There are fines of 135 euro and 1500 euro foreseen for “non-respect” of the curfew. The popularity of President Macron has dropped almost 40% after the announcement, because the effectiveness of this extreme restrictive measure is not understood.
On contrary, to European continental restrictive and punitive measures, in countries like Sweden, where the accent was made on a dialog with the citizens, and educational strategy, the COVID-19 is largely in the past.
Statement by European Parliament President on the ongoing European Council meeting:
“After days of discussions, European citizens expect an agreement that lives up to this historical moment. We are worried about a future where European solidarity and the Community method are lost. The European Parliament has set out its priorities and it expects them to be met.
“The multiannual financial framework must be able to address the main challenges facing Europe in the medium term, such as the Green Deal, digitalisation, economic resilience, and the fight against inequalities. New own resources are needed immediately. We also need measures to ensure the effective defence of the rule of law.
“Furthermore, Parliament has repeatedly called for the end of rebates. If these conditions are not sufficiently met, the European Parliament will not give its consent. COVID-19 is still here and we are seeing new outbreaks in Europe. More than ever it is necessary to act quickly and courageously.”
Italian MEP for a decade, former journalist David-Maria Sassoli has been elected as the new president of the European Parliament.
Mr Sassoli, (63) received the support of 345 out of a total of 667 MEPs in the second round of voting in Strasbourg Plenary session.
The centre-left politician was in competition with three other candidates. He has assumed the respuonsibility of assembly speaker immediately.
In his frist press-conference in his new capacity Sassoli vowed to deliver more democracy to the European citizens, and even open wider doors for NGO, ensuring everyone is heard. He also regretted insufficient democratic tools in EU, and promised to work on improvement on institutional democratic procedures.
The vote took place in one day delay caused by protracted crisis Summit of the EU leaders stuck in disagreement over top jobs nominations. The proposed and agreed among leaders of the member-states list of candidates for top jobs should be endorsed by European Parliament. Sassoli promised to ensure comprehensive debate.
Answering questions Sassoli pointed out that Dublin regulation should be amended because it is not more relevant to the current context. He said that European Council has a “moral obligation” to discuss asylum system to ensure Dublin as amended.