Tag Archives: socialists

Italian Socialist Sassoli new Europarl president

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.

Salvini trades barbs with Sefcovic

This week started with Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini trading barbs with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic concerned with the political situation in Italy and the rise of Salvini’s League party. “It is the umpteenth attack by Europe on Italy, on the League and on the government,” Salvini  responded.

“Now they are taking an interest in us, but for years the EU bureaucrats ignored our country’s requests for help to stop the arrivals and saddled us with 700,000 immigrants” – Salvini continued “It would be better if he apologizes and shuts up“.

Sefcovic, who announced this week that he is seeking the nomination of the European Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats to be the next Commission president, said that “we are all worried” when asked by ANSA* new agency about the political situation in Italy and the rise of the League. “I have been to Italy many times and I was always impressed by how this great, important European country was honestly pro-EU,” Sefcovic said to ANSA. “It’s truly a new situation for us. “We have to ensure that, in the future, Italy returns to being the great G7 country that is strongly pro-EU again”.

*Italian news agency ANSA receives funds of European Commission.

Piri: EU should stand for its values vis-à-vis Ankara

5.07.2017. Strasbourg. The latest developments in Turkey after a failed coup-d’état continue to concern MEPs, especially regarding human rights and the constitution reform, granting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan an immense power. Today during plenary MEPs debate Turkey’s situation in regard to its EU candidate country status, and vote on a resolution tomorrow, requesting for EU accession talks suspension in case the proposed changes to the Turkish constitution go ahead. 

 If Turkey would reintroduce the death penalty, if the leadership brings the constitutional reform into force,  there can be no other way than to stop talking about integrating Turkey into the EU. That doesn’t mean we should stop all forms of cooperation”, – the rapporteur Kati Piri, a Dutch member of the Socialist & Democrats group said.

 “The impact of suspending talks in terms of finances would generate 700 million euros a year, which currently go to pre-accession funds to Turkey. In case the suspension comes into force, the EP asks to use this money to directly fund civil society in Turkey. However if politically, we are at that point, this will mean that 60 years of Turkey’s attempts to integrate into Europe have come to a drastic end”.

In spite of current Ankara leadership policies, Turkey remains an influential  partner of the EU in many fields, Piri added. The EP is not proposing to stop cooperating with Turkey, but to divert to the other adjusted framework like with many other countries in the world which are not in accession negotiations.

Piri denies a concept of a “Turkish blackmail” suggested by many experts, considering that the EU is silent on human rights violations because of the fear of migrant flows from Middle East, currently regulated by Ankara government agreement with Brussels.

“We are trying to make agreements on migration with many countries which aren’t even on the European continent” – Piri underlined.

However, Brussels has to change its current policy, Piri continues, as at the moment the EU leaders, except for this European Parliament, choose a strategy waiting-hoping for the best, avoiding to draw red lines – the ill strategy ignoring authoritarianism, only contributes to its growth.

“You cannot just wait, and talk gallantry to President Erdogan observing the degradation of the situation in Turkey. The EU has to take its values seriously, and stand tall for them. That what is what this Parliament is doing” – Piri concluded.