Catalina Guerrero and Andrea Caballero de Mingo
Madrid, Dec 3 (EFE) .- From the privileged watchtower of the European Parliament (EP), Florentine David Sassoli contemplates with his journalistic analysis the complexity of the European Union (EU) and the rest of the world, and sees the urgency of strengthening The European project, therefore, highlights looking at Spain the need to have "stable countries".
"We need a political legislature in which the European forces converge to support a stronger European Union … Stability is necessary. After the elections, in Spain there is a debate for the formation of a new government, I think the signs are positive. We need stable countries. I think this also applies to Spain at this time, "says the Italian socialist in an interview with Efe in Madrid, on the occasion of the inauguration on Monday of the COP25 climate summit, which will take place until next day 13.RELATED
A summit, whose inauguration was also attended by the new president of the European Commission (EC) and the president of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, respectively, with the ambition "to make Europe a leader in the fight against climate change".
And it is that, according to Sassoli, "what Europe does has a reflection in the whole world": "Planet we only have one and if few Europeans do not take care," says this former 63-year-old journalist converted to politics.
QUESTION: This is his first official visit to Spain after being elected in July and coincides with the inauguration of COP25, a strong symbol for the president of the world's first parliament to declare the climate emergency.
ANSWER: It is an honor to represent the European Parliament that has made the decision to support the new Commission whose priority is to fight against climate change. Make Europe a leader in the fight against climate change. We need to organize a transition before the year 2050 to put in the center the defense of the planet with new investments, new employment, investments in research and determine a European leadership in the fight against climate change. Planet we only have one and if the Europeans don't take care, few will take care.
Q: The photo of the three presidents of the highest EU institutions at the COP25 in Madrid is also a strong symbol.
A: We have a parliament that has taken its own role very seriously, that has verified the formation of the European Commission with great seriousness and that will naturally control that the commitments assumed are fulfilled in a consistent manner. Our democracies have parliament at their center and of course Europe, European democracy needs a stronger Parliament.
Q: The climate summit has just been inaugurated. What idea of all you have heard in the plenary has seemed more interesting? Which one would you retain as a holder?
A: It is very interesting because we have understood that we need to work on European standards. All countries make efforts, start from different conditions, we must help them find a balance. We should not look at who uses coal the most because even those countries that have a coal-based economy have left very high levels. With effort they are lowering it and we must continue in this way.
Q: The new European Commission has made the fight against climate change its main political promise. Complying with it will require huge investments and design an ecological transition that does not penalize the competitiveness of European companies or leave workers in certain regions abandoned. There are analysts who warn about the effects of inequality, unemployment and poverty that the application of certain green policies may entail. Share that scenario, are you worried?
A: Not because we are convinced that this economy will create jobs. It is the eco-economy. It is not a flight to block growth, it is a way to increase the growth of our countries that must grow much more. We need a Europe that grows more and to achieve this and to finance the problems that the European Commission has suggested we need a more ambitious European budget. This is why Parliament is telling governments "don't be afraid, we need a budget with more money because the programs that need to be funded will be good for everyone."
Q: Mrs Von der Leyen's ambitious climate plan must be approved by Parliament and also by the Council. Do you predict a difficult and tortuous process?
A: Parliament is aware that efforts must be made decisively. We have a debate now about the multi-annual budget of the EU (2001-2007), where to put the money in the next five years. We want an ambitious, richer budget. Some countries would want it weaker. This negotiation will be very important and we will need the commitment of public opinion. Politics can do many things, but it cannot do them against citizens, so we want citizens to participate with us to push the budget of the Union and to contribute to sustaining the programs proposed by the Von der Leyen Commission, which is what we believe
Q: Climate geopolitics is very, very complicated. Some 70 countries have announced that they will review their emission cut plans upwards. But without a strong commitment from China and with the United States withdrawing from the Paris agreement, the fight against climate change seems complicated. Do you think it is bound to fail?
A: As the President of the Government (acting Spanish Pedro) Sánchez has said very well, what Europe does has a strong impact on the behavior of others. Therefore, we need a European initiative to also push other economies and countries, push large areas of world industry to begin a virtuous journey. What Europe does has a reflection throughout the world.
Q: And speaking of complicated problems, do you really believe that on January 31 we can say, finally, that "brexit" is a reality or can we still expect some surprise?
A: This will depend on the election result (from December 12 in the United Kingdom). For us it is still a wound, but we have always said that an agreement is better than a non-agreement. We want to continue a history of friendship with the people of Great Britain, naturally with a wound that remains because, in any case, for us it remains because thinking about a Europe without Great Britain is painful.
Q: Spain has been in political instability for five years and four legislative elections in four years. And we still have a functioning government. Is Europe concerned about this situation?
A: Stability is necessary. After the elections, in Spain there is a debate for the formation of a new government. I think the signs are positive and we need stable countries. I think this also applies to Spain at this time.
Q: You say that Parliament must be "the house of European democracy." This legislature houses more diverse families. Is it a luck or a headache to advance the European project?
A: We have a European Parliament with 60% of new parliamentarians, a very broad European front with political groups that are not as strong as before. This is not a weakness, but an opportunity, because we need a political legislature in which European forces converge to support a stronger European Union, invest more and grow not only our countries, but Europe itself in a global world in which Europe has a strategic function: regulate globalization. EFE
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