Bratislava, March 24 (TASR) – The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) shows that citizens want the European Union to play a leading role in the world, MEPs Peter Pollak and Michal Simecka concurred in a discussion on TASR TV on Thursday.
European Parliament (EP) Vice-President Simecka said that there is a demand from Europeans for the old continent to be a global player. “The vast majority of European citizens want the European Union to be a geopolitical power – literally a power at the level of the United States, Russia and China. There’s quite strong public demand for this, but governments of EU-member states don’t want it. Whether it’s about strengthening the powers of the European Union, or, for example, moving to qualified majority voting in the EU Council, in foreign policy, or investing in common defence. Member states always jealously guard their sovereignty,” said Simecka.
According to him, then, we shouldn’t “be surprised” that on security or foreign policy issues, the European Union is “disappearing”, and it is individual member states that play a key role.
MEP Peter Pollak stated that Russia’s current aggression in Ukraine also shows where Europe is on the geopolitical map and how it is perceived by global powers. “The intention [of the powers] is not for Europe to play a role on that geopolitical level; their intention – and Russia is a prime example – is for Europe to continue to be broken in foreign policy. Russia doesn’t hold talks with the European Union, it speaks to specific countries … It is said that every cloud has a silver lining, so I believe that today’s complicated security situation in Europe will in some way move the debate so that Europe will also unite on the geopolitical level, so that we really will be much faster, much more prompt in responses and able to defend fundamentally against any threats – even the security ones we see here today,” said Pollak.