Bratislava, February 23 (TASR) – Europe and the world are troubled by several phenomena, including the weakening of democratic standards, climate change and growing inflation, and that’s why the European Union (EU) needs fundamental changes in the way that it functions, former Slovak premier and foreign affairs minister Mikulas Dzurinda has told TASR.
“If it is true that respect for the EU and its credibility in the world are declining rather than increasing, the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is a good initiative. The big challenges of recent years, such as the global financial crisis, the massive immigration wave and the coronavirus pandemic, plus the EU’s responses to these crises, attest to the need for change and the need for reform at the level of both its member states and institutions,” stated Dzurinda.
Dzurinda also commented on the situation in Ukraine and China’s behaviour. “The current tension caused by Russia’s aggression and military pressure on Ukraine, significant changes in the global geopolitical area, in particular China’s behaviour, call for a stronger response from the international democratic community, including Europe. And not only in the diplomatic field, but also in the field of security and defence,” noted Dzurinda.
According to Dzurinda, Europe and the world are also plagued by other phenomena, “such as the weakening of democratic standards and principles, the impacts of climate change and technological development, rising inflation, as well as the debts of our economies and ‘cultural wars’ between liberals and conservatives. This all justifies the need for more fundamental changes in the functioning of the EU,” he stressed.
The question is how those responsible will deal with the ideas and proposals that are voiced as part of the CoFoE, said Dzurinda. “The European Union has been characterised in recent years by the ability to adopt lofty plans and declarations, while implementation usually lags behind. However, the current challenges are so serious that I believe in a positive breakthrough – the willingness to undergo necessary changes,” added Dzurinda.