Urgent issues require responses, not EU leaders’ cop-outs
“The ongoing rise of right-wing populism as demonstrated in recent elections, Brexit, and the brutal use of repression against EU citizens in Catalonia clearly shows that the crisis has not been overcome at all – contrary to what Juncker and others stated a few weeks ago”, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer told European Council President Donald Tusk in the European Parliament today.
“The litany of examples of how important initiatives remain blocked in the Council’s Bermuda triangle of decision-making must lead us to a radical rethink. Do recent Summit discussions on the leaders’ agenda mean a move away from the failed intergovernmental method, the Fiscal Compact being its most notorious example?” she asked. “This way of working has meant bad leadership and anti-democratic decision-making by freezing out the European Parliament. EU leaders have simply pushed their responsibilities onto the plate of bodies that lack legitimacy such as the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers over which MEPs have no oversight.”
Zimmer also called for EU leaders to improve cooperation with the European and national Parliaments, citing the proposals for a European Pillar of Social Rights as an example of where clarification and action are desperately needed.
Turning to Brexit, she reiterated the Left’s call for “a deal that ensures that citizens’ rights, the rights of people in the north of Ireland and the Good Friday peace agreement, are fully respected.”
On migration, Zimmer called on EU leaders to end the criminalisation of refugees and civil society rescue actions at sea and drew attention to disturbing conditions in Libyan detention centres. “We must have a reform of the Dublin system, built on solidarity and shared responsibility”, she concluded.