Co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer comments on the “State of the European Union” address by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
13 September 2017
Co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer comments on the “State of the European Union” address by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker:
"President Juncker’s speech on the “State of the European Union” was an encouragement to all those that support the great project of European unification.
"The sentiment that Juncker expressed was quite different from last year´s: not gloom and doom, but self-confidence and renewed ambition.
"Juncker spoke against the backdrop of a stronger economy and an important sequence of electoral defeats of different European authoritarian and populist movements. He did not make the mistake of falling into the trap of complacency, but listed clear priorities and a host of important initiatives. For instance, he advocated that in the future the EU Council should vote on important tax issues and on some foreign policy issues by qualified majority, in order to give Europe a stronger and more coherent voice.
"Juncker emphasised several times the need to build a union of social standards. Against those that advocate a core Europe or a two-speed Europe, Juncker insisted on coherence by advocating Eurozone and Schengen membership for member countries that do not yet belong to these systems.
"His proposal to merge the position of EU Commission President with the Presidency of the European Council is a good one. Also, his advocacy of having a European Finance Minister from among the Vice-Presidents of the EU Commission makes sense.
"We hope that the spirit of fighting with self-confidence for a more effective Europe that delivers for its citizens will be picked up by the member states and be transformed together with the EU Parliament into our common reality on the ground."
Resolution as adopted, Athens Council, 11 November 2012
On 19 September Liaquat Ali Shaikh, Chairperson of the Pakistan Green Party, was illegally detained by local authorities in the Jacobabad District of Pakistan, and held for 7 days incommunicado and subjected to physical abuse and torture. He was engaged in flood relief when arrested. The reason for his arrest was to prevent him from conducting political activities in the district in the lead up to the Pakistani elections in January 2013. While in detention, his family was pressured to signing a statement that his release was conditional on renouncing political activity. Liaquat intends to stand for the election and fears that he may be subject to intimidation to prevent him from contesting the seat.
That the EGP
1. Condemns the illegal detention and torture of Liaquat Ali Shaikh and demands that the Pakistani authorities investigate the incident as a matter of urgency and make the findings public.
2. Calls on the government of Pakistan to take all necessary measures to ensure that the 2013 elections are conducted in free, fair and safe manner, enabling all candidates to participate without fear.
3. Invites the European Parliament to send a monitoring team to observe the 2013 Pakistan elections.
4. Agree to establish mechanisms to ensure that future incidents involving threats and intimidation of Greens around the world can be responded to in a timely and effective way.
*/ an amendment to the text from the Swiss Greens has been withdrawn with their consent.
|Green support for Pakistani Green leader (as adopted).pdf||65.24 KB|