The Spanish Presidency will promote the necessary changes and decisions to face the great challenges of the EU

The Spanish Presidency will promote the necessary changes and decisions to face the great challenges of the EU

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, received this Monday in Madrid the College of Commissioners of the European Union.

The visit is usual at the beginning of each rotating Presidency and its purpose is to prepare the work of the coming months.

“The responsibility that falls into our hands is immense. Europe faces great challenges inside and outside its borders. And, to overcome them, inaction is not an option”, Sánchez pointed out in an appearance before the press together with the president of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, after the meeting.

The President of the Spanish Government has emphasized that “the EU needs to make changes, make decisions, adopt measures”.

“And it must do so under our Presidency, which will be the last fully operational one of the legislative cycle, since the elections to the European Parliament will take place in June of next year,” he added.

The EU, united in solving global crises

Sánchez recalled the crises that the EU has recently faced, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the fall of the Afghan government in 2021.

In all of them, Spain has worked in solidarity and responsibility with the other members of the EU and, with that “same spirit”, it will work during the Presidency of the Council, he stressed.

In the meeting with the commissioners, the present and future of Ukraine was addressed, first of all.

“Russian aggression has shaken the foundations of the West and has returned to us worries and ghosts that we thought were overcome. But the whole world must be clear that we are not going to go back a single step, that the EU is going to support Ukraine for the duration of the war”, said Sánchez.

For her part, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has remarked that Spain is taking the helm of the Presidency of the Council at a decisive moment in which, as she has commented, efforts to support Ukraine must be redoubled.

“We have been suffering for 500 days from the Ukrainian population but also from the resistance of the Ukrainian population who are fighting for their freedom. Our duty is to live up to that capacity for resistance. We need regular and sufficient financial support”, remarked the President of the Commission.

In this sense, he stated that the European Union needs the Spanish Presidency to reach a quick agreement to supply more ammunition to Ukraine and at the same time reinforce its own arms reserves.

Von der Leyen has assured that it is impossible for Europe to exist in the future without Ukraine, Moldova, the Western Balkans and all the European countries that are currently under the influence of Russia or China.

Find new allies

The president also pointed out that “the international order is changing and Europe must change with it”, and for this the Spanish Presidency will propose to the Union a “strategic vision that allows it to increase its productive capacities, strengthen technological leadership, guarantee economic security and diversify trade relations.

“From Spain we are convinced that the Latin American and Caribbean region can and should be one of the EU’s priority allies. That is why we have organized a new EU-CELAC summit, which will be held on July 17 and 18 and in which new commercial and financial links between these two regions will be discussed ”, he added.

Ursula von der Leyen, has indicated that the Spanish Presidency of the Council can “make a difference” when looking for new partners for the EU.

“We have a very important event that is the CELAC Summit, the first of these characteristics in eight years and there are many things that are at stake. We want to promote the agreement with MERCOSUR, we have a key agreement with Mexico, and I also count on the Spanish Presidency for the agreement with Chile, which is ready, you just have to sign it”.

In the meeting with the commissioners, the advances in the ecological transition and environmental adaptation, one of the priorities of the Spanish Presidency, have also been addressed.

“This is an issue on which the Government of Spain and the European Commission are fully aligned”, stressed Sánchez.

A great challenge: the Migration and Asylum Pact

The Spanish Presidency has the challenge of the Migration and Asylum Pact. “The Swedish Presidency has done a great job and our will is to build on what has already been achieved and forge the compromises that will allow us to reach a balanced agreement in which we all feel comfortable”, he stated.

Pedro Sanchez added that “Spain has a particular interest, as do other countries of first entry” in this matter and has said that during the rotating Presidency it will seek to build bridges to overcome the differences between European countries.

“We will work from Spain so that this agreement is balanced between what represents responsibility and solidarity”, he remarked.

For his part, von der Leyen has indicated that two thirds of the legislative package have already been resolved. “We have to give the final sprint so that it can be adopted before the end of this term,” he confided.


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