Andrej Plenković

Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske i predsjednik Hrvatske demokratske zajednice
Zagreb | 21. 11. 2019.

Za iduće europske izbore trebaju nam unaprijed dogovorena, jasna pravila

U završnom govoru na Izbornom kongresu EPP-a u Zagrebu Andrej Plenković još jednom je izdvojio demografiju, veliki izazov koji zahtijeva cjelovito europsko rješenje, a to je pitanje podignuto na razinu EU-a upravo zahvaljujući Hrvatskoj

Budući da demografski problemi pogađaju ruralne dijelove svih država članica Europske unije – istaknuo je Plenković u svome zaključnom obraćanju – HDZ i jest predložio Rezoluciju o demografskim izazovima, koju je ovaj kongres i usvojio.

"Na hrvatsku je inicijativu i Europsko vijeće prvi put u povijesti priznalo da je nužno uključiti demografsku revitalizaciju u Stratešku agendu EU-a. Ponosan sam što je demografija, na prijedlog RH, prvi put dobila svoj portfelj u Europskoj komisiji i što će nova potpredsjednica EK zadužena za taj resor biti upravo naša - Dubravka Šuica", poručio je.

Jasna pravila izbora šefa Europske komisije

Govoreći nadalje o novoj Europskoj komisiji, osvrnuo se na tešku borbu koju je EPP, unatoč pobjedi na EU izborima, morao voditi pri njezinom formiranju.

"Nakon kompleksnih pregovora unutar Europskog vijeća i s drugim političkim strankama, i nakon što je naš kandidat Manfred Weber nepošteno blokiran, ponosan sam što smo osigurali izbor Ursule von der Leyen na čelo Europske komisije. Nama je bilo ključno da EPP dobije predsjednika EK – i u tome smo na kraju uspjeli. No kako se ne bi ponovila ta situacija, EU prije sljedećih izbora mora dobiti pravila koja će unaprijed prihvatiti sve političke skupine. Jer, nakon izbora u svibnju možemo se zapitati: zašto bi itko opet dobrovoljno htio biti spitzenkandidat", kazao je Plenković.

Govor koji je predsjednik Vlade i HDZ-a održao na engleskom jeziku donosimo u cijelosti:

Dear friends,

It is my pleasure to address you at the end of the Congress.

I congratulate our new president, Donald Tusk, on his election.

I am confident that under your leadership, dear Donald, our party will gain new vigour and enthusiasm.

New context and changes

30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we see that Europe has undergone unprecedented transformation.

Political, economic, social.

The EU has enlarged to 28 member states.

And its architecture is still changing – hopefully to an ever closer and ever stronger Union.

However, we need to be aware that our global relevance and position are in flux.

Looking only at the economic data, we see economic weight of Europe has proportionally dropped since early 1990s.

In 1990, the economies of today’s EU member states represented 28% of the world’s GDP in purchasing power parity. Today, it is only 16%.

In the same period, the share of the United States decreased from 22% to 15%, while China’s share increased five times, from 4% to 19%!

There are other factors that are also profoundly changing Europe and the lives and jobs of our citizens.

They all require common European answers:

  • uneven economic development,
  • changing geopolitical relations,
  • crisis of multilateralism,
  • increased migration pressures,
  • negative demographic trends,
  • climate change,
  • growing populism dramatically affecting our democracies
  • challenges posed by digital revolution
  • and uncertainties related to Brexit, which also significantly impact the European project.

We in the EPP know that the answer is certainly in more unity and cooperation at the European level.

Necessity to adapt

In that context, Europe urgently needs to adapt to keep our influence on the global stage and ensure economic and social prosperity.

And while the European Parliament is more fragmented than ever, the EPP, as the strongest political party in Europe, has a special responsibility in leading this adaptation.

The fact that we had to fight a tough battle for the leadership of the European Commission, despite being relative winners of the elections, should be a major concern for us.

Nevertheless, after complex negotiations within the European Council and with other political parties, where Krišjānis and I represented the EPP – and after our candidate Manfred Weber was unfairly blocked – I am proud that we ensured the election of Ursula von der Leyen.

For us, it was crucial that the EPP gets the president of the Commission and we succeeded!

But as I said to my fellow leaders at the end of the European Council on 1 July, we should not pretend that the elephant is not in the room.

For the next European elections we need clear rules that will be accepted by all political groups in advance.

Because after the experience of last May, we can ask ourselves: why would anyone volunteer to be the Spitzenkandidat again?

Priorities for the EPP

As we move towards a new institutional cycle, it is time to set a clear agenda for the future, in line with our priorities and especially the needs of our citizens.

Balanced regional development

In that sense I believe that balanced, sustainable and inclusive development of the Union should be on the top of our agenda.

It will certainly be one of the priorities of the upcoming Croatian Presidency, whose motto is “A strong Europe in a world of challenges”.

As we fight for a stronger Europe, we have to take into consideration the needs of all Member States and their regions.

We need to invest more into cohesion policy to bridge the gap between different parts of Europe and attain full convergence, to mobilise the entirety of our potential.

An ambitious and well-balanced EU Multiannual Financial Framework is critical to achieve these goals and the Croatian Presidency will strongly advocate for it.

The internal market needs to be improved and adapted to create more jobs and growth, especially for the young generation.

This however should not be to the detriment of social protection and social market economy, in line with our Christian values of solidarity.

Demographic challenges

In addition, the existing problems of brain drain and depopulation of rural and remote areas in half of our member states require a European solution.

This is precisely why the HDZ tabled a resolution on demographic challenges that was adopted at the Congress.

I am also glad that upon Croatian initiative the European Council acknowledged, for the first time, the importance of demographic revitalisation and included them in the EU Strategic Agenda.

I am proud that the Commission’s future Vice-president, my friend Dubravka Šuica, will be in charge of this portfolio – as well as the key issue of democracy and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Climate change

Another challenge impacting our agriculture and threatening our coastal cities is climate change.

The EPP needs to develop a coherent approach towards this paramount issue as we have a responsibility for our planet and the future of our children.

We should therefore take the lead in the creation and implementation of an equitable and sustainable European climate policy, where no parts of Europe should be left behind.

We are in an ecological transition and we should see it as an opportunity to grow our economies through advanced technologies and innovative policies.

Technological changes and connectivity

Ladies and gentlemen,

When compared to some other global actors, Europe is lagging behind in development of technology and artificial intelligence, although we are the world’s leader in the number of scientists.

The solution is to invest more into research and development, education and infrastructure, and foster a culture of innovation.

This also requires further development of transport, energy and digital infrastructure, giving us better connectivity and more social, economic and territorial cohesion.

Security

I strongly believe that Europe must protect its citizens and work together on security issues which member states cannot resolve on their own.

We need a comprehensive migration policy and a fully functional asylum system.

This needs to ensure full protection of our external borders, fight against illegal migration and human trafficking, while also respecting the principles of solidarity and humanity to the people in need.

For us, it is essential to prevent the illegal migration on the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes.

We firmly believe that Europe must be protected at the Greek and Bulgarian border and that a long-term arrangement with Turkey has to be found.

I can say this, as Prime Minister of a country that just got the Commission’s positive assessment of its readiness to join the Schengen Area.

We must also better protect our citizens against disinformation campaigns and fake news.

The strength of our democracies depends on it.

Western Balkans

In an increasingly unpredictable global surrounding, stability and further development of the Western Balkans is key.

I profoundly regret that there was no consensus in the European Council to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania despite the substantial progress they made.

The irony of this mistake is that these two countries, led by socialists, were blocked by liberal and socialist governments within the EU.

I am proud that the EPP members lived up to our responsibilities and supported the ambitions of our Albanian and Macedonian friends.

How can we claim to be a global actor if we are not able to meet this historic challenge in our immediate neighbourhood?

If we don’t fill this void, others surely will.

For the Western Balkan countries, nothing impacts more their political, economic and social transformation than a clear and merit-based EU perspective.

Our neighbours in South-East Europe are also a priority for the Croatian Presidency and I look forward to hosting the EU–Western Balkans summit in Zagreb on 6 and 7 May 2020.

My ambition is to organise a dynamic summit, and discuss strategy and structure for the European path of these six countries.

I want this summit to be a reference point for both the Western Balkans and the EU in the years to come.

In cooperation with the president of the European Council, under our presidency we also plan to organise an Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels.

Conclusion

Dear friends,

In European elections we asked our citizens for support under the motto “Let’s open the next chapter for Europe together”.

We must stay true to our motto as we work for our citizens in the years ahead.

Working for the future of our Europe and our countries requires us to modernise our policies while preserving our common values and traditions.

Working for the future of our Europe and our countries requires us to be more proactive while maintaining our strategic direction.

Working for the future of our Europe and our countries requires us to address our peoples’ new concerns while being true to who we are.

That is why, my dear friends, for the sake of our nations and our citizens, we must join forces and give a new momentum to the European People’s Party to stay in the future, as now, the driving force of Europe!

Usvojene rezolucije (PDF, engleski)