Van der Leyen wants air defense shield for Europe – News

“Be for Europe, be for Ukraine (or against Putin), be for the rule of law.” The current president of the European Commission, Ursula van de Leyen, thus defined the red lines on possible understandings to achieve a second term. The main candidate of the PPE – the European People’s Party (where the PSD and CDS are) has been attacked for opening the door to deals with the extreme right. But he is also the one who has put forward concrete plans for the future of the European Union.

The economy and employment, the first topic in the debate and the one that worries Europeans the most, brings nothing new: many objectives, few solutions and one guarantee: “Citizens will not pay the bill”, renews Europe candidate (Liberal Initiative Family), Sandro Cosi. But it is not worth fearing enlargement, “History gives us the answer, not only the initial six countries, but all fit into the European project. We must embrace the Ukrainians and the Western Balkans.” To achieve this, of course, it is necessary to “reform the treaties” and “increase the budget”.

It was defense and security that animated the debate. The question came from a young Lithuanian voter for the first time: “How can the EU increase defense cooperation?” For the candidate of the European Green Party (where the PAN and the Livre family are), Terry Reintke, first said that “the EU must end the unanimity rule on defense and foreign relations, and Orbán cannot have veto power”.

And, he continued, “the far-right, who want to destabilize the Union, cannot talk about security when we see the end of peace and their leaders cooperating with China and Putin”. Another shot at the aircraft carrier, says van der Leyen and PPE. “We must with all our might avoid turning to the right” (and cheers were heard in the audience).

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Nicolas Schmidt, leader of the S&D – Socialists and Democrats (where the PS is) said of his justice: “I am ready to work with all political forces, but these [ECR – Reformistas e Conservadores Europeus e ID – Identidade e Democracia] They don’t have democratic visions, they have another vision of Europe.

The Chairman of the Commission returns to the topic and tries to explain that it is not “one or the other”, security or coherence, “we can have both”. And he talks about a common plan, “a European air defense shield”. “But we must first be on Ukraine’s side”, this is the battle for democracy, “Ukraine is fighting for us”. For the responsible person, financing of defense is necessary, but opinions vary between defense obligations, national contributions, or the provision of own resources.

Circular or evasive answers of the candidates and appeals to vote, some personal stories to justify the positions: “I never met my grandmother because she died in Auschwitz. And she died in Auschwitz because in 1938 there were no so-called Western democracies. They should be ashamed to open their borders to refugees now in Europe. Union refuses to open borders to refugees. […] It’s a shame”, said the candidate of the European Left (which includes PCP and BE), Walter Bayer, when the fifth topic of the debate, migration and borders, was discussed.

Bayer, 54, hails from working-class Vienna, Austria, and is proud of it. “My parents made a lot of sacrifices for me to go to secondary school, I know what the inequalities are and that needs to change”, “People come before profit”. It resembles a graveyard that has become the Mediterranean Sea – about 30,000 deaths in ten years, according to international bodies.

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On this point, everyone more or less agrees, even those who, like the European Greens, want the deal to go even further on migration and asylum. Walter Baier – who is said to love both chocolate and human rights – voted against the proposed solution because it went against the most basic principles and “allows people to pay to shake water out of their coats”. Checkbook”. “Because the EU cannot meet its obligations, it pays others to do so”, he charged.

Van der Leyen, who believes that it is necessary to put an end to human trafficking mafias or that the EU should be unequivocal with countries of transit and origin, “that’s where we have to invest, so that people are not forced to leave” , despite everything, “3.7 million migrants arrive legally in the EU market are coordinated and working,” he recalls.

It is in this exchange that Nicholas Schmidt is most serious: “I agree that smugglers and smugglers are part of the story, […] But I think you know what happens in Tunisia, what happens to the refugees who are pushed into the desert, beaten, mistreated and sometimes killed. This is not Europe and these are not European values. “It is a deal with a very good and infamous dictatorship,” he criticizes.

Before that, there was nothing new in climate and environment. After that, there is nothing new about democracy and leadership. The last of the six topics on the table was innovation and technology. Nicolas Schmidt admits that Europe is lagging behind in many areas and that investment, not austerity, will help.

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“We need to encourage young innovators, we have a lot of talent. But we need to find funding.” And this, according to the S&D candidate, is only possible through a “capital market union”, he guarantees. “We can’t move forward without it.”

Ursula van der Leyen recalled that the EU focused on legislation and was the first in the world to regulate artificial intelligence. As the journalist said, who knows if the next debate won’t be led by Avatar. TikTok also came forward; The social network had to remove some content because it was deemed harmful to users, especially younger ones.

In this regard, Sandro Gozi commented, “I am a father and I am concerned about the mental health of our children. We agree that the Commission did a great job, but we must raise the minimum age of users of these sites. 15.”

Liberals, Greens and Socialists, three groups will lose weight in the European Parliament, if recent polls are to be believed. The journalist takes the opportunity to ask Sandro Cozzi why Renovar a Europa has become less attractive. “I’ve run 37 marathons and you can’t be tired at the start of a race. Polls don’t count, what the results will be from June 9.” For everyone.

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