Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guy Verhofstadt on Greece and Schengen

Intervention of Guy Verhofstadt on Greece and Schengen


“My first point concerns Greece and the so-called economic governance package, the six-pack.

The position of the Parliament is very clear:

We want a bolder package.

By doing this, we are on the same line as Trichet of the ECB, as Lipski from the IMF as Geithner. They are saying what we are saying: there can't be a common currency without an economic union.

That means that we not only need sanctions for those countries that are not fulfilling their duties. We need the Commission, not the Member States to have to power to decide that. Member States don't punish themselves. 

That is why Parliament decided last week to stick to a reversed voting system. For us it is essential that the Commission takes the decision and that the Council can only decide to overturn it.

Don't say: this is irresponsible of the Parliament. This is not the time to block such an important package. It is not the Parliament which is blocking. It is the Council. The Council only has to say yes and the Parliament will vote the whole package next week. It is not difficult. It is as easy as that. 

My second point concerns Schengen and the risk of disintegration of the Union.


Frankly, I don't understand what the Council has decided. 

There exists today within Schengen an extraordinary possibility to reintroduce border controls in two cases: if there is a serious problem of national security or a serious problem of public order.

Why do we need a third one?

Introducing a third one linked on migration is not saving Schengen, it is killing Schengen. 

Ou en français pour le Président français: Schengen ne sera pas sauvé, Schengen sera tué. 

Et avec Schengen, l'idée fondamentale de l'intégration européenne sera tuée.

The position of my Group, and I think of the whole Parliament is very clear: we are not going to vote for a new possibility to reintroduce border controls. Not now, not ever.

What Europe needs, is not reintroducing internal borders. 

What Europe needs, is enforcing common external borders.

What Europe needs is a common Asylum policy. A common Migration policy. 
As stated in the Treaty.

And as stated in the Treaty we need to share the burden in case of a mass influx of third countries.
That is what we need.

Just as we did with the 300.000 refugees from Kosovo.

At that moment we didn't need a third exception or a change of the Schengen acquis. We had a common policy. We had real solidarity.

The Member States may think they can change that. Well, the Parliament will not allow this to happen”


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