General Government

Text adopted – Persecution of the Christians around the world, in relation to the killing of students in Kenya by terror group Al-Shabaab – P8_TA(2015)0178 – Thursday, 30 April 2015 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Kenya,

–  having regard to the second revised Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (‘the Cotonou Agreement’), in particular Articles 8, 11 and 26 thereof,

–  having regard to the statements of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, of 23 November 2014 on the massacre of 28 civilian travellers, and of 3 April 2015 on the Garissa University butchery,

–  having regard to the press statement issued by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) at its 497th meeting, held on 9 April 2015, on the terrorist attack perpetrated in Garissa, Kenya,

–  having regard to the raid by the Kenyan Air Forces on Al-Shabaab training camps in Somalia in response to the carnage at Garissa University,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief of 1981,

–  having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on International Humanitarian Law,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the latest terrorist attack in Garissa, Kenya, targeted young people, education and, therefore, the future of the country; whereas young people represent promise and peace, and are the future upholders of the country’s development; whereas education is vital for the fight against violent extremism and fundamentalism;

B.  whereas the number of attacks on religious minorities, in particular Christians, around the world has risen tremendously in recent months; whereas Christians are being slaughtered, beaten and arrested every day, mostly in some parts of the Arab world by jihadist terrorists;

C.  whereas Christians are the most persecuted religious group; whereas extremism and persecution of this nature is emerging as a significant factor in the growing phenomenon of mass migration; whereas according to data the number of Christians killed every year is more than 150 000;

D.  whereas on 15 February 2015 ISIS/ Da’esh beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya;

E.  whereas the attackers in Garissa intentionally targeted non-Muslims and singled out Christians in order to brutally execute them; whereas Al-Shabaab has been openly and publicly claiming to wage a war against Christians in the region;

F.  whereas protecting the rights of children and young people, and reinforcing skills, education and innovation, is essential in order to enhance their economic, social and cultural opportunities and to enhance the country’s development;

G.  whereas Al-Shabaab has regularly targeted students, schools and other education facilities; whereas, inter alia, in December 2009 a suicide bomber killed 19 people at a graduation ceremony for medical students in Mogadishu, Somalia, and in October 2011 the terrorist group claimed responsibility for a bombing which killed 70, including students awaiting exam results at the Somali Ministry of Education, also in Mogadishu;

H.  whereas on 25 March 2015 at least 15 people lost their lives in an attack perpetrated by Al‑Shabaab in a Mogadishu hotel, and whereas Yusuf Mohamed Ismail Bari-Bari, Somalia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, was among those killed in the attack;

I.  whereas Kenya has been facing an increased number of attacks targeting civilians since October 2011, when its troops entered southern Somalia to take part in a coordinated operation with the Somalian military against an Al-Shabaab-controlled area after the terrorist group took four hostages;

J.  whereas since November 2011 Kenyan troops have been part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), established on 19 January 2007 by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and authorised on 20 February 2007 by the UN Security Council (resolution 1744 (2007)), which has recently given the AU the green light to continue its mission until 30 November 2015 (resolution 2182 (2014));

K.  whereas one of the main contributors to the fight against terrorist group Al-Shabaab has been the Ethiopian army, as well as, to a lesser extent, the Ugandan army;

L.  whereas Al-Shabaab has formed links with other Islamist groups in Africa, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb;

M.  whereas the terrorist group Al-Shabaab regularly bombs and kills mostly civilians in Somalia, as well as in neighbouring countries, for instance in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010, and a great deal more often in Kenya, where only the large-scale actions have gained international attention but smaller attacks have been a steady feature;

N.  whereas Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the raids conducted in July 2014 on the villages of Hindi, Gamba, Lamu and Tana River on the Kenyan coast, in which more than 100 people were executed, and for two attacks in Mandela county in late 2014, in which 64 people were killed;

O.  whereas after the terrorist attack on Garissa University the Kenyan Government threatened the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with closure of the Dadaab refugee camp within three months; whereas the UNHCR has warned that this would have ‘extreme humanitarian and practical consequences’; whereas the UN Refugee Convention prohibits the forcing of refugees back to areas where their life or freedom is threatened;

P.  whereas the African Standby Force (ASF) is not yet operational, and whereas the EU has stated its willingness to support African peacekeeping capabilities as part of its Security Strategy for Africa;

Q.  whereas according to Article 11 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, ‘activities in the field of peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution shall in particular include support for balancing political, economic, social and cultural opportunities among all segments of society, for strengthening the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of governance, for establishing effective mechanisms for the peaceful conciliation of group interests, […] for bridging dividing lines among different segments of society as well as support for an active and organised civil society’;

1.  Condemns in the strongest terms the deliberate terrorist attack perpetrated by Al-Shabaab on 2 April 2015 in Garissa, in which it assassinated 147 young, innocent university students and injured 79 others; condemns forcefully all violations of human rights, especially when people are killed on the basis of their religion, beliefs or ethnic origin;

2.  Condemns once more the raids conducted by Al-Shabaab during the summer of 2014 on several coastal Kenyan villages, including Mpeketoni, where 50 people were executed; condemns vigorously the foray in the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi on 24 September 2013, where 67 dead bodies were discovered; condemns the Al-Shabaab attack of 25 March 2015 in Mogadishu, in which Ambassador Yusuf Mohamed Ismail Bari-Bari, Somalia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, lost his life;

3.  Expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of the Republic of Kenya; stands by the people of Kenya in the face of these despicable acts of aggression;

4.  Recalls that freedom of religion is a fundamental right, and strongly condemns any violence or discrimination on the basis of religion;

5.  Condemns the recent attacks on Christian communities in various countries, notably with regard to the throwing overboard of 12 Christians during a recent crossing from Libya and the massacre of 30 Ethiopian Christians on 19 April 2015, and expresses its solidarity with the families of the victims;

6.  Expresses its grave concern over the abuse of religion by the perpetrators of terrorist acts in several areas of the world, and its deep concern at the proliferation of episodes of intolerance, repression and violence directed against Christians, particularly in some parts of the Arab world; denounces the instrumentalisation of religion in various conflicts; condemns the increasing number of attacks on churches around the world, notably the attack that killed 14 people in Pakistan on 15 March 2015; strongly condemns the incarceration, disappearance, torture, enslavement and public execution of Christians in North Korea; confirms and supports the inalienable right of all religious and ethnic minorities living in Iraq and Syria, including Christians, to continue to live in their historical and traditional homelands in conditions of dignity, equality and safety; notes that for centuries members of different religious groups coexisted peacefully in the region;

7.  Urges the EU institutions to comply with their obligation under Article 17 TFEU to maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with churches and with religious, philosophical and non- confessional organisations, in order to ensure that the issue of the persecution of Christian communities and other religious communities is an EU priority;

8.  Condemns the use of an ancient law (‘dhimmi pact’) by ISIS/Da’esh in Syria and Iraq to extort from Christians by religious tax obligations and restrictions under the threat of death;

9.  Reaffirms its solidarity with all Christians persecuted in different parts of Africa, with special regard to recent atrocities in Libya, Nigeria and Sudan;

10.  Condemns and rejects any misinterpretation of the message of Islam to create a violent, cruel, totalitarian, oppressive and expansive ideology legitimising the extermination of Christian minorities; urges Muslim leaders to fully condemn all terrorist attacks, including those targeting religious communities and minorities, and in particular Christians;

11.  Calls for a thorough, prompt, impartial and effective investigation to be carried out in order to identify those responsible and bring the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice;

12.  Acknowledges that the real answer must be organised around coordinated actions with other African countries, and calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Council to address security and terrorist threats in this regional area in cooperation with the African Union, in support of its crucial efforts to fight Al-Shabaab through AMISOM; urges the European Union to strongly support the implementation of continental and regional mechanisms for conflict management, mainly the African Standby Force (ASF);

13.  Calls on the Kenyan Government to take responsibility and to address both the violence of Al‑Shabaab and its root causes; deems that security can only be achieved if divisions within Kenya’s political and civil societies and regional imbalances in development are properly addressed; considers regrettable the belated response of the police forces; in particular, urges the government to refrain from using the terrorist attacks as a pretext for cracking down on civil liberties; calls on the Kenyan authorities to base their strategy for combating terrorism on the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights; insists on the need for democratic and judicial oversight of counter-terrorism policies;

14.  Urges the Kenyan authorities to ensure that any division between faiths, together with the drawing of parallels between the Muslim community and Al-Shabaab, is prevented, and to take all measures to ensure that the unity of the country is preserved for the good of its social and economic growth and stability and the dignity and human rights of its people; invites the Kenyan Government, opposition leaders and religious faith leaders to address historical grievances of marginalisation, regional divides within the country and institutional discrimination, and to ensure that counter-terrorism operations target only the perpetrators and not wider ethnic and faith communities;

15.  Reminds the European External Action Service and the Member States of their commitment, under the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy adopted in June 2012, to ensure that human rights are raised in all forms of counter-terrorism dialogue with third countries;

16.  Calls for the EU to implement a military training mission programme in Kenya and to provide modern equipment, collaborating with and training Kenya’s military and police forces to fight terrorism and prevent the expansion of Al-Shabaab;

17.  Urges the Kenyan Government to make every effort to conform to the rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and fundamental freedoms, and calls for the EU to lead its international partner in this direction, and to pull together a financial contribution to enhance existing governance programmes, in order to ensure national security and bring peace and stability to the country and the region; insists that the spiralling violence of Al-Shabaab must be addressed in conjunction with neighbouring countries; asks the EU to provide all the necessary financial, logistical and expert support in this regard, including the possibility of recourse to the African Peace Facility and EU crisis management tools;

18.  Calls on the Kenyan security forces to ensure lawful responses to counter the terrorist threat; calls on the Kenyan Government to ensure the security and protection of the refugee camps in its territory, in accordance with international law;

19.  Stresses that international terrorism is financed by illegal money-laundering, ransoms, extortion, drug trafficking and corruption; calls on the Commission and the Member States to enhance cooperation with third countries on sharing intelligence relating to money‑laundering and the financing of terrorism;

20.  Reiterates its support for all initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect between religious and other communities; calls on all religious authorities to promote tolerance and to take initiatives against hatred and violent and extremist radicalisation;

21.  Denounces the targeting of educational institutions and premises for terrorist attacks, as a means of undermining the education and dignity of all citizens as well as causing mistrust and division between communities; recalls the abduction and disappearance of Christian girls in the Nigerian town of Chibok by the jihadist terror group Boko Haram in 2014, which attracted worldwide condemnation;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of Kenya, the institutions of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations General Assembly and the Co-Chairs of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

General Market

CALENDRIER du 30 novembre au 6 décembre 2015

(Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine)

Déplacements et visites

Dimanche 29 novembre

Meeting of the EU heads of state or government with Turkey, in Brussels.


Lundi 30 novembre

Competitiveness Council, in Brussels (30/11-01/12).

President Jean-Claude Juncker, Ms Federica Mogherini and Mr Miguel Arias Cañete participate in the opening of COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Paris.

In the margins of COP21, President Jean-Claude Juncker holds bilateral meetings with Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Justin P.J. Trudeau and Ukrainian President, Mr Petro Poroshenko.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Henk Kamp, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Netherlands.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives representatives of the Green 10 environmental NGOs.

Mr Andrus Ansip in Luxembourg: takes part in the conclusions of workshops and informal exchange of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Network meeting; addresses the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC); meets with Ms Marietta Karamanli, rapporteure sur le projet de loi République numérique de l’Assemblée Nationale française; delivers a speech and participates in a discussion at LIV COSAC meeting (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union).

Mr Maroš Šefčovič participates in the viEUws live panel debate on the State of the Energy Union, in Brussels.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives a delegation from Intel.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives the executive leadership of Europeana (European Digital Library).

Johannes Hahn attends the IFIs (International financial institutions) South meeting addressing the opening and closing sessions, in Brussels.

Johannes Hahn receives Mr Ranko Krivokapić, President of the Parliament of Montenegro.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Paris: delivers a speech at the Centenary Conference of the CCSF (Chambre de Commerce Suédoise en France).

Mr Karmenu Vella receives Mr Branimir Gvozdenović, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro.

Mr Karmenu Vella receives Mr Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis is in the U.S. (30/11- 04/12). On 30/11 in Atlanta: meets with Mr Tom Frieden, Director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including a site visit.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos in Sweden: meets with Mr Morgan Johansson, Minister for Justice and Migration, and Mr Anders Ygeman, Minister for Home Affairs.

Mme Marianne Thyssen rencontre Mr Bart Tommelein, Secrétaire d’Etat à la Lutte contre la fraude sociale en Belgique, à Bruxelles.

Mme Marianne Thyssen donne un discours lors de la conférence Benelux sur le rôle de la coopération régionale dans la lutte européenne contre le dumping social, à Bruxelles.

M. Pierre Moscovici reçoit des représentants des associations d’éditeurs belges de presse quotidienne et de magazines.

M. Pierre Moscovici conclue le colloque organisé par France Stratégie à l’Assemblée Nationale française sur le financement climatique, à Paris.

Mr Phil Hogan receives Mr Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Mr Jonathan Hill receives Mr Troels Lund Poulsen, Danish Minister for Business and Growth.

Ms Corina Creţu meets with representatives of the European Regions, in Brussels.

Ms Margrethe Vestager receives Mr Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs.

Mr Carlos Moedas delivers an opening speech at the stakeholder workshop of the high-level group on the European Open Science Cloud, in Brussels.

Mr Carlos Moedas delivers a speech at the seminar “EU Innovation Union Strategy and the Black Sea Region” at the European Parliament, in Brussels.


Mardi 1 décembre

President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Stéphane Dion, Foreign Minister of Canada.

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Witold Waszczykowski, Polish Foreign Minister.

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan.

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Ms Federica Mogherini participates at the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, in Brussels.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva receives Mr Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva attends a meeting of the High-Level Group on Own Resources.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva receives Mr Philippe Le Houérou,Executive Vice-President and CEO of International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

Mr Andrus Ansip delivers a speech on Digital Single Market at the e-Government Conference on “Simple, secure & transparent public services”; Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič receives Mr Cyril Muller, Vice-President of the World Bank Group for Europe and Central Asia.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič receives Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis delivers a speech at the conference “Completing the European Economic and Monetary Union Challenges and Opportunities for Belgium”, in Brussels.

Mr Jyrki Katainen presents the Investment Plan for Europe at the Competitiveness Council.

Mr Jyrki Katainen meets with Mr Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq, in Brussels.

Mr Jyrki Katainen receives Mr Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office.

Mr Günther Oettinger in Germany and Austria: speaks at the Conference “50 Years Copyright”, in Berlin; meets with Governor Wilfried Haslauer and State Parliamentary President, Ms Brigitta Pallauf, in Salzburg.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives the Management of the German Public Broadcaster, ARD.

Mr Johannes Hahn chairs the first high-level meeting between the European Commission and IFIs on enhanced cooperation for the enlargement and neighbourhood regions of Europe, in Brussels.

Mr Johannes Hahn receives Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Ms Cecilia Malmström receives Mr Alexey Ulyukaev, Russian Minister of Economic Development and Mr Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, for trilateral talks between the European Union, Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the implementation of the Ukraine-European Union Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

Mr Karmenu Vella receives Mr Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals.

Mr Karmenu Vella receives Mr Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis is in the U.S. (30/11- 04/12). On 01/12 in Boston: attends an event at Harvard Faculty Club on transatlantic relations and food policy; meets with Professor Walter Willett, Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School; participates in a special session with Professor David Bloom’s class on ‘public health challenges in the EU’, at the Department of Global Health and Population from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; visits the Sanofi-Genzyme headquarters.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos in Paris: addresses the Committee on European Affairs of the French Assemblée Nationale.

Mr Christos Stylianides attends the opening of the Syria photo exhibition at the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Mr Phil Hogan delivers a speech at the EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, on “The CAP: meeting the major challenges”, at the Charlemagne building, in Brussels.

Mr Phil Hogan receives Mr Franz Fischler, President of the European Forum Alpbach, and former European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.

Mr Jonathan Hill in London: meets with Mr John McFarlane, Chairman of the board of TheCityUK; meets with Mr Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays; delivers a speech with Mr Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Finance Minister, at an event organised by TheCityUK; meets with Mr Mark Goldring, Executive Director of Oxfam UK.

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska takes part in the ITRE committee discussions on the 2016 work programme at the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska receives Mr Loïc Armand, Cosmetics Europe President, and Mr John Chave, Director-General, to discuss the situation in the cosmetics sector.

Mr Tibor Navracsics receives Prof. Patrick Cunningham, Emeritus Professor of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, and former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Irish Government, for a hand-over of the 7th Framework Programme ex-Post evaluation report on the Joint Research Centre.

Ms Corina Creţu receives Mr Siim Kallas, Chairman of the High-Level Group on Simplification.

Ms Corina Creţu and Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska receive Mr Phil Wynn Owen, member of the Court of Auditors.

Mr Carlos Moedas meets with Ms Carmen Vela, Spanish Secretary of State for Innovation, in Brussels.

Mr Carlos Moedas meets with Ms Johanna Wanka, German Minister for Education, in Brussels.

Mr Carlos Moedas signs Tunisia’s Accession Agreement to the Horizon 2020 programme with Mr Chiheb Bouden, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia, followed by a bilateral meeting.

Mercredi 2 décembre

College meeting, in Brussels.

European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Prime Minister of Vietnam.

President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr José Maria Neves, Prime Minister of Cape Verde.

President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Ms Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Vice-president of Les Républicains.

Ms Federica Mogherini participates in the signature of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Colombia on the short-stay visa waiver, followed by a bilateral with Mr Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva hosts a Budget focused on results meeting with special speaker Ms Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Ms Kristalina Georgieva receives Mr Kees Vendrik, Vice-President of the Court of Audit of the Netherlands.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva attends a meeting of the Irish women working in the EU.

Mr Andrus Ansip, Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Mr Carlos Moedas speak at AmCham EU’s 3rd Annual Transatlantic Digital Economy Conference, in Brussels.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis participates in Economic and Financial Affairs Committee at the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Mr Jyrki Katainen speaks at the Economic Ideas Forum in Brussels at a roundtable entitled “The Collaborative Economy as a Driver of Growth and Jobs”.

Mr Jyrki Katainen receives Mr Matti Lievonen, CEO of Neste.

M. Günther Oettinger reçoit Mme Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Vice-présidente du groupe Les Républicains.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives Mr Klaus Dieter Rennert, Chief Executive EMEA – CIS.

Ms Cecilia Malmström receives Mr Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Prime Minister of Vietnam.

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete receives Mr Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis is in the U.S. (30/11- 04/12). On 02/12 in Washington: meets with U.S. agriculture and industry organisationson EU experience on food safety and EU efforts to fight antimicrobial resistance; attends George Washington University, School of Public Health, Department seminar on EU activities on antimicrobial resistance; meets with Ms Sylvia Burwell, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and senior US Health officials.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos receives Mr Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia.

Mr Pierre Moscovici rencontre M. François Hollande, Président de la République française, à Paris.

Mr Phil Hogan receives Mr Michel Nalet, President of the European Dairy Association.

Mr Jonathan Hill receives Mr Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq.

Mr Jonathan Hill receives representatives of Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL).

Mr Tibor Navracsics receives Mr Vinko Puljic, the Cardinal of Sarajevo.

Mr Carlos Moedas attends the meeting of the network on EU Budget focused on results.


Jeudi 3 décembre

Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Brussels (03-04/12).

Mr Frans Timmermans, Mr Jyrki Katainen, Mr Günther Oettinger and Mr Carlos Moedas attend the meeting of CEOs of the Business Europe Advisory and Support Group at the Berlaymont building, in Brussels.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Ms Meinie Nicolai, President of Médecins sans Frontières Belgium.

Ms Federica Mogherini participates in the OSCE Ministerial political dialogue, in Belgrade.

Mr Andrus Ansip visits London: meets with Mr John Whittingdale, Secretary State for Culture, Media and Sport and Mr Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industry; takes part in the Public and formal evidence session of the House of Lords and has a Roundtable Discussion on copyright with UK Film Industry (at Double Negative Visual Effects).

Mr Maroš Šefčovič on Energy Union Tour to Rome, Italy (03-04/12): meets with Ms Federica Guidi, Minister for Economic Development; participates in the parliamentary hearing with Industrial, Environment and European Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and the Italian Senate; participates in the Citizens’ dialogue together with Mr Gian Luca Galletti, Minister of Environment; gives a keynote speech at the “Confindustria” (Confederazione generale dell’industria italiana) event; meets with the CEOs of Eni, Terna, Enel and Edison.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis attends a meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, in Frankfurt.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis on a European Semester visit to Poland (03-04/12): meets with Mr Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland; meets with social partners and members of the Polish Parliament.

Mr Jyrki Katainen receives Mr Joel Kaplan, Vice-President, Global Public Policy, Facebook.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives Mr Matthias Brückmann, CEO of EWE.

M. Günther Oettinger reçoit M. Jean-Bernard Lévy, Président-Directeur général d’EDF.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, Frauenhofer Institut.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives Mr Joel Kaplan, Vice-President, Global Public Policy, Facebook.

Mr Günther Oettinger delivers a speech at “Media Leaders 2015”, in Berlin.

Mr Johannes Hahn receives Mr Volkan Bozkır, Turkish Minister of European Union Affairs.

Mr Johannes Hahn receives Ms Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austrian Minister of Interior.

 Ms Cecilia Malmström in Berlin for Citizens’ Dialogue on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Mr Neven Mimica is in Ivory Coast (03-04/12): holds a series of bilateral meetings.

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete receives Mr Vagit Alekperov, President of Lukoil.

Mr Karmenu Vella in Paris, France (03-04/12): attends Association française des entreprises privées (AFEP) COP21 side-event on Circular Economy and Climate Change.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis is in the U.S. (30/11- 04/12). On 03/12 in Washington: meets with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter; meets with senior officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); meets with Mr Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative, and senior US Trade officials; attends an event on antimicrobial resistance (with U.S. Administration, NGOs, consumer organisations, farmer associations, retailers, industry associations).

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos participates in the 115th plenary session of the Committee of the Regions.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos receives Ms Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Minister of the Interior of Austria.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos, together with Ms Vĕra Jourová, launches the EU Internet Forum in the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, in Brussels.

Ms Marianne Thyssen is in Sofia, Bulgaria (03-04/12): participates in Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit with European and Asian Labour Ministers; meets with Mr Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister.

M. Pierre Moscovici reçoit M. Jean-Bernard Lévy, Président-Directeur Général du groupe Électricité de France (EDF).

Mr Pierre Moscovici receives Mr Jürgen Fitschen and Mr Michael Kemmer, President and General Manager of the Federal Association of German Banks (Bundesverband Deutscher Banken).

Mr Phil Hogan in Munich: attends the “Jubiläum 70 Jahre Bayerischer Bauernverband” (70th Anniversary of the Bavarian Farmers Association).

Mr Jonathan Hill participates in the CMU Forum, hosted by Euromoney, in Brussels.

Mr Jonathan Hill receives Mr Hans Peter Wollseifer, President, Zentralverbands des Deutschen Handwerks.

Ms Vĕra Jourová meets with Mr Jari Lindström, Minister of Justice and Employment of Finland, in Brussels.

Ms Vĕra Jourová meets with Mr Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice of Netherlands, in Brussels.

Mr Tibor Navracsics participates in an inter-parliamentary Conference on Education and Youth Policies at the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Mr Tibor Navracsics meets with trainees at the European Parliament, in Brussels. 

Mr Carlos Moedas receives Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.


Vendredi 4 décembre

Mr Maroš Šefčovič on Energy Union Tour to Rome, Italy (03-04/12): gives a keynote speech at the conference organised by IAI (Istituto Affari Internazionali); meets with Mr Paolo Gentiloni, Minister for Foreign Affairs; meets with Mr Guido Bortoni, President of the Italian Electricity and Gas Regulatory Authority.

Mr Jyrki Katainen in Helsinki, Finland: speaks at the event Kiertotalous EU:ssa – kansainvälisen yhteistyön rakennuspalikat – “Circular Economy in EU – the building blocks of international cooperation”; meets with Mr Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland; meets with Mr Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives members of the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations, EBLIDA.

Mr Günther Oettinger receives Mr Klaus Hommels, CEO of Lakestar.

Ms Cecilia Malmström receives representatives of BEUC (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs/European Consumer Organisation).

Mr Karmenu Vella in Paris, France (03-04/12): participates in the Oceans Day event at COP21 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); meets with Ms Catherine Novelli, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis is in the U.S. (30/11- 04/12). On 04/12 in Washington: meets with Mr Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; meets with Dr John Holdren, Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dr Jo Handelsman, Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Ms Marianne Thyssen is in Sofia, Bulgaria (03-04/12): participates in Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit with European and Asian Labour Ministers; meets with Mr Ivaylo Kalfin, Minister of Labour; visits the European Social Fund project.  

M. Pierre Moscovici participe à une table ronde sur le financement climatique au Pavillon de l’Union Européenne de la COP 21, Le Bourget, France.

Mr Phil Hogan in Ireland: addresses the Agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) Seminar on “Promoting creativity and learning through agricultural knowledge systems and interactive innovation”, in Meath; meets with Ms Margaret Ritchie, Member of Parliament for South Down, Ireland, and Mr Joe Byrne, SDLP Chairman and agriculture and rural development spokesman, in Dublin.

Mr Jonathan Hill in Venice: meets with Mr Pier Carlo Padoan, Italian Minister of Economy and Finances; meets with Mr Riccardo Donadon, CEO of H-Farm.

Ms Vĕra Jourová receives Mr Joel Kaplan, Vice-President, Global Public Policy, Facebook.

Ms Vĕra Jourová receives Ms Julie Brill, Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.  

Ms Corina Creţu receives Mr Emiliano Garcia Page, President of the Spanish Region of Castilla La Mancha.

Mr Carlos Moedas is in Lund, Sweden: participates in the “Lund Revisited: Tackling Societal Challenges” conference, where he will deliver an opening speech entititled: “The Political challenge: How to address the grand societal challenges in an aligned way.”


Samedi 5 décembre


Dimanche 6 décembre

Mr Maroš Šefčovič mets Mr Arseniy Yatseniuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de décembre:

07/12 Eurogroup, in Brussels

08/12 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels

08/12 Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, in Brussels

09/12 Informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation, in Luxembourg

10-11/12 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Brussels

14-15/12 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels

14-17/12 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg

15/12 General Affairs Council, in Brussels

15/12 Foreign Affairs Council “Trade”, in Brussels

16/12 Environment Council, in Brussels

17-18/12 European Council, in Brussels

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 28 au 29 novembre:

Lucia Caudet, +32 (0)460 756 182     

Permanence RAPID – GSM: +32 (0) 498 982 748

Service Audiovisuel, planning studio – tél. : +32 (0)2/295 21 23

General Information

Debates – Wednesday, 9 September 2015 – Strasbourg – Provisional edition

  Jean-Claude Juncker, Präsident der Kommission . Sehr verehrter Herr Präsident! Herr Ratspräsident! Meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren Abgeordneten! Es ist mir eine angenehme Pflicht und nicht nur eine Pflicht, sondern auch ein Vergnügen, als Präsident der Europäischen Kommission, zum ersten Mal in meinem kurzen Leben, eine Rede zur Lage der Europäischen Union hier in diesem Hohen Hause vorzutragen! Ich habe als Luxemburgischer Premierminister sehr oft – ich glaube zwanzig Mal – eine Rede zur Lage der Nation vorgetragen. Man hat mir nach der Rede immer bedeutet, dass sie gut war, im Tonfall, in der Rhetorik – inhaltlich gingen die Meinungen auseinander – aber dass sie zu lang war, und genau dies wird mir heute auch in diesem Hause passieren.

Ich habe die Rede nicht unter normalen Umständen vorbereiten können, aus Gründen, die einige von Ihnen erahnen können. Aber ich werde mir alle Mühe geben, diese Rede zu einem guten Ende zu bringen. Diese Rede findet im Rahmen der Rahmenvereinbarungen statt, die die Beziehungen zwischen dem Europäischen Parlament und der Europäischen Kommission festlegen. In diesem Regelwerk heißt es, dass der Präsident der Europäischen Kommission in der ersten Septemberhälfte dem Parlament Rede und Antwort stehen muss zu dem, was im vergangenen Jahr vollbracht wurde, erledigt wurde, abgearbeitet wurde und zu dem, was in den nächsten Monaten ins Haus, also auch in Ihr Haus steht. Es geht um die Prioritäten für die zukünftigen Arbeiten der Europäischen Kommission und ergo auch teilweise der Europäischen Union.

Ich habe zu diesem Zweck dem Präsidenten des Europäischen Parlaments, Martin Schulz, und dem Luxemburgischen Premierminister, als Vorsitzenden der Ratspräsidentschaft, die Prioritäten der Europäischen Kommission in schriftlicher Form zukommen lassen, und ich habe diesen Brief auch Ihrem Hause zugestellt und diesen Brief begleiten lassen von einer Darstellung der Abarbeitung der zehn Prioritäten, die der Arbeit der Kommission vorstehen. Ich werde nicht alle diese Fragen heute hier behandeln. Ich verweise Sie – das ist zwar unhöflich, aber trotzdem notwendig – auf die schriftlichen Angaben, die die Kommission unter meiner Unterschrift und derjenigen des ersten Vizepräsidenten Frans Timmermans, dem Präsidenten und dem Ratsvorsitz hat zukommen lassen.

Und ich verweise Sie auch auf die begleitenden Dokumente, die diesen Briefwechsel verständlicher zu machen versuchen. Ich bin der erste Präsident der Europäischen Kommission, der nicht auf Umwegen, sondern auf direktem Weg, via Wahl und via zustimmendes Votum des Europäischen Parlaments ins Amt gekommen ist. Ich habe von Anfang an, auch bei meiner Bewerbungsrede hier im Europäischen Parlament am 14. Juni vergangenen Jahres, deutlich gemacht, dass die Kommission, der ich die Ehre habe vorzusitzen, eine politischere Kommission sein wird und ergo der Präsident dieser Europäischen Kommission aufgrund des prozeduralen demokratischeren Ablaufs seiner Ernennung auch ein politischer Präsident sein wird. Wenn ich sage politisch, dann meine ich ausdrücklich politisch im noblen Sinne des Wortes!

Nous sommes des hommes politiques. Nous ne sommes pas des politiciens. Je n’aime pas cette expression française qui parle de politiciens. Nous sommes, vous et nous, vous et moi, des hommes politiques.

Wenn ich sage politisch, dann heißt das nicht, dass wir alles politisieren möchten. Aber ich möchte damit zum Ausdruck bringen, dass ich der strikten Auffassung bin, dass jetzt nicht die Zeit des Business as usual ist.


Deshalb würde ich Sie sehr herzlich bitten, nicht darauf zu achten, wie oft ich das Wort „sozial“ in den Mund nehme – mein Herz ist voll von sozial –, nicht darauf zu achten, wie oft ich „nachhaltig“ sage, nicht darauf zu achten, wie oft ich „ökonomisch“, „finanziell“, „budgetpolitisch“ sage. Dies ist nicht die Stunde derartiger sehr oft hohler Reden. Dies ist die Stunde der Ehrlichkeit. Die Zeit für mehr Ehrlichkeit in Europa ist gekommen, und deshalb ist dies eine Rede über die großen offenen gewaltigen Fragen, mit der die Europäische Union konfrontiert ist. Und darauf werde ich mich jetzt konzentrieren.

Unsere Europäische Union – obwohl ich nicht zu Pessimismus tendiere – befindet sich in keinem guten Zustand. Es macht keinen Sinn, dass der Kommissionspräsident vor den Vertretern der europäischen Demokratie, also den Vertretern der Völker Europas, hier in Schönmalerei macht. Die Europäische Union ist nicht in einem guten Zustand. Es fehlt an Europa in dieser Europäischen Union, und es fehlt an Union in dieser Europäischen Union.


Das müssen wir ändern. Und wir müssen das jetzt ändern, in gemeinsamer Kraftanstrengung. Dies gebietet das Mandat, das Sie von den europäischen Wählern erhalten haben, das gebietet auch der Mandatsauftrag, den ich von diesem Hohen Haus erhalten habe.

(Zurufe von der EFDD.)

I don’t know why you are becoming nervous when you are speaking about the European Union.

(Zurufe von der EFDD.)

You can interrupt me from time to time. I will not at each time respond to what you are saying, because what you are saying is worthless.

(Starker Beifall)

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, whatever work programmes or legislative agendas say, the first priority today is, and must be, addressing the refugee crisis.

Since the beginning of the year, nearly 500 000 people have made their way to Europe. The vast majority of them are fleeing from Syria, the terror of Islamic State in Libya or dictatorship in Eritrea. The most affected Member States are Greece, with over 200 000 refugees, Hungary, with more or less 150 000, and Italy, with 120 000.

The numbers are impressive. For some they are frightening. But now is not the time to take fright. It is time for bold, determined and concerted action by the European Union, by its Member States and by its institutions.

First of all, before other considerations, it is a matter of humanity and of human dignity. And for Europe it is also a matter of historical fairness.


We are all Europeans here –

(A UKIP Member: ‘No!’)

OK, I note that you think that you are not Europeans, well said, but not well done.

This is not a time to take fright. It is a time of humanity and of human dignity. We Europeans – all of us, I thought before the interruption – should remember well that Europe is a continent where nearly everyone has at one time been a refugee. Our common history is marked by millions of Europeans fleeing from religious or political persecution, from war, dictatorship, or oppression: Huguenots fleeing from France in the 17th century; Jews, Sinti, Roma and many others fleeing from Germany during the Nazi horror of the 1930s and 1940s; Spanish republicans fleeing to refugee camps in southern France at the end of the 1930s after their defeat in the Civil War; Hungarian revolutionaries fleeing to Austria and elsewhere – everywhere in Europe – after their uprising against Communist rule was suppressed by Soviet tanks in 1956; and Czech and Slovak citizens seeking exile in other countries – including mine – after the oppression of the Prague Spring in 1968. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee from their homes after, and during, the Yugoslav wars. That was by the end of the last century – not centuries ago but by the end of the last century – in the last decade of the 20th century.

Have we forgotten that there is a reason there are more McDonalds living in the United States than the entire population of Scotland? That there is a reason the number of O’Neills and Murphys in the U.S. exceeds by far those living in Ireland?

Have we forgotten that 20 million people of Polish ancestry live outside Poland, as a result of political and economic emigration after the many border shifts, forced expulsions and resettlements during Poland’s so often painful history?

Have we really forgotten that after the devastation of the Second World War, 60 million people were refugees in Europe? That, as a result of this terrible European experience, a global protection regime – the 1951 Geneva Convention on the status of refugees – was established to grant refuge to those who jumped the walls in Europe to escape from war and totalitarian oppression?

We Europeans should know, and should never forget, why giving refuge and complying with the fundamental right to asylum is so important. The fundamental right to asylum is one of the most important international and European values. We should not forget that.


I have said in this House and elsewhere in the past that we are too seldom proud of our European heritage and our European project. Yes, in spite of our fragility, of our weaknesses – our self-perceived weaknesses – today it is Europe that is sought worldwide as a place of refuge and exile. It is Europe today that represents a place of hope, a haven of stability in the eyes of women and men in the Middle East and in Africa. This is something – I have to say this here – to be proud of and not something to fear.


Europe today, in spite of many differences amongst the Member States, is by far the wealthiest place and the most stable continent in the world. Those who are criticising Europe – European integration, the European construction, the European Union – have to admit that this is the place of peace and that this is the place of stability and we should be proud of this. We have the means to help those fleeing from war, terror and oppression.

I know that many now will want to say that this is all very well, but Europe cannot take everybody. It is true that Europe cannot house all the misery of the world. But let us be honest and put things into perspective. There are certainly a large and unprecedented number of refugees coming to Europe at the moment. However, they still represent just 0.11% of the total European Union population. In Lebanon, by comparison, refugees represent 25% of the population in a country which has only one fifth of the wealth we enjoy in the European Union. Who are we that we never make this kind of comparison? Who are we?


Let us be clear and honest with our citizens, who are often worried: as long as there is war in Syria and terror in Libya, the refugee crisis will not simply go away. We can build walls, we can build fences, but imagine – without being demagogic – imagine for a second if it were you, your child in your arms, the world you knew torn apart around you, there is no price you would not pay, there is no wall you would not climb, no sea you would not sail, no border you would not cross if it is a war of barbarism and the so-called Islamic State that you are fleeing. We are fighting against Islamic State. Why are we not ready to accept those who are fleeing Islamic State? We have to accept these people on European territory.


It is high time to act to manage the refugee crisis because there is no alternative to this. There has been a lot of finger pointing in the past weeks. Member States have accused each other of not doing enough or doing the wrong thing and, more often than not, fingers have been pointed from national capitals towards Brussels. Brussels is always accused if Member States are failing. If Member States are not doing their job, Brussels, the Commission, the European Parliament, are accused of not doing their job.


We could all – not all, but the majority of this House, myself and my Commission – be angry about this blame game. But I wonder who that would serve. Being angry does not help anyone. Blaming others does not help the refugees and the migrants, and the attempt to blame others is often just a sign that politicians, policy-makers, sometimes lawmakers, are overwhelmed by unexpected events.

Instead, we should rather recall what has been agreed that can help in the current situation. It is time to look at what is on the table and move swiftly forward. We are not starting anew. Since the early years of this century, the Commission – not mine, the Commission of José Manual Barroso – has persistently tabled legislation after legislation to build a common European asylum system, and Parliament and the Council have enacted this legislation, piece by piece. The last piece of legislation entered into force only in July 2015, two months ago.

Across Europe we now have common standards for the way we receive asylum seekers, in respect of their dignity, for the way we process their asylum applications, and we have common criteria which our independent justice systems use to determine whether someone is entitled to international protection. But these standards need to be implemented entirely and respected everywhere in Europe in practice. This is clearly not the case.

Before the summer – not after the summer, but before the summer – the Commission started the first series of 32 infringement proceedings to remind Member States of what they had previously agreed to do. That is a matter of credibility. We are legislating and we are not implementing. It is a matter of credibility that Member States implement and respect commonly agreed international and European laws.


A second series of infringement proceedings will follow in the days to come. Common asylum standards are important but they are not enough to cope with the current refugee crisis. The Commission, Parliament and the Council said in the spring that we need a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration. We proposed this as a Commission in May, and it would be unfair to say that nothing has happened since then.

We have tripled our presence at sea. 122 000 lives have been saved since then. Every life lost is one too many, but many more have been rescued that would have been lost otherwise – an increase of 250%. We should be proud of that performance. Twenty-nine Member States and Schengen-associated countries are participating in the joint operations coordinated by Frontex in Italy, Greece and Hungary: 102 guest officers from 20 countries; 31 ships; three helicopters; four fixed-wing aircraft; eight patrol cars, six thermos-vision vehicles and four transport vehicles. This is a first measure of European solidarity in action, even though more will have to be done.

We have redoubled our efforts to tackle smugglers and dismantle human trafficker groups. Cheap ships are now harder to come by, leading to less people putting their lives in peril in unseaworthy boats. As a result, the Central Mediterranean route has stabilised at around 115 000 arriving during the month of August, the same as last year. We now need to achieve a similar stabilisation of the Balkan route, which has clearly been neglected by all policymakers.

The European Union is also the number one donor in the global efforts to alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis. Around EUR 4 billion have been mobilised by the Commission – that means by Parliament too – and Member States in humanitarian, development, economic and stabilisation assistance to Syrians in their country and to refugees and their host communities in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Indeed, just today we launched two new projects to provide schooling and food security to 240 000 Syrian refugees in Turkey and, by the way, I would like to applaud the efforts of Jordan, of Turkey and of Lebanon.


These countries, far poorer than we are, are making efforts we should applaud and recognise in moral and in financial terms. We have collectively committed to resettling over 22 000 people from outside Europe over the next year, showing solidarity with our neighbours. Of course, this remains very modest – too modest – by comparison to the Herculean efforts undertaken by Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon who are hosting over four million Syrian refugees, but I am encouraged that some Member States are now showing their willingness to significantly step up our European resettlement efforts. This will allow us very soon to come forward with a structured system to pool European resettlement efforts more systematically. It has to be done and it will be done.

Where Europe has clearly under-delivered is on common solidarity with regard to the refugees who have arrived on our territory. To me, it is clear that the Member States where most refugees first arrive – at the moment, these are Italy, Greece and Hungary – cannot be left alone to cope with this enormous challenge.


This is why the Commission already proposed an emergency mechanism in May – not now, back in May – to relocate initially 40 000 people seeking international protection from Italy and Greece. This is why today we are proposing a second emergency mechanism to relocate a further 120 000 people from Italy, Greece and Hungary. This has to be done in a compulsory way.


I call on Member States to adopt the Commission proposals on the emergency relocation of altogether 160 000 refugees at the Council of Interior Ministers on 14 September. We are not talking about 40 000, not 120 000, we are talking about 160 000. That is the number Europeans have to take in charge and have to take in their arms, and I really hope that this time everyone will be on board. No poems, no rhetoric, action is what is needed for the time being.


What is happening to human beings – we are talking human beings, we are not talking about numbers – coming from Syria and Libya today could easily be the case in Ukraine tomorrow. Are we making selections? Are we distinguishing between Christians, Jews, Muslims? This continent has had a bad experience of drawing distinctions on the basis of religious criteria. There is no religion, no belief, no philosophy when it comes to refugees and to those we let in.


Winter is approaching. Do we really want to have families sleeping in railway stations in Budapest and elsewhere, in cold tents during the night, or on shores on Kos? We are in charge of the winter period for those who have to flee their countries for the reasons I have mentioned.

Of course, relocation alone will not solve the issue. It is true that we also need to separate better those who are in clear need of international protection and are therefore very likely to apply for asylum successfully, and those who are leaving their country for other reasons which do not fall under the right of asylum. This is why today the Commission is proposing a common EU list of safe countries of origin. This list will enable Member States to fast-track asylum procedures for nationals of countries that are presumed safe to live in. The presumption of safety must, in our view, certainly apply to all countries which the European Council unanimously decided meet the basic Copenhagen criteria for EU membership – notably as regards democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights. It should also apply to other potential candidate countries in the Western Balkans, in view of their progress made towards candidate status.

I am aware that the list of safe countries is only a procedural simplification. It cannot take away – and I would act strongly against that – the fundamental right of asylum for asylum seekers coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. But it allows national authorities to focus on those refugees who are much more likely to be granted asylum, notably those from Syria. And this focus is very much needed in the current situation. A list of safe countries does not take away asylum rights from those people coming from the countries listed. That is important. We are not neutralising the Geneva Convention. Asylum is a right.


The countries on the list of safe countries have to know that, if they are taken off this list because fundamental rights are not ensured in these countries, they are losing their chance to join the European Union. These two things go together. Safe list, yes, but it is time we prepared a more fundamental change in the way we deal with asylum applications, and notably the Dublin system that requires that asylum applications be dealt with by the first country of entry.

We need more Europe in our asylum policy. We need more Union in our refugee policy. A true European refugee and asylum policy requires solidarity to be permanently anchored in our policy approach and our rules. This is why, today, the Commission is also proposing a permanent relocation mechanism, which will allow us to deal with crisis situations more swiftly in the future. That means more swiftly than in the past.

A common refugee and asylum policy requires further approximation of asylum policies after refugee status is granted. Member States need to take a second look at their support, integration and inclusion policies. The Commission is ready to look into how EU funds can support these efforts, and I am strongly in favour of allowing asylum seekers to work and earn their own money whilst their applications are being processed.


Labour, work, being in a job, is a matter of dignity. Those who are working are finding again the dignity they had before they left and so we should do everything to change our national legislation in order to allow refugees and migrants to work from day one of their arrival in Europe.

A united refugee and asylum policy also requires stronger joint efforts to secure our external borders. Fortunately, in the European Union we have given up border controls between the Member States of the Schengen area to guarantee free movement of people, a unique symbol of European integration and this Schengen system will not be abolished under the mandate of this Commission.


But the other side of the coin to free movement is that we must work together more closely to manage our external borders. This is what our citizens expect. The Commission said it back in May, and I said it during the election campaign, together with Martin, together with Guy and with…

(Suggestions from the Floor)

…no, no, I am not pointing at Mrs Keller; I was just thinking of Mr Tsipras. I am not confusing the two!

José Bové est là? Oui, je l’ai vu tout à l’heure. Salut José!

We need to strengthen Frontex significantly and develop it into a fully operational European Border and Coast Guard system. That is certainly feasible, but it will cost money. The Commission believes that this is money well invested. This is why we will propose ambitious steps towards a European Border and Coast Guard before the end of this year.

A truly united, European migration policy also means that we need to look into opening legal channels for migration. But let us be clear: this will not help in addressing the refugee crisis we are currently in. But if there are more, safe, controlled roads opened to Europe, we can manage migration better and make the illegal work of human traffickers less attractive. Let us not forget that we are an ageing continent in demographic decline. We will be needing talents, talents coming from everywhere in the world. Over time migration must change from a problem to be tackled to a well-managed resource. To this end, the Commission will come forward with a well—designed legal migration package in early 2016. This is highly important. Migration has to be legalised. It is not sufficient to protest against illegal immigration. We have to organise legal ways to Europe.


A lasting solution will only come if we address the root causes, the reasons why we are currently facing this major refugee crisis. Our European foreign policy must be more assertive. We can no longer afford to be ignorant or disunited with regard to war or instability right in our neighbourhood. We have to find a solution. Maybe we are too weak to achieve a solution to the Libyan problem. We have to address the Syrian crisis in a more solution-oriented way. I call for a European diplomatic offensive to address the crises in Syria and Libya. We need a stronger Europe when it comes to foreign policy. I am very glad that Federica Mogherini, our highly determined High Representative – she is High Representative because she is highly determined – has prepared the ground for such an initiative with her diplomatic success in the Iran nuclear talks, and I would like to congratulate Federica on that extraordinary performance.


In order to facilitate the work of our High Representative, Federica, the Commission is today proposing to establish an emergency Trust Fund, starting with EUR 1.8 billion from our common EU financial means to address the crises in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions, the Horn of Africa, and the North of Africa. We want to help create lasting stability, for instance by creating employment opportunities in local communities, and thereby addressing the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and illegal migration. I expect all EU Member States to pitch in and match our ambitions. We need this emergency Trust Fund in order to prevent future crises.


And we need higher development aid budgets. I do not like the expression development aid – cooperation budgets. It is abnormal that Member States of the European Union are reducing their budgetary efforts when it comes to development aid. They have to be increased.


I do not want to create any illusions that the refugee crisis will be over any time soon. It will not and we have to be aware of that. But pushing back boats from piers, setting fire to refugee camps, or turning a blind eye to poor and helpless people: that is not Europe.


Europe is the baker in Kos who gives away his bread to hungry and weary souls. Europe is the students in Munich and in Passau who bring clothes for the new arrivals at the train station. Europe is those standing at the Munich railway station applauding and welcoming refugees.


The Europe I want to live in is illustrated by those who are helping. The Europe I do not want to live in is a Europe refusing those who are in need.

The crisis is stark and the journey, of course, is still long. I am counting on you, in this House – in the House of European democracy – and on all Member States to show European courage going forward, in line with our common values and history.

Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les Députés, et pour beaucoup d’entre vous, très chers amis, je me rends compte que j’ai déjà dépassé le délai qui est normalement accordé au président de la Commission lorsqu’il parle de l’état de l’Union; mais vu l’état de l’Union, il me faut du temps et je voudrais donc dire quelques mots sur la Grèce, qui m’est très chère.

Le débat que nous avons eu sur les problèmes grecs, qui sont aussi les nôtres, fut un débat difficile parce que je n’avais de cesse d’expliquer au Premier ministre d’alors que, dans la zone euro, il y a dix-neuf démocraties et pas seulement la démocratie hellénique. Les opinions publiques, les opinions parlementaires, les convictions des uns et des autres se reflètent aussi dans l’expression, notamment parlementaire, dans les dix-huit autres démocraties qui forment l’ensemble de la zone euro.

La Commission fut très souvent rudement attaquée par certains États membres pour s’être investie dans la solution, si j’ose dire, puisqu’il n’y a pas encore de solution définitive au problème grec. Je voudrais redire ici ce que je vous ai déjà dit lorsque je me suis présenté pour la première fois devant vous, à savoir qu’il est du devoir de la Commission européenne de veiller à l’intérêt général.

Ne pas s’occuper du cas grec eût été une faiblesse impardonnable, une erreur à répétitions multiples, si la Commission n’avait pas fait ce qu’elle a fait. Nous avons payé, moi d’abord, de notre personne puisque nous avons été attaqués par ceux qui savent toujours mieux que la Commission et le Parlement européen comment il faut faire. Je n’ai pas voulu laisser la recherche d’une solution au problème grec aux seuls soins des bureaucrates bruxellois, comme on dit vulgairement, stupidement et bêtement, bien que leur travail fût extraordinaire même pendant les vacances. Nous nous sommes attelés, Frans Timmermans, le vice-président Dombrovskis, Pierre Moscovici et d’autres à la recherche d’une solution au problème qui nous était posé.

Certaines disent que la Commission et son président n’auraient pas dû dire que le grexit n’était pas une option. En effet, ce n’était pas une option. Il fallait dire sans cesse que le grexit n’était pas une option. Sinon, le grexit serait arrivé.


J’ai dit à M. Tsipras et aux autorités grecques qu’il ne faudrait pas qu’ils considèrent cette phrase comme voulant dire que, de toute façon, ils seraient sauvés. J’ai dit à Alexis Tsipras que je n’étais pas le magicien qui sortirait un lapin blanc de son chapeau si rien n’allait plus. Non! Il savait, il devait savoir et il savait que le grexit était une option, mais pas une option à mentionner publiquement. Donc, sur ce point, nous avons fait ce que nous devions faire et j’ai toujours considéré, vous le savez, que le problème grec n’était pas seulement un problème de consolidation des finances publiques. Ce n’est pas seulement un problème de réformes structurelles, bien que tout cela soit très important, mais c’est aussi un problème qui a trait aux perspectives de croissance de ce pays, que l’Union devrait se réjouir de compter parmi ses États membres.

Je n’ai pas aimé ces commentaires tout au long des derniers mois selon lesquels il fallait que la Grèce sorte de l’euro, sorte de l’Union européenne et soit considérée comme un pays qui ne serait pas sérieux. Les Grecs, surtout les Grecs à faible revenu, sont des gens qui travaillent et qui font tout pour que leur pays puisse progresser. Nous devrions d’ailleurs mieux respecter les efforts de la nation grecque que nous ne l’avons fait jusqu’à présent.


Je voudrais que le programme sur lequel nous nous sommes mis d’accord soit respecté par tout gouvernement grec, passé, présent et futur. Si, cette fois-ci, les règles communément convenues ne sont pas respectées, la réaction de l’Union européenne et de la zone euro sera différente. Cette fois-ci, il faudra qu’on fasse ce qui a été convenu.

Dans ce programme, il y a 35 milliards que la Commission est en train d’organiser pour relancer la croissance économique, et donc sociale, de la République hellénique et je voudrais que cette offre, qui n’est pas un don de générosité, soit acceptée par toutes les parties prenantes en Grèce.

La crise n’est évidemment pas finie avec la solution apportée au cas grec tant qu’il y aura 23 millions d’Européens au chômage dans l’Union européenne et plus de 17 millions dans la zone euro. La crise n’est pas terminée. Elle sera terminée le jour où l’Europe sera revenue au plein emploi.

Parfois, je me demande pourquoi un continent aussi riche que l’Europe prendrait ses distances par rapport à cette règle normale qui devrait être respectée par tous les hommes et toutes les femmes. Les jeunes d’aujourd’hui et les adultes de demain ont droit au plein emploi. Ne nous éloignons pas de cette ambition de faire de l’Europe un continent où le triple A social a toute sa valeur. Il faudra donc tout faire pour que l’Europe puisse revenir au plein emploi. Ce n’est pas impossible si nous le voulons.


Cela présupposera que nous restions fidèles à ce triangle vertueux: la consolidation budgétaire – essentielle, irremplaçable ou alternativlos, comme dirait une autre –, les réformes structurelles et l’investissement. Nous avons proposé à votre Assemblée et au Conseil un plan d’investissement qui porte sur 315 milliards. Ce plan d’investissement est en train d’être appliqué en détail et d’une façon générale. Je crois que tous ceux qui dirigent les pays européens, tous les acteurs économiques, les entreprises, les chefs d’entreprise et les syndicats doivent devenir des combattants, au nom de l’Europe, de la croissance.

Je ne voudrais pas que le plan d’investissement, qui porte malheureusement mon nom –pour des raisons de facilité, on a choisi de dire que le plan d’investissement est le plan Juncker afin qu’un responsable soit désigné en cas d’échec – soit un échec. Je voudrais que tous les acteurs économiques et sociaux et que tous les acteurs politiques s’impliquent dans l’application de ce plan d’investissement, qui est un plan pour l’Europe, pour l’emploi et pour la croissance.


Mais tout cela, Mesdames et Messieurs les Députés, n’est pas suffisant. Il faudra que nous déterminions la route, le chemin, la voie à emprunter et à suivre. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous avons proposé le programme des “cinq présidents” sur l’approfondissement de l’Union économique et monétaire. Je dis “cinq présidents” parce que j’avais choisi, non pas dans un moment de faiblesse autobiographique mais pour des raisons de principe, que le président du Parlement, en son nom personnel, devait être associé à la rédaction de ce rapport. Le Parlement européen, tout de même, est un parlement et faire comme si l’avenir de l’Europe et de l’Union économique et monétaire pouvait se faire sans la participation directe et immédiate du Parlement européen est un leurre. J’avais donc choisi d’associer votre président, Martin Schulz, à nos travaux durant lesquels il a présenté ses points de vue personnels. Je ne les ai pas tous appréciés, mais il a fait aussi entrer dans le débat interinstitutionnel les positions si souvent exprimées par votre parlement et notamment celles exprimées par notre ami Othmar Karas dont le rapport, qui porte à juste titre son nom, explique que la présence du Parlement européen dans le devenir de l’Union économique et monétaire devrait être plus prononcée qu’elle ne l’a été jusqu’à présent.

Oui, il faut à l’Europe un gouvernement économique. Je ne le dis pas aujourd’hui pour la première fois. Je le dis depuis 1991, lorsque jeune ministre des finances, avec Nicolas Schmit – qui est d’ailleurs de toutes les combines dans mon pays et au-delà –, j’ai dirigé la conférence intergouvernem