On Wednesday 12 September the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker offered the yearly State of the Union speech at the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg.
Guy Verhofstadt MEP, the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, responded to him in a once again pro-European passionate speech.
"Will we be capable to turn this legacy into reality? That’s the existential question the European Union will face in the coming year. The resistance is big. Nationalism and populism. Authoritarian leaders like Kaczynski, Orbán, who are hijacking their European parties - a little bit like Trump did with the Republican Party. The inconvenient truth is that the far-right are trying to take over from within. And that’s exactly the opposite of your legacy, Jean-Claude. It’s so important in the vote within a few moments, we all pro-Europeans, including the EPP, are united against this authoritarian tendency. Because to lead Europe, you don’t only need mathematical strength, you also need moral authority."
"Orbán and Kaczynski are trying to do what Trump did with the Republican Party. The alt-right is trying to take over the EU from within. All pro-Europeans must unite to prevent this." @guyverhofstadt #SOTEU pic.twitter.com/itqJag4K0l— Renew Europe (@RenewEurope) September 12, 2018
"So let’s not become Eurosceptics, copy them, not even tolerate them in our groups. We need to fight them together. By strengthening our European values, by deepening our European project. In this respect, I ask to the Commission that in the coming months, together with this Parliament that we appoint a special prosecutor. We need to protect our elections from foreign meddling. Identifying the foreign agents who are active on European social-media platforms, as well as the extremist politicians with whom they are colluding."
"In the US, Robert Mueller is Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in elections. Europe needs to catch up by establishing its own special prosecutor to investigate & stop all disinformation campaigns." @guyverhofstadt #SOTEU #EP2019 pic.twitter.com/qXcwF15X0I— Renew Europe (@RenewEurope) September 12, 2018
"This is the year of truth for Europe. People are not against Europe. But want to see European action:
"At the beginning of your mandate, Jean-Claude, you warned us that this was the “Commission of the last chance”. Well, your “Commission of the last chance” needs be succeeded by a Commission of a new tide, a true European government. A government that takes up the refoundation of our Union as its “raison d’être”. Based on your legacy. Based on similar ideas like the Sorbonne speech of President Macron. That’s at stake. That’s the choice we want to give to Europeans next year. A true European alternative to the narrow vision and populists."