29 Apr, 2024

Strack-Zimmermann pushes for EU security in Maastricht

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann highlighted security as a key liberal priority for the European elections at the 2024 Maastricht Debate. 

Strack-Zimmermann, the ALDE Party lead candidate for the European elections, went head-to-head with lead candidates of other European political families as they discussed their vision and policy proposals. 

Representing Renew Europe Now, the electoral platform of ALDE Party, Renaissance and the European Democratic Party, Strack-Zimmermann pinpointed security as the key issue which will shape voting intention in June. 

“Today we have debated several important issues - and I believe security emerged as key. Our prosperity and well-being depend upon it. But when I speak of security I am talking about your security in all senses. Not about the job security of the ones standing on this stage,” she said. 

Read below the main highlights of the debate. 

Enable farmers to succeed in the climate transition 

Candidates opened the debate by supplying their respective views on how to address the climate change crisis and safeguard the planet’s future. 

Strack-Zimmermann argued we must we must actively engage all stakeholders and take a real human-centred approach in the climate transition for it to truly be a success. 

“Farmers are not the enemies of climate like the left says, not a tool to avoid climate action like the far right wants. Many farmers want to do the climate transition but they want us to support them in this, and we must be by their side,” she said.  

“One market, one rule; we must make reporting simpler and the same reporting everywhere in the EU. This helps the farmers, not only EU programmes. We have to know that only together can we do this; with the farmers, not against them.” 

Protect, enlarge, reform and unite Europe 

In a dedicated section on the EU’s foreign and security policy, Strack-Zimmermann laid out the liberal ambition to achieve a geopolitical Europe which acts with one voice. 

Strack-Zimmermann, the chair of the Defence Committee in the German Bundestag, highlighted how liberals want to strengthen defence by building a common defence Union, while continuing to help Ukraine win the war. 

“If you travel through Ukraine and see what happens there, then you would know we have to learn to work together. If Ukraine lose this war, it will be a catastrophe for the whole world. We have to stand together and create a common defence plan,” she said. 

Strack-Zimmermann also emphasised the need to shift to qualified majority voting in foreign affairs, defence and security policy, preventing individual countries from obstructing the EU’s joint ability to act. 

“You wouldn’t be able to explain to anyone in Europe why one country can stop everything in the European Union. We need to change this principle: a majority is a majority, you could see what was happening when Hungary at one point could stop everything. It’s really strange that Viktor Orbán went to the toilet for €10 billion because nobody wanted him to say that he doesn’t want to help Ukraine,” she said. 

Your Europe, your freedom 

European liberals want to build a Europe where politicians connect with citizens to create fair, efficient and transparent institutions. 

Strack-Zimmermann highlighted how we need to reform European institutions and hold accountable those that breach the rule of law by using the power of the EU treaties. 

“The rule of law in EU Member States affects the whole European Union. We have to tell them that if they don’t stop it, we can remove their possibility to vote. We have to be really strong in this case, otherwise we lose this free and independent European Union,” she said. 

In her closing remarks, Strack-Zimmermann reiterated how safety is the priority for the next generation of Europeans. 

“My hope is that tonight's debate has inspired you to raise your voices. Let optimism fuel your commitment to our liberal, secure vision for Europe. A Europe where my grandchildren, where you, can flourish in safety, prosperity, and freedom.” 

Click here for more information on Renew Europe Now’s electoral priorities and lead candidates. 

For more questions contact Luis Cano at [email protected] or +36704092084. 

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