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Manfred Weber´s speech, President of the European People's Party in the European Parliament and CSU member

Added 5/27/2017
Press release - 27. 5. 2017
Dear Pavel [Bělobrádek], dear friends, dear colleagues,
dear brothers and sisters [typical form to address the Czech Christion Democrats],
 
First, let me thank you for your invitation. As the leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament, it is my honour and my duty to keep the contact with our member parties. KDU-CSL is one of the oldest parties in the Czech republic and the oldest Czech EPP-member party. You can be proud of this history and I´m sure that the basis for this long-standing success are your ideas. Christian values, defender of Czech interests and part of our common European future.
 
Brussels? That is the synonym of European politics, and I know, it does  not sound good. Not here in Prague, not in Bavaria, my home region and not all over Europe. What went wrong with European politics?
 
First, Europe made a lot of mistakes. There was too much bureaucracy, there is too much crisis management, there is too much intervention in people´s daily lives , too much anger. Yes, and we corrected this in the last three years, during this mandate. We concentrate on big things, only 20% of the regulations compared to the past are today on the table. Big on Big things, small on small things. We learned the lesson.
 
Secondly, we have to take  responsibility! In more than 98% of all  decisions taken in Brussels,  the Czech goverment is voting in favour of the EU-law. But at home, Babis and other politicians are attacking Brussels. Why do they vote in favour then? No, it is not bureaucrats who decide  about  EU-legislation. It is  elected politicians. They are responsible. So stop this EU-bashing Mr. Zeman and Mr. Babis!
 
And thirdly, if we want to win the support of people for Europe, we have to talk about the successes! Two weeks ago I was in Washington. Let’s compare what we have achieved in Europe as compared to the US.
•  Last year, we Europeans had a better economic growth rate then the United States of America. The positive economic situation in the Czech Republic was only possible through your participation in the European single market. Europe means jobs and prosperity for the people.
•  We Europeans are taking the lead in fighting against climate change. We managed to reached global agreement in Paris to limit the impact on climate change. Americans deny the existence of climate change.
•  And we Europeans are proud of our social model. All over Europe we have established health care systems. Everyone, regardless how rich he of she is, gets help. In America they abolished Obama Care, 24 million Americans are losing their  access to health care.
So we are not perfect, but the European way of life is a good model.
And together, we are working hard to address   current challenges.
·       We have to stop illegal migration. We strengthened FRONTEX, the European border and coast guard agency. We established a strong border protection in the Mediterranean Sea and along the whole “Balkan route”,
·       Terrorism! look at what happened in Manchester! children? unbelievable! The offender was a British citizen,  he grew up in UK. We must fight against terrorism: The cooperation of our police forces in the fight against international terrorism is crucial for our security!
·       We must preserve and strengthen our economy. We set currently the legal framework for the digital market. That guarantees prosperity and jobs all around Europe. And we show Google and Facebook to respect our rules.
·       We work for our Farmers, for social justice, for a stable euro, for a strong cooperation between our universities - research is our future and for a strong cooperation in foreign affairs and defence, a key question for our future.
 
And in all this, you can be proud of your team in Brussels:
 
·       In our Group, Michaela ŠOJDROVÁ, Pavel SVOBODA, and Tomáš ZDECHOVSKÝ deliver their results together with other Czech colleagues. Thank you for your great work!
·       And you should know: During our meetings in Brussels, Pavel is strongly defending the Czech and in the same time the European interests. You can count on him. Congratulations!
·       KDU-CSL is really driving the European agenda.
 
And the future is now in our hands. Many want to destroy what we have achieved.
 
·       Vladimir Putin is waging a war in Eastern Ukraine and in Syria. Now he is trying to gain influence in Libya. He wants to get back to the former strength of the Soviet Union. He wants a weak Europe. This is what makes him stronger.
 
·       And Donald Trump - he welcomes BREXIT. He says “America first” and threatens our European companies. He knows that today, a united European Union is economically stronger than the USA! And this is why HE wants a weak Europe!
 
·       And from the inside, there are the populists:
o  Le Pen in France
o  The Far Right in Germany
o  PiS in Poland
o  here in Czech Republic: Mr Babiš & Mr Zeman
 
[Babiš] despises politicians and says he wants to lead the country like a company. And he behaves as if he owned this country. It was unacceptable that the finance minister of a country is at the same time benefiting from state aid. A decent politician must work for his country not for himself.
 
[President Zeman], in a meeting with Vladimir Putin, is joking about liquidating critical journalists. In Russia, more than 360 journalists have been killed since 1990 [BJV, 20.12.2016]. Jokes about our most fundamental freedoms in Europe should be strictly refused by the President of an EU country. The office that was first held by Václav Havel deserves more respect.
 
Therefore, in the coming years, it is OUR task to defend and strengthen the European Way of Life.
 
Europe is not only a common economic area for us. It is a community of values! It stands for democracy, the rule of law, reliability and the social market economy! And Europe is a continent based on Christian values. We are proud of this and we are committed to this!
 
This is why we must continue to work closely together in our European party family, the EPP.
 
Europe is our common future.
 
And a strong KDU-ČSL, under the leadership of Pavel Bělobrádek, is the future of the Czech Republic!