"State of the Union: EU must respond to the urgency of the energy crisis while securing long-term reform", says Renew Europe President, Stéphane Séjourné

Author: Antoine Lucien Desire Guery

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Reacting to the speech of Ursula von der Leyen during the “State of the Union” debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Stéphane Séjourné, President of the Renew Europe Group, said:

‘’The EU must respond to the urgency of the energy crisis while securing long-term reform. We want more solidarity towards citizens and our SMEs, by using the rents of energy producers and putting a ceiling on gas imports. We welcome today’s announcement of a tax on excess profits and the possibility of €140 billion revenue; this must be for the European interest. We want more solidarity between States, and with our neighbors, by buying our energy together, by exchanging surpluses and by investing in renewables and the renovation of buildings. We must be the first continent to leave fossil fuels behind."

Renew Europe believes a sovereign Europe is a stronger Europe. Stéphane Séjourné declared:

‘’We must reduce all our dependencies, for food, raw materials, health, digital technology, infrastructure and defense. We welcome today’s announcement of a European Critical Raw Materials Act to identify strategic projects along the supply chain and build up strategic reserves for our Union, and for a Sovereignty Fund to help our industry to invest accordingly. As Europeans, we must ask ourselves this question every day: does this decision make us more sovereign or more dependent? Let us make our Union an economic and geopolitical power.’’

The EU must not be afraid of renewal and reform, argued Stéphane Séjourné:

‘’The Union has shown a certain agility in recent months, but how long will we be able to decide unanimously, and at what cost? How far should we invest together? And on what priorities? It is up to us to act now. With the organization of a Convention following the Conference on the Future of Europe. With a revision of the MFF, our budget, tomorrow.‘’

Warning about the consequences of democratic decline within the European Union, Stéphane Séjourné added:

"Our values must be our compass. Autocratic threats are more acute than ever inside the Union. This is why we count on the Commission to stand more firmly than ever on the conditionality principle. Not one cent must go to Mr. Orban. Look at where our indifference has led us for more than ten years. We have fed the beast that bites us. I am also thinking of Poland. Not one euro of the stimulus package should be managed by Mr. Kaczyński. We will have to stand firm. At the time where other countries can enter in unchartered democratic territories like Italy, this is our warning."