Prague, Dec 10 (CTK) – Europe is faced with threats which EU members cannot manage individually, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said at a press conference after the first part of a meeting of the broader leadership of the European People´s Party (EPP) about the future of the EU yesterday.
Czech Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek, chairman of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), who attended the morning part of the meeting, said cooperation of the member countries and unity are necessary for the future of Europe.
Schaeuble said it is not right if nationalism gathers force as emotions are running high.
He said current problems require European answers, which concerns both the economic situation where most countries need structural economic reforms and dealing with the influx of migrants and border protection.
Schaeuble said no member country is capable of solving these problems by itself.
Belobradek said Europe must defend the values on which it was built up – freedom, democracy, free market, solidarity and subsidiarity. There is no future for those giving up their identity.
The meeting of the broader leadership of the EPP, the strongest European Parliament (EP) party of which MEPs elected for the KDU-CSL and the opposition TOP 09/STAN are also members, will last three days.
On the eve of the conference, EPP group chairman Manfred Weber told CTK that the European project is undergoing a deep crisis and faces a huge pressure.
Unlike five years ago, when the EU was tormented by mainly economic problems, its present crisis is of a political character. People are losing their confidence in the idea of cooperation between states, Weber said.
During the meeting yesterday, Weber told the media that in the debate he named five basic problems for the EPP to cope with. The following discussion focused on these problems.
The problems are the economy, mainly unemployment of young people, the rising danger of terrorism, the migrant crisis, Britain´s insistence on an EU reform and the rise of Russian nationalism, Weber said.
He said a large part of the debate dealt with the situation of refugees.
The EPP promotes a balanced approach to the issue. As a rich continent, Europe is obliged to help refugees. On the other hand, the EPP wants a stronger protection of the EU´s outer border, Weber said.
He said the EPP will resolutely fight for a strong Schengen and free and open Europe without internal border checks.
The EPP meeting includes talks about migration with representatives of churches and religious communities.
The discussions will also be attended by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for the budget, commissioners Tibor Navracsics and Christos Stylianides, and TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek.
On the sidelines of the EPP meeting, Schaeuble met Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) to discuss economic issues and also the migrant crisis.
They agreed on the need to ensure the protection of EU´s external border. Schaeuble said he supports the formation of European border police.