The European People’s Party (EPP) family, together with EPP President Joseph Daul, welcomes European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s reflections and scenarios rergarding the future of Europe. Following President Juncker’s presentation in the European Parliament, EPP President Joseph Daul said:

“Sixty years ago, our founding fathers dared to dream. It was the most impossible dream, during the most difficult of times for Europe. They were faced with two choices: to unite or continue fighting. Sixty years ago, ‘Europe’ has shown to have been the right answer to overcome wars on our continent, and to provide solutions to unite and improve the lives of Europeans. Today, the citizens of Europe are offered five choices because the decision on the future of Europe belongs most, and foremost, to all of them.

While the European citizens will start reflecting on the President Juncker’s five scenarios for Europe, our choice is clear. Our union has always been much more than just about trade or a common currency. Our union has always been about its people, about protecting and making their everyday lives better. Sometimes we’ve stumbled, but many more times we’ve succeeded. Sometimes we have seen our visions accomplished; at other times we have compromised in order to remain united in our diversity. We need the European Union to answer to current and future challenges.

This is the beginning of a period of reflection and dialogue, where people from all walks of life will speak up and politicians will take actions by the end of this year, based on their citizens’ will. The people of Europe will show the way and we must ensure to lead them and our union towards a better future for us all.

The EU is composed of proud nations, ready to continue at different speeds together, but without leaving anyone behind. We must respect the choices of those who are comfortable with the current level of integration and pave the way ahead for those ready to move forward. A multi-speed Europe is a choice, not an obligation. Our Europe must focus on acting immediately and delivering in a timely fashion in areas that matter to all Europeans.

President Juncker’s White Paper on the Future of Europe also comes at the right moment for the European centre-right. The EPP stands committed to participate in this reflection process, ready with its own initiatives to make Europe better for its people. The most important EPP gathering of our political family, the EPP Congress – to take place on 29-30 March in Malta – will focus exactly on this topic: the future of Europe. Ahead of our gathering, the EPP will present its own vision for the union’s future.

Separating banks from states to ensure that never again taxpayers’ money be used to rescue banks, as we proposed in our paper on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union; or creating a true European defence force to maintain peace, not to make war: these are just a few proposals on the table. We must also insist that the Council meetings be opened to the public so that ‘Europe’ can no longer be used as a scapegoat whenever convenient for national narratives.

We find ourselves at crossroads, but we must continue to defend the values that unite and that define us. While the challenges ahead of us are global, our future must remain European.”