State of the Union 2015

Plenary debate on 9 September

Statement by Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts ahead the annual State of the Union which will take place on 9 September in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

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"Faced with a series of crises with a devastating impact on people's lives, the Union's divided state is a major problem.

Nowhere is this better represented than in the current acute refugee emergency. The chaotic and, in places, inhumane response to the refugee emergency across Europe is now clearly a threat to the common values on which the EU is founded. Europe's internal squabbling and lack of solidarity is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis for which we share responsibility.

National egotism is also standing in the way of a lasting and just solution to the Euro crisis, notably in Greece. The social and humanitarian crisis in Greece needs to be a much greater focus of the EU response, as does providing a viable economic perspective for the country. It is also clear that the continued failure to resolve Greece's totally unsustainable debt burden is only prolonging the misery.

On climate change, Europe has gone from being a leader to a laggard. The UN climate summit in Paris is a make or break moment and the EU will need to seriously up its ambition if it is to play a leading role at COP21. Instead, we are witnessing EU governments and the Commission increasing standing in the way of the transition to a sustainable economy and measures to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions.

It is only by standing united and pursuing ambitious and humane responses to these crises that the Union can be credible. Failure to resolve the division will ultimately pose a serious threat to the EU itself."

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