World, Europe

Spain's Sanchez proposes political moves to boost EU

European Parliament elections in May could promote or damage Europe, says Spanish president

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 21.03.2019
Spain's Sanchez proposes political moves to boost EU Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez

ANKARA

Spain's president has called on the EU to protect the bloc in European Parliament elections set for May 26. 

The outcome of the polls could promote or damage the EU, Pedro Sanchez told the Protect the Idea of Europe conference in the capital Madrid on Tuesday.

Sanchez advocated a "more social" Europe to recover the spirit and European cohesion, where no citizen feels excluded.

"We have to protect Europe so that Europe protects its citizens," he reiterated.

Sanchez also proposed eight political actions to boost the European movement, including modernizing the economy, supporting the single currency, preserving the social contract, completing a "feminist Europe," continuing the fight climate change, supporting immigration, pursuing a firm and effective foreign policy, and having an "ambitious" European budget.

"I have always believed that Europe is, above all, a community of values. But it is also a community of interests that must be protected and can only be protected through unity," said Sanchez.

Sanchez stressed that the geopolitical threats that EU face are real and EU must act "decisively" against them.

He said Spain has a fundamental role in this scenario as the only country to share a border with Africa, and also serve as a getaway to Latin America and as a relevant player in the Mediterranean.

Sanchez also said Spain will have a constructive position on achieving an orderly Brexit, adding that if the U.K. proposes an extension to the exit date "it must indicate why, for what purpose, and for how long".

"Walking in circles is not the solution," said Sanchez.

Sanchez's remarks came on the eve of a Thursday meeting of the Extraordinary European Council to study various Brexit scenarios.

If agreed, a new Brexit date will have to be ratified by the 27 members of the bloc before it can be formally approved by Brussels.

U.K. voters decided to leave the union in a 2016 referendum.

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