On 7 October, the European Parliament saw the second joint address by two heads of state in EU history. Some 25 years after the joint Mitterand-Kohl speech, now the floor was Merkel´s and Hollande´s. EP President Martin Schulz invited the two statesmen to deliver a historical speech in time of big EU-wide crises. As expected, migration was key among the address´ topics. But other issues were mentioned too – TTIP or climate change. According to POLITICO, the speech was a passionate defense of “more Europe”, but in present circumstances it sounded rather unreal. The two leaders stressed, as Juncker in his recent State of the EU speech did, that the EU is not in a good place and more cooperation is needed to tackle the many crises. But popular support for the European project is falling. Also, the case for more Europe was not to win brighter tomorrows, but to avoid far darker ones. Although it may well be true, the alternative for more common EU action might be worse, it is hardly an argument for disenchanted EU citizens.
6th October 2021
9th July 2021