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Ursula von der Leyen for Calea Europeană: Europe will never be a purely military alliance. The European Defence Union will always be complementary to NATO



© European Commission

Conducted by Dan Cărbunaru, edited by Robert Lupițu

NATO is the strongest military Alliance in the world, while Europe will never be a purely military alliance, says Ursula von der Leyen the new President of the European Commission. After her College of Commissioners confirmation vote in the European Parliament, von der Leyen discussed with CaleaEuropeană.ro and other major EU media outlets on the challenges and priorities of the Commission for the next five years.

NATO will always be collective defence, the article 5. Always. Is it the strongest military Alliance in the world and Europe will never be a purely military alliance. That is clear”, said von der Leyen, former German minister of Defence, in a response to a question of CaleaEuropeană.ro‘s director, Dan Cărbunaru, on the Commission’s approach on defence and the relation with NATO considering Macron’s latest statements about the “brain death” of the Atlantic alliance.

On the other hand, von der Leyen suggested that while being complementary to NATO, the European Union has to gain autonomy because of its “unique sets of instruments”.

There are fields where I do not see NATO, but the European Union with its unique sets of instruments – from development cooperation to neighbourhood funds, strong diplomacy and stabilization forces – is needed or called upon. And for that, in crisis or prevention, the European Union has to have functioning structured and procedures. If I look at the defence sector over the last three years, Europa has stepped up impressively by building up the European Defence Union. In order that if the political will is there to act we are able to act. In parenthesis, five years ago in Mali, Europe wanted to do something and was not able. And we have to have the structures and procedures to do so and this is about the European Defence Union” she explained.

Finally, she argued strongly that “the European Defence Union will always be complementary to NATO“.

“Twenty-two member states are also in the alliance of NATO. Or it is smart to be complementary and not redundant, she concluded.

Her remarks, followed by her vision on the relations with US and China, come before the NATO gathering in London, next week, where Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and the other Euro-atlantic leaders will discuss the future of the Alliance.

As for the relations with US and China, Ursula von der Leyen had a tailored and values based approached.

“For our American friends, I will never forget that we are always sitting on the same side of the table when it comes to transatlantic bonds and shared values. Because our transatlantic friendship it is built of resilience, of personal friendship, cultural exchange, students exchange, business contacts, projects we have together. It is a solid foundation that carried us for many decades and I will cherish it. Of course, we do have tough issues. We are debating with the White House, but knowing how close our ties are, I think it is a good thing to be frank with each other, to negotiate hard, but to never forget we have a common cause”, she said.

“China is challenging us in many ways. I think there are topics where we should be very clear on. From human rights to human security, but there are also topics where we can build a positive agenda. One of them is fight against climate change. China now moving on the direction of working close with those who are fulfilling the Paris Agreement. (…) On 5G,  the Commission has gathered all the main points from the member states and we will come up with a recommendation on how to deal with that topic till the end of the year. I think we will be clear on standards. That should be a common approach in the whole European Union”, she concluded.


Robert Lupițu este redactor-șef, specialist în relații internaționale, jurnalist în afaceri europene și doctorand în domeniul reasigurării strategice a NATO. Robert este laureat al concursului ”Reporter și Blogger European” la categoria Editorial și co-autor al volumelor ”România transatlantică” și ”100 de pași pentru o cetățenie europeană activă”. Face parte din Global Shapers Community, o inițiativă World Economic Forum, și este Young Strategic Leader în cadrul inițiativelor The Aspen Institute. Din 2019, Robert este parte a programului #TT27 Leadership Academy organizat de European Political Strategy Center, think tank-ul Comisiei Europene.

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Head of Romanian EPP MEPs responds to S&D Group leader: Treat Romania differently. You cannot compare PSD’s attacks against the rule of law with EPP Government measures



© European Parliament Media Center

The actions undertaken against the rule of law by the former Social-Democrat governments in Romania cannot be compared with recent measures announced by the centre-right government, member of EPP family, says MEP Rareș Bogdan, head of the Romanian delegation within the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

In an exclusive statement for CaleaEuropeană.ro, Bogdan responded to critics drawn by Iratxe Garcia, leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. In a Twitter post earlier on Monday, Garcia said EPP Romanian government should take note of Venice Commission, which prohibits changing the electoral law one year ahead of the elections.

The Spaniard MEP advised the Romanian Government against going the ”same path as Poland and Hungary” in ”undermining the rule of law”.

In his reaction, Rareș Bogdan mentioned that we would ask for a discussion with ”Mrs. Garcia to clarify that her statement was made without knowing the reality in Romania and the steps taken by the Orban government”.

“I think there is no bad will, but a simply less unfortunate information about the situation in Romania”, he replied.

”There is no term of comparison” between PSD and PNL, said Bogdan, ”although both parties are from Romania”.

”You cannot compare the continuous attack of PSD against Romania’s strategic partnerships with the EU and the US, against the rule of law (…) with the natural, logical and normal proposal of PNL, using constitutional tools, to introduce a two rounds vote for the local elections in June 2020. The purpose of our proposal is to enhance the representativeness and legitimacy of the elected local politician. By introducing a two rounds election we do not reduce, in any case, electoral rights”, explained the head of the Romanian delegation in the EPP Group.

Moreover, Rareș Bogdan asked that the situation in Romania to be treated ”differently”, considering Garcia’s comparison with the situations in Poland and Hungary.

“My request is that our colleagues in the European Parliament treat Romania as a different situation. Also, pay close attention to the statements of the leaders in Bucharest, led by President Klaus Iohannis and the right-wing Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who have no connection with the statements made by Romanian officials at the head of the Government or Parliament in the period 2017-2019”, said Bogdan.


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Take part in the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign. EPP group urge the Member States to join forces and fight cancer together



© EPP/ Facebook

EPP Group, the largest political family in the European Parliament, is launching a cancer awareness campaign, the disease that causes one of four deaths in Europe.

Through #EUCanBeatCancer campaign, the EPP group calls for better cooperation between research centers in Europe, more money for cancer research, but also fair and accessible care across Europe for citizens.

© EPP/ Facebook

How can you get involved in the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign

You can join the 1537 citizens already registered in the campaign through 4 simple steps:

  1. You subscribe using the email address HERE
  2. Follow the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  3. Use the Twibbon  in the profile picture
  4. Draw the Twibbon symbol and post it in order to show support

Everyone has their own story about cancer, even European politicians or leaders:








According to the World Health Organization, one third of cancers are preventable and half of the deaths could be prevented.

Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in Romania and in many cases the disease is detected when it is already in an advanced stage.

According to the private health network, Regina Maria, in Romania, 80% of breast cancers are diagnosed in the advanced phase, a stage in which the treatment can not bring healing, but only prolong the survival.

Romania had the lowest rates  (0.2% of women aged 50-69 – 2015) in breast cancer screening.


Our multimedia platform – Calea Europeana – has joined the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign. During the campaign informative articles will be published and we will keep you updated with the measures taken at European level to beat cancer.

© CaleaEuropeana


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Citizens’ and Youth Agoras to be the cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe, MEPs say



© European Parliament

Citizen and Youth meetings should set the tone for EU reform, according to the resolution adopted on Wednesday by the European Parliament, were MEPs propose establishing several Citizens’ and Youth Agoras under the Future of Europe Conference that should be launched on Europe Day 2020.

Following a debate with Dubravka Šuica, Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography and Nikolina Brnjac, representing the Croatian Presidency of the Council, Parliament adopted a resolution setting out its vision for the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe with 494 votes for, 147 against and 49 abstentions.

MEPs want citizens to be at the core of broad discussions on how to tackle internal and external challenges that were not foreseen at the time of the Lisbon Treaty. People of all backgrounds, civil society representatives and stakeholders at European, national, regional and local level must be involved in setting the EU’s priorities in line with citizens’ concerns in a bottom-up, transparent, inclusive, participatory and well-balanced approach.

Parliament proposes establishing several Citizens’ Agoras (thematic fora of citizen representatives chosen randomly in line with proportionality and representativeness criteria), and at least two Youth Agoras, each comprising 200-300 citizens with a minimum of three per member state. Citizen representatives will discuss Agora conclusions at the Conference Plenary with MEPs and national parliament representatives, Council ministers, Commission Vice-Presidents and representatives of other EU institutions, bodies and social partners.

You can also read about Agora – Future of Europe concept launched in 2017 by CaleaEuropeană.ro and the EC Representation in Romania

In addition to high-level support from the presidents of the three main EU institutions, Parliament urges Council and Commission to commit to the possibility of treaty change. The adopted text also underlines that a permanent mechanism to engage citizens should be considered.

Parliament is the first among the three main EU institutions to adopt a position on the set-up and scope of the upcoming Conference. Negotiations with the Commission and the European Council should be concluded in time for the Conference to be launched on Europe Day 2020 (May 9) and run until summer 2022.

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