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„What kind of Europe do we want?” EPP Group discusses role of religion in debates on future of Europe



The immense role of religion in the debate on the future of Europe, family, education, youth as a primary source of society’s human, social economic and spiritual capital, and promoting peace and security in Europe and in the EU’s external policies will top the agenda of the EPP Group’s 21st Annual Intercultural Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions in Lisbon (Mafra), from 18-19 October 2018.

„Portugal is the right location to host and discuss issues related to interreligious dialogue. Not only due to its geographical position as the most Western country in Europe, but its centuries-old global experience of evangelisation. Being only a few months away from the European elections, at a very peculiar geopolitical moment, this summit is an extremely relevant event”, said Paulo Rangel MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

György Hölvényi MEP, Co-chair of the EPP Group’s Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue, highlighted: “Approaching the end of the current legislative period, this year’s event will offer the opportunity to overview how our EPP Group facilitated the visibility of the role of churches and religious organisations during this parliamentary term. It is high time to present all the achievements of the dialogue we carried out for religious freedoms and beyond, and to define new directions for the future.“

Jan Olbrycht MEP, also Co-chair of the EPP Group’s Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue, pointed out the significance of the debate on the future of Europe: “A dialogue between politicians, intellectuals, churches and religious communities is inevitable. The European Union is our common house and we must work together to support it.“

Guest speakers will include Olivier Poquillon, General Secretary, Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the EU, Natan Peres, Rabbi of the Israelite Community of Lisbon, Hassene Chalghoumi, President of the Conference of Imams, France. The Summit will hear from EPP Group MEPs Michèle Alliot-Marie, Elisabetta Gardini, György Hölvényi, Jan Olbrycht, Paulo Rangel, and Nuno Melo.

The EPP Group is the only political Group in the European Parliament that holds structured and regular meetings and conducts active dialogue with churches and religious organisations.





MEP Vasile Blaga: We cannot achieve the green economy goal without gas and nuclear energy as transitional fuels



© Vasile Blaga / Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) argues that the goal of a green economy cannot be achieved without gas and nuclear energy as transition fuels. He also said it isimportant for Romania to support the European Commission’s proposal to include gas and nuclear energy on the list of transitional fuels.

According to the MEP, Romania, both through the voice of President Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, has taken a position in favour of the European Commission’s proposal to include gas and nuclear energy on the list of transitional fuels.

“The context of the war in Ukraine, however, has given rise to voices in the European Parliament but also in other quarters who argue that the inclusion of gas in the delegated act would directly support Russia and its gas exports,” he added.

“It is an interpretation that creates a causal chain between two elements that are only circumstantially connected. The fact that gas is still considered a transition fuel to green energy does not mean that there is no gas other than that imported from Russia. Basically, the conflict in Ukraine is being used as an opportunity to reject a balanced and moderate vision of the transition to green energy”, said the Romanian MEP for

“Some colleagues who already had a position contrary to that of the Commission saw the conflict in Ukraine as an opportunity to argue. It is categorically false. We cannot achieve the goal of a green economy without gas and nuclear energy as transitional fuels. In any case, it is in Romania’s direct interest to support the European Commission’s proposal”, concluded MEP Vasile Blaga.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: Ukraine and Moldova will be part of the European family



© Vasile Blaga/Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) welcomes the fact that the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have obtained the status of candidate states: “It represents the certainty that both will be members of the European Union, a huge step for the two candidate states, but also for the European Union.”

According to the MEP, the vote in the European Parliament and the decision in the Council say one thing: “the decisions are not symbolic gestures of consolation but certify that Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will be part of the European family.”

He draws attention to the pro-Russian rhetoric that downplays the impact of these decisions: “To those who promote these ideas we say simply: the road of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova is a one-way street. At the end of the road lies integration into the European Union. It is, of course, a road that will require sustained efforts on the part of both candidate countries, but also on the part of the EU institutions.”

“Romania has used all institutional means to ensure that the Republic of Moldova is not decoupled from Ukraine in this decision. It was vital that the two states were granted the status of candidates for EU membership as a package. This is an extraordinary outcome that is well worth mentioning”, he added.

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MEP Vasile Blaga supports a fair green transition for Romania: Gas and nuclear energy must be considered transitory



© Vasile Blaga / Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) reaffirms his support for a fair green transition for Romania, in which gas and nuclear energy are accepted in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Ecological Pact.

The European Parliament hosted yesterday, 30 May, a public hearing whose guests were several experts who debated, together with members of the two committees ECON and ENVI, the inclusion of gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy of the European Union. Many of the opinions expressed push the debate towards a rejection of the European Commission’s proposal of March whereby nuclear energy and gas are considered, under certain conditions, green.

I reaffirm my support for the version proposed by the European Commission. There are many reasons why gas and nuclear energy should be considered transitional in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Green Pact. One of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, relates to the realities on the ground in each Member State. France has a significant share of nuclear power, just as Germany is heavily dependent on gas. The decisions that the European Union needs to implement in order to achieve the objectives – already set and agreed by all Member States – need to be balanced first and foremost”, EPP MEP Vasile Blaga told European Way.

“Countries like Romania or Poland need a realistic transition towards the targets set by the Green Pact. Cohesion and solidarity in the European Union means that each Member State must take into account the other and, as a whole, decisions must not ignore any reality, be it further West or further East”, added the EPP MEP.

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