Citizens of EU member states primarily expect the EU to offer them physical and socio-economic security, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said at a press conference in Tallinn on Tuesday.
"They wish to be protected from terrorism, wish for the problems of [illegal] immigration to be solved, and wish for unemployment problems to be solved, especially regarding the unemployment of the youth," Tajani said when asked by BNS what the situation in the EU is like in his assessment. "If we can solve these three problems, if we show the young that Europe can protect them, then we have performed our duties and Europe's health will improve considerably."
According to Tajani, a majority of European citizens — at Spanish, Austrian and Dutch election, German local election, French presidential election — clearly showed that they wish to be members of the EU. "But election results show that there are also citizens who are discontent," he noted. "We can't underestimate thi discontent; we can't look past it. We have to protect Europe and improve everything that is not well. Europe has to start serving its citizens more and citizens mainly want three things."
The results of a recent Eurobarometer survey show that for the first time since 2007, the attitude of European citizens regarding the EU has begun improving and hopes are increasing, Tajani highlighted.
"But hope is not enough," he continued. "Action is also needed so that during Estonia's EU presidency in the next half-year it would be possible to find solutions, concrete answers to the problems I mentioned that interest all European citizens from Tallinn to Valletta, from Rome to Lisbon, from Madrid to Stockholm — the fight against terrorism, solving immigration problems and reducing employment."
The Conference of Presidents consists of the President of the European Parliament and the chairmen of its political groups. Tajani and the accompanying delegation are visiting Tallinn in connection with Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, which will run from July 1st through the end of 2017.
Editor: Aili Vahtla