S&D leader Martin Schulz today set out a combative approach to the crisis and called for resolute action at EU level to safeguard the prosperity of future generations.
In a keynote Strasbourg debate on the state of the European Union, Mr Schulz condemned EU governments for ”shuttle diplomacy between EU capitals”. He demanded that the EU ”act as a community” and meet economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges together.
”There is nothing wrong with European integration,” he said. ”There is no crisis of ideals. We have a crisis of leadership.”
Criticising the side-lining of EU institutions as governments revert to diplomacy between capitals, Mr Schulz said: ”Given the contemporary 21st century challenges we face, it is not appropriate to use 19th century Vienna Congress methods to solve our problems.”
He added: ”Europe is suffering. This shuttle diplomacy between capitals is being bullied by the markets.”
Mr Schulz welcomed Commission President José Manuel Barroso’s spirited defence of the European Union and its values and his agreement to the S&D group’s long-standing demand for a tax on financial transactions.
In a concluding flourish, Mr Schulz rounded on ”those who wave flags, who preach national slogans”, declaring: ”These are the people who are sowing fear among future generations.
”That is why the pro-European groups in this House are called upon to act together.”