EU candidates’ quotes: 23 May

Juncker (EPP), Schulz (PES), Verhofstadt (ALDE), Bové & Keller (Greens) and Tsipras (GUE/NGL). Sources : Wikimedia Commons (EPP; Superbenjamin; White House; David Monniaux; Sarah Benke; FrangiscoDer). For licence to reuse, check the relevant links.

Juncker (EPP), Schulz (PES), Verhofstadt (ALDE), Bové & Keller (Greens) and Tsipras (GUE/NGL).
Sources : Wikimedia Commons (EPP; Superbenjamin; White House; David Monniaux; Sarah Benke; FrangiscoDer). For licence to reuse, check the relevant links.

Jean-Claude Juncker (PPE)

3 calls to European citizens: “I call on all European citizens, first of all to make use of their right to vote in the days to come. […] My second call is: Do vote, but do not give your votes to extremists, xenophobes or fascists […]. My third call is, of course, give your vote to a member party of the European People’s Party.” (Press conference, 21 May)

Learning about Europe: “In more than 30 days of campaigning across Europe, I have learnt a lot. […] Only populists want to make us believe that Europe is a simple continent, with simple answers for the future. By contrast, I know that Europe is a complex continent, and that therefore, responsible politicians need to invest time and energy to continue learning about our continent, the diversity of our Member States and new challenges ahead.” (Press conference, 21 May)

Single Market: “I have made the development of a truly single market a political priority for my term as Commission President. We need to get rid of roaming charges in Europe […]. We need more connectivity across borders, pan-European telecoms operators, trustworthy data protection rules with a high level of protection in all Member States and more modern European copyright rules.” (Press conference, 21 May)

Economy: “I commit, as Commission President, to work for new growth without debt. For a stable financial system that serves the real economy, and does not endanger it with speculation and too much private debt. Growth and jobs without new debt – this is what I will work for as Commission President.” (Press conference, 21 May)

Europe in the world: “Europe must take on a more responsible role in the world. We cannot and must not sit idly by when thousands of refugees desperately try to reach our shores across the Mediterranean while fleeing from political or religious prosecution or from devastating economic and social circumstances. As Christian Democrats, we can and must never accept that the Mediterranean becomes a graveyard!” (Press conference, 21 May)

Martin Schulz (PES)

French National Front (FN): “A vote for the FN is a vote lost. […] They don’t do anything, they don’t work.” (Metronews)

Changing Europe: “In Brussels, we talk about billions. […] But most citizens live with less than €2000/month. So, they think that Europe doesn’t care about them. We need at the head of the Commission someone who knows about the problems of these people struggling every day with their low income.” (Metronews)

Google: “Whoever knows everything about citizens, firms and politicians achieves a level of power which doesn’t belong in a pluralistic democracy.” (rawstory.com)

Israel: “The EU has no intention to boycott Israel. For me as a German boycotting Israel products is totally unthinkable and unacceptable. I have made this clear on several occasions including during my recent visit to Israel that I am opposed to boycotts.” (European Jewish Press)

Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE)

European integration: “We need a leap forward in the European integration.” (20 minutes)

TTIP: “It’s a great opportunity, but we must not give up our standards, our norms in matters of health, environment and social protection. We must also obtain guarantees on privacy.” (20 minutes)

Immigration: “Thinking that closing national borders will solve all problems related to immigration and security, it’s ridiculous. In a globalised world, it’s only at European scale that we will be able to reinvent our sovereignty.” (Paris match)

Energy: “It must become possible to export solar energy produced in Spain to the other Member States. Today, it’s not the case [and we] must import Russian gas for our energy needs.” (Europe 1)

Ska Keller (Greens)

War on terrorism: “The EU and the member states must come to terms with their complicity in secret detention and extra-judicial killings, including full accountability for the human rights violations committed in the CIA rendition programme. The ‘war on terror’ must be formally ended.” (Greens’ common manifesto)

Democratisation of the EU: “We want to broaden the scope of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI, which enables 1 million EU citizens to call directly on the Commission to propose a legal act) and make it more efficient and citizen-friendly. We also want to create a legal basis for EU-wide referenda.” (Greens’ common manifesto)

Alexis Tsipras (GUE/NGL)

Israel: “The European Left demands the suspension of the Israel/EU Association Agreement as long as Israel violates international human rights.” (European Left manifesto)

NATO: “The European left wants member states out from ΝΑTO, the dismantling of ΝΑΤΟ bases in Europe. Europe must not be militarized and must not cooperate with NATO.” (European Left manifesto)

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