Former EU Commissioner Fischler ahead of EU elections: “Europe is now more important than ever”

“A large part of the scene has been left to the Orbans in Europe. They need to be regained,” former EU Commissioner Fischler said on Monday.



EU election: These are the ÖVP candidates



Edtstadler on an information tour about the EU elections

The population’s perceived distance from the EU is greater than the objective distance, and this is also true domestically. When it comes to communication on EU issues, former EU Commissioner Franz Fischler (ÖVP) sees “a lot of room for improvement” during a debate at the EU Assembly in Vienna ahead of the European elections.

Former EU Commissioner Fischler: No direct exchange between citizens and Europe

Direct exchange of information about Europe with citizens is now a long way off. Fischler said you can’t blame people for not knowing much about the EU. This trend has become even stronger since the eastward expansion of the EU. It is clear that we must rely on women and young people to move Europe forward, said the former EU Commissioner. Women are better than principled men at making good compromises. According to Eurobarometer research, support for the EU is twice as high among young people as among older people.

“Europe is now more important than ever”

According to Fischler, the European Union is in a difficult situation due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In this respect, things that were never planned happened. “It should be clear to us that we are at war and have been for two years.” This war is closer to Vienna than to Bregenz. Grand challenges can only be organized at the international level. “Europe is more important now than ever,” Fischler said.

On the other hand, there are “certain design flaws” in the European elections. It is difficult to explain that voting rights and voting regulations are different in each EU country. It is also difficult to understand that there is a top candidate model in 2019 that no one remembers. “Politicians should also take their citizens seriously.”

Ederer criticized governments before EU elections

Former EU Foreign Minister Brigitte Ederer (SPÖ) criticized the fact that all governments have used the EU as an excuse since Austria’s accession to the EU. “You don’t get the feeling that you’re part of the European Union.” Official policy almost never emphasizes the benefits of EU membership. But today’s situation is also more difficult: EU member states meet less frequently than in 1995, when Austria joined the EU.

Anna Stürgkh, who is second on NEOS’s list for European elections, criticized the conference on the future of Europe, saying it was “driving away”. There is a need for real citizen participation. Nini Tsiklauri, the leading candidate of the pan-European party VOLT in the European elections, stated that the weather is deteriorating to the detriment of Europe. “There needs to be a movement in Europe,” she said.

(APA/Red)

Source: Vienna

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