Interview with Iuliu Winkler “The EU is today the only project that is able to secure Europe’s global relevance in the 21st century”
“The EU is today the only project that is able to secure Europe’s global relevance in the 21st century. Furthering the European project is the best way to achieve stability in the Balkans, to secure equilibrium in the neighbourhood of the Russian bear, to leave behind the social and economic crisis and to build a better life to the future generations.” This is the idea of Europe of Iuliu Winkler, Romanian MEP elected in the ranks of the European People’s Party. Winkler, who is part of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (Uniunea democrat Maghiarã din România – ADHR), member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade and a member of the Delegation for relations with India, answered questions of Sguardo Europeo over Europe.
Below his interview:
SG: What Europe is according to you?
IW: If your question refers to the European Union than my answer is that it started like a peace project after the WW2. The EU is today the only project that is able to secure Europe’s global relevance in the 21st century. Furthering the European project is the best way to achieve stability in the Balkans, to secure equilibrium in the neighbourhood of the Russian bear, to leave behind the social and economic crisis and to build a better life to the future generations. If your question regards Europe as a continent and as a unique mixture of history, traditions, nations and communities, than the answer should be an essay longer than this interview can allow.
SG: If you have to explain in a Tweet what Europarlament is, what could you write?
IW: The EP is the only directly elected body of the EU, the enhancement of its role is an efficient way to reduce EU´s democratic deficit. SG: Which is your opinion on the last 5 years of European Union? IW: Finding solutions for the economic and social crises was the most important challenge of the first part of the EP mandate. Unfortunately, as expected, the crisis resulted in the revival of internal protectionism, nationalism, xenophobia and euro scepticism. I am sincerely disappointed that the community method was frequently shadowed by fervent intergovernmentalism which is the wrong path to choose. I sincerely hope that EP election will mark a new beginning a re-evaluation of the vision of the founding fathers of the EU and the revitalisation of the community method.
SG: According to you, which are the most important acts of the Europarlament in these 5 years?
IW: The steps towards European economic governance (EU2020 Strategy, the Stability and Growth Pact including its components: Two pack, Six Pack, European Semester and Banking Union). The adoption of the MFF 2014-2020 which is the expression of the EU2020 Strategy, altogether the package consists of more than 70 elements is the framework for the EU policies for the next seven years. Unfortunately the new Multiannual Financial Framework is shadowed by the wrong political decision imposed by heads of states and governments to decrease (for the first time in its history) the budgetary provisions as compared to the previous period.
SG: Which are the most important acts of your activity as MEP in the last 5 years?
IW: My activity in quantitative terms can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/39725/Iuliu%20WINKLER_home.html.
My political activity in Brussels, Strasbourg and at home in Transylvania can be found here http://www.winklergyula.ro/index.php/en/
SG: If you will be elected again in the Europarlament, which will be the first thing you will do in the new mandate?
IW: The first thing to do during the negotiation process which will lead to the new structure of the EP, will be to secure the committee memberships which will allow me to continue the projects I already started during my previous terms.
SG: Who could be, according to you, a good President for the next EU Commission and why?
IW: The EC needs a new president with a very solid professional background in economics and/or finances, because the challenges the EC will have to overcome in the next years are mainly of an economic nature. Political skills will also be necessary, thus high profile political background won’t hurt.
SG: If i mention to you the “United States of Europe”, what do you answer?
IW: If “United States of Europe” means the political Union, which was the original vision of the founding fathers than my answer is: this is my vision too. A more detailed answer was already formulated by me and my Luxemburgish colleague Frank Engel in a publication which can be found here: http://neweuropenow.ro/index.php/the-book/
Marco Villa, Sguardo Europeo