Iuliu Winkler, MEP: Over 90% of the Europeans are worried about the rising cost of living

Over 90% of the European citizens are worried about the increase in the cost of living, MEP Iuliu Winkler (UDMR, EPP) said in a press conference in Deva, citing the Eurobarometer polls from 2023. MEP Winkler, who is Vice-Chair of the INTA Committee of the European Parliament, believes that this will be a main topic of the electoral campaign for the 2024 European elections.

„The cost-of-living crisis is caused by fuel price increases, the energy crisis, inflation, and the accelerated green transition that is becoming unbearable for most citizens. Among all the areas of the globe, the European Union is under the worst pressure due to wars in Ukraine and Israel, because we are at the confluence of the two sources of instability,” MEP Winkler told the press conference.

According to him, the second major theme of the campaign for the European Parliament will be migration, a subject that has remained constant in the attention of public opinion since 2015. The MEP drew attention to the fact that the subject of migration is exploited by extreme right-wing forces, as well as by certain states. „For example, Austria opposes the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to Schengen, citing illegal migration in the EU,” said the UDMR MEP.

The third big theme will be the one related to the need for a new social contract for Europe, which means a new understanding between citizens and policy makers. „The EU had a certain direction that was imprinted by its founders, but in the last 5 years we have moved away from it a lot,” said Winkler.

In the opinion of the UDMR MEP, it is the time for the EU to return to the values of the founding fathers and make policies for people, and not for ideologies. He explained that under the pressure of the Green Deal, numerous ideological decisions were made that did not consider the needs of the people, the costs they would be forced to pay and their ability to adapt.