In a reaction to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s “State of the Union” speech, French MEP François-Xavier Bellamy (picture) issued a scathing response during the debate about it in the European Parliament. Notably, Bellamy is not only a French member of von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP), but he is also the Vice President of the French centre-right EPP member party, “The Republicans“.
“Europe can regain its prosperity and influence, but this requires a profound change, which means first of all no longer closing our eyes to reality (…) As we speak, (…) 20% of French people are living in poverty. Across Europe, one person in three goes without a meal in order to survive. Millions of households, craftsmen and businesses are no longer able to pay for their energy.
You talk of prosperity, but despite this return to poverty, the Commission has continued to increase the constraints on those who work and produce in Europe. The energy directive on [mandatory renovation] of buildings will exacerbate the housing crisis. The farm to fork strategy will reduce food production. Taxonomy is accelerating the decline of industry. You spoke at length about electricity to speed up the installation of wind turbines, but still not a word about nuclear power, Europe’s leading source of affordable, low-carbon energy”.
“You promise to reduce the number of [regulations], yet they have continued to pile up over the last few years, right up to the so-called “Nature Restoration Law” proposal that we fought against. This proliferation of constraints is not protecting the environment, it’s just making us dependent on other countries in the world that don’t have the same costs. We won’t save the planet by buying electric cars in China; just as we won’t save democracy with the Ukrainians by buying gas from the Azeri dictatorship that wants to crush the Armenians. Similarly, we won’t boost our economy by increasing “skilled immigration”, as you put it, but by training those millions of young people that are still a long way from getting a job. The only answer to Europe’s demographic winter is to support families, not to destabilise our countries even further”.
Click here to watch Bellamy’s speech translated into English, along with a full video of the SOTEU debate:
His original speech in French:
— Pieter Cleppe (@pietercleppe) September 13, 2023