Talks with Members of the European Parliament (EP) were the focus of Minister of State for Europe Roth’s most recent visit to Brussels on 20 April. Roth pays regular visits to Brussels to discuss current affairs with representatives of the EU institutions.
Talks with Manfred Weber, Chair of the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP) and Danuta Hübner, Polish Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as well as SPD Members of the European Parliament, centred on European electoral reform and the EU’s refugee policy and foreign policy challenges.
Roth also held a particularly special meeting, after which he said the following: “With Manolis Glezos, a 92-year-old resistance fighter against the occupation of Greece by the Nazi regime, I once again discussed the process of reconciliation and the need for renewed trust between our two countries.”
Packed European agenda
The Minister of State for Europe also discussed upholding and strengthening fundamental values in the EU at a meeting with experts from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Roth said the following about this: “It is vital for the European institutions to commit together with one voice to fundamental rights and the rule of law. This is not only a question of credibility in our foreign policy activities, but can also create new trust among EU citizens.”
On to the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg
Roth travelled onwards to Luxembourg on Tuesday, 21 April. Discussions at the General Affairs Council focused on efforts to address the refugee crisis. At the beginning of the talks, Minister of State Roth emphasised that the objective must be to reinforce sea rescue missions and combat human trafficking. Moreover, he added, steps must be taken to stabilise countries of origin and transit and progress made in terms of distributing refugees fairly within the European Union.