“My desire is for us to work together to develop Europe further.” With these words Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summed up the main message of the informal consultations of 19 and 20 July in Palma de Mallorca. At the joint invitation of Foreign Minister Westerwelle and his Spanish colleague José Manuel García-Margallo, 16 European foreign ministers, a Vice-President of the European Commission and members of the European Parliament convened for a “Roundtable on the future of Europe”.
At the centre of the high-level conference were key issues on the future viability of the European Union: How can we stabilize the euro in the long term to secure growth and employment in the euro area and the EU? What strategy should we adopt to ensure that Europe can assert itself in a globalized world? How can we restore the confidence of the continent’s citizens in the joint European project and strengthen the democratic legitimacy of European action?
For a strong, competitive and engaged Europe
To conclude the conference, which is conceived as a platform for European advocates, the participants presented a joint Declaration of Mallorca, in which they outline a strong, competitive and engaged Europe “with more solidarity and greater presence in the world”.
The citizens of Europe are called upon to cast their vote for a robust reform and jobs agenda in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament in May 2014. In this context Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement:
“We appeal to the citizens of Europe to participate in the European elections and to influence its destiny, because we are a community in Europe which shares a common destiny.”
Foreign Minister Westerwelle emphasized that Europe is much more than an internal market, for Europe is the joint answer to the challenges presented by a globalized world, in which Europeans can only hold their own by standing together. At the opening to the event the Minister had already stressed, “If we want to preserve our European way of life and our position on the world stage, we Europeans must continue to pull together. Europe can only present a strong image to the outside world if it is strong on the inside.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy opened the Roundtable in his role as the host. On 20 July, following the consultations, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain met the delegates for talks.
At the concluding press conference Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle pointed out that this joint German-Spanish invitation to the conference also reflected the intensity of German-Spanish relations. The Minister expressed his thanks to the Spanish Government for its hospitality, emphasizing that the atmosphere had been particularly important for these consultations.
As well as the presiding German and Spanish foreign ministers, their counterparts from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania attended, while Malta was represented by its Deputy Prime Minister. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič attended on behalf of the European Commission. MPs Elmar Brok, Andrew Duff, Roberto Gualtieri, Luis de Grandes Pascual and Hans-Gert Pöttering represented the European Parliament.