He has become the man everyone is talking about in Brussels, the one who replaced Eva Kaili alongside Roberta Metsola: the socialist Marc Angel, newly elected by his peers to the post of vice-president of the European Parliament. He tells us about his state of mind 15 days after his election, marked by an unprecedented scandal within the European Parliament, and while the European Union is showing its support for Ukraine even more during an unprecedented summit in Kiev. Friday. The opportunity to come back with the new Vice-President of the European Parliament on the outstanding soap opera of the week: the delivery of tanks and heavy weapons. “I believe that the commitment is very important because we cannot support Ukraine only financially or with humanitarian aid,” says Marc Angel. “Ukraine must win this war because it defends our values. It is also important to support Ukraine with weapons so that it can defend itself. Of course, it is to defend its territory , of its peoples, of its citizens,” he said. “Now we see that it is not so easy to help someone else. It is also a discourse that we must take up again, to see how we can better integrate within the European Union. , make a better defense policy at home, have more harmonized materials. We are now learning, in this context of these arms deliveries to Ukraine, that we have work to do at home too”, adds the new Vice-President of the European Parliament.
While the latest discussions revealed difficulties within many armed forces, the question of the means available to the European Union and its ambitions was singled out. “I believe that Europe has the means to match its ambitions and the means to match its emotions,” reassured Marc Angel. “You can’t immediately say ‘yes, we’ll give you everything you want.’ We have to see what we need. But in any case, Europe has all its ambitions. The great summit between Ukraine and the European Union in Kiev, where almost half of the European Commission is there, is also proof of this. It is a strong sign of this commitment,” he said.
A commitment that Marc Angel applauds and confirms: “There is great unity in the European Parliament. There is great unity within the European Commission and there is great unity between the member countries. And this unity must stay because only together can we be with Ukraine and help Ukraine win this war.”
Nevertheless, the Vice-President of the European Parliament recalls that, if Ukraine has the full support of the European Union, its accession has not yet been confirmed: “There is no accelerated procedure for any country in order to becoming a member of the European Union There are clear rules, there are the Copenhagen criteria and it is difficult for a country which is also at war to restructure itself, to adapt to these criteria. […] It is not an open, free, effortless door. Ukraine’s entry into the European Union will be a difficult road, but I hope it won’t be too long either.”
“Every MEP must be a champion of transparency”
Elected to succeed Eva Kaili, the former vice-president deposed following Qatargate, Marc Angel wants to be a standard-bearer for anti-corruption within the European institutions. “When the scandal broke, a resolution was passed and we must use this resolution as a roadmap for change, to have more transparency in Parliament and to ensure that there are no more cases of corruption as we experienced it. How is it possible? Didn’t we notice, in our group, that there were two people involved in this horrible story”, he is indignant.
“I believe it is very important to restore the confidence of Europeans as quickly as possible and to really increase the transparency of this European Parliament.”
“The President has already proposed a first step with fourteen concrete proposals. My group has also proposed concrete proposals. So now it is up to the office, to Parliament, to all of us to move forward and change our rules. And I I said in my campaign to be elected vice-president: I am not going to be the messiah who is going to be the person who is going to fix everything. It is a team effort. Each of us, each MEP must be a champion of transparency and a champion of anti-corruption,” said the vice-president.
One year from the next European elections, the stakes are high. “We have no time to lose,” said Marc Angel. “All these reforms must be done as soon as possible so that we can also continue to do our work as MPs and so that we can commit to a better life for our citizens. Europe must not only be there for the single market to have resilient businesses”, he says. “Yes, of course, it’s very important, but you also have to have resilient citizens who, at the end of the month, can pay their bills. And here, I, as a social democrat, want to work in this direction- there, for a more social Europe, a strong Europe, a Europe that does not forget its citizens”, he concludes.
The program prepared by Sophie Samaille, Perrine Desplats, and Isabelle Romero
“The project has been co-funded by the European Union under the European Parliament’s grants program in the field of communication. The European Parliament has not been involved in its preparation and is in no way responsible for or bound by information, information, or views expressed in connection with the project for which only the authors, interviewees, editors, or broadcasters of the program are responsible in accordance with applicable law. The European Parliament cannot be held liable for damages, direct or indirect, that may result from the realization of the project.
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