Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party (EPP) lead candidate for the position of the president of the European Commission, kicked off the campaign for the European Parliament elections from Athens urging for unity.
“The Power of We” is the main slogan of the campaign and cooperation was the key word in the speech he delivered at Zappeion exhibition hall in the center of the Greek capital a month before voters across the EU go to the ballots.
“When we speak about the 2019 elections we speak about the question to open a new chapter and we speak about the question what is now to do. That is the fundamental question for us as Europeans,” Weber said.
“The power of We gives us a clear idea that strength means unity and the power of We means that we open a new chapter for the European dream, a new chapter with optimism, not of fears, but of hope, not of egoism, but of unity, not of nationalism, but in favor of a strong Europe,” he stressed.
Weber presented starting from Greece the 12 points which are the basis of his plans for a smart, strong and kind Europe.
He promised the abolishment of 1,000 outdated regulations, the creation of 5 million new jobs for youth in coming years and home-building loans for young families.
EPP will also campaign for a global ban on child labour and a global ban on single-use plastic, he said.
He also pledged 10,000 European Border Guards by 2022 and the establishment of a European FBI to fight terrorism.
EPP will also stop accession talks with Turkey and will promote a new Rule of Law mechanism, he said.
The party’s proposal also includes a European Master Plan against Cancer, Smart Homes for the elderly and a Digital Transition Fund for factory workers, Weber added.
The program is the result of his pan-European Listening Tour which he undertook with the goal of bringing Europe back to the people, an e-mailed EPP press release noted.
“Europe must respond to people’s vision for fair growth, for real social justice. We want a Europe of freedom, democracy and solidarity,” said on his part Greek main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.