Jaume Duch: “Nobody is safe without a supranational European frame”

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The spokesman of the European Parliament, Jaume Duch, debated with the FBP during the II FBP Business Forum.

The Spokesman of the European Parliament, Jaume Duch I Guillot, the recent award winner of the Best Spokesman of the College of Journalists from Catalonia, has replied to the questions from the FBP as invited speaker on the II FBP Business Forum.

  • Jaume Duch: “Nadie estará seguro si no es en un marco supranacional europeo”His speech was titled Presentation, network and opportunities of the new European Parliament 2014-2019. What can be expected from this new legislative period?

The past legislative period can be defined as the legislative period of the crisis, in the economical as well as the political perspective. This new legislative period that has just started is going to be the legislative period of the recuperation and rapprochement of the citizens. And given the composition of the new European Parliament it will be without any doubt a legislative period of alliances as well. From the legislative prospective, it will be the period of the European taxation, of the debate about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US…

  • After the Greek elections we have seen how the composition of a single national Chamber can affect the whole continent, due to the will of the European Parliament (EP). Are we witnessing of a new rise of the national states? How can the message that more Europe is necessary be reinforced?

I see this point from a different perspective. The European Union has developped into a unquestionable reality. The European citizens have already many things in common. Therefore, decisions that are taken in one country affect all the others as well.

  • The results of the Greek elections have revealed the importance of the extreme right-wing parties in the countries that were hit harshly by the crisis. Is it possible to convince the supporters of these parties? Which role can Eurochambres play in this context?

The European Parliament defends values that are opposed to these parties, but the citizens have the last Word. They are the ones that have to fight against the dangerous siren songs.

  • Another big issue for Europe in the next years will be the issue of its own security. What will be the effects of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in France? As a Communicator, do you think it is possible that the freedom of expression will be affected or limited in the next years?

Countries like France and Belgium have increased security measures within their territories. However, the majority answer of the citizens has been very clear: There can be no limits for the freedom of expression. This is one of the most important values that Europeans share and there is no reason nor justification to change this.

“The freedom of expression is one of the most important values that Europeans share and there is no reason nor justification to change this”.
In the plenary session of the last week, the EP debated about the new media as a means against terrorism, e.g. a registration system for passengers, the role of the European Police Office (Europol), the improvement of the Exchange of information, the prevention of the radicalization or the next European Security Agenda. This are issues which will be concluded in the coming months, because no one can be safe without a supranational European frame.

The European Chamber will vote on a resolution about this point in a plenary session in February, in front of the European Council on the 12th of February, which is concerned with anti-terrorist measures.

  • The debate on the reduction of seats of the European Parliament is almost continuously on the agenda. Do you believe that this decisión might affect the visibility of Eurochambres?

The debate is still open but it is not close to a decisión because this falls within the responsibility of the Governments. In any case, even if such a decisión will be taken, I do not believe that this will affect the visibility of our work. It is not important where the decisions are taken, but which decisions are taken. Having two seats makes our communication more complicated, but not impossible.

  • It is always said that a huge part of the national normatives comes out of the decisions taken by the citizen’s representatives in Eurochambres. Are the citizens aware of this? Why is it so difficult to make them feel European?
“The process of the Election of the president of the European Commission has made possible that the European Elections resemble more and more national elections”.

It is true that a huge part of the national legislation is base don decisions taken by Eurochambres. Often the European citizens are not aware of this, for several reasons: because of the geographical distance, the complexity of the European institutions and also because of the way in which relevant information is treated in the media, sometimes not very well explained. Nevertheless, I believe that during the last European elections, the process of the election of the president of the European Commission has made possible that the European Elections resemble more and more national elections. And people are more and more aware of the importance of Brussels and Strasbourg.

  • After the entry of Croatian deputies in the European Parliament 2013, which will be the next country to be welcomed in the plenum?

The EU is open to all European countries. Nevertheless, in order to enter the EU, the candidate country has to respect a number of common principles shared by all member states: freedom, democracy, the respect for human rights and for the fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.

Nowadays, there are six official candidates: Albania, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Island.

It will be a great pleasure for the European Parliament to welcome all these states, as son as the negotiations between the parts have been concluded, the pending reforms have been done and all member states have given their approval. Nonetheless, it is obvious that we will still have to wait a couple of years to see this happen.

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