MEPLouis Michel (ALDE, B) was invited by the Advisory Committee on European Affairs of the city of Etterbeek chaired by Marialaura Franciosi Thursday. Vincent De Wolf, mayor of Etterbeek introduced the speaker. Bernard Mercken of Marken , alderman for European Affairs introduced this unique conference.
Louis Michel began his remarks by recalling the quote from Victor Hugo :, the forerunner of the European idea : ” A day will come…” pronounced Peace Congress 1849
Europe is an idea of peace, universal peace. Europe is a noble idea, according to Michel.
It represents 18 % of global GDP and is an economic power more powerful than the States.
Louis Michel then turned to fiscal policy. Rigor but not austerity .
Europe is also a social Europe according to Louis Michel . But social competences are at the members state level, so Europe is not responsible for the lacks of the social policy.
On Africa, Europe is the largest donor . Its represents 60 % of global world aid . Europe helps Africa out of this spiral of poverty.
The intervention in Mali showed the need for a European army, a real defense policy. In Mali and the Central African Republic , only France intervened. Europeans should be concerned about Africa. That would be the honor of Europe. Interventionist Europe needed , said Louis Michel .
Louis Michel also stressed the importance of Europe in Brussels.In Brussels, there are 5244 diplomats in multilateral and bilateral embassies. This is the first city of embassies in the world, the second city for MICE ‘s
Europe has also 23906 Commission civil servants in Brussels. There are 4600 belgians. People often highly educated , multilingual to elite intellectual demands . the European Parliament has its 6134 employees.
In Brussels, there are 150000 Brussels with an European passport
Europe , for Louis Michel, is not the destructive nationalism but peace.
Louis Michel thinks that Europe is always the solution, not the problem.
I agree with the ideas of Victor Hugo who said that the purpose of high politics , real politics is to recognize all nationalities , restore the historical unity of the people and rally this unity to civilization by peace.
Edwige Neshama SOSSAH (with MDD )