Sandro Gozi: "EPP with ECR? Without us, Without Renew/EDP". - Website of the European Democrats
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Sandro Gozi: “EPP with ECR? Without us, Without Renew/EDP”.

Before our conference in Milan on 14 January, our Secretary General was interviewed by AdnKronos.

EPP with ECR? Without us, Without Renew/EDP”.

If the European People’s Party, with Manfred Weber and Antonio Tajani, is aiming for an alliance with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) in the next legislature, “good luck”, but Renew and the European Democrats will not be part of it. And “does everyone in the EPP really agree” with the prospect of an alliance with the Right? This is what Sandro Gozi, MEP for Renew Europe and Secretary General of the European Democratic Party, points out to Adnkronos. He will take part in a meeting on the challenges of liberal democracy in Europe with Matteo Renzi and Carlo Calenda tomorrow in Milan at the San Fedele auditorium, via Hoepli 3/b, from 10.30am to 6pm. Although many predict a shift to the right of the hemicycle after the 2024 European elections, Sandro Gozi says he sees “the next Renew Europe legislature very well”. We have already made a difference in this legislature: we are the real political game changer and I am convinced that we can grow in numbers and influence in the 2024 elections. We focus on promoting Renew Europe in the different Member States. This is where the event we promoted with the EDP and Renew in Milan comes in, because we believe that in countries like Italy and Poland we can make big progress in 2024. And we want to grow the democratic and liberal proposal of the Europe of renewal”. Sandro Gozi, who was elected in France, rejects the hypothesis that the Democrats and Liberals of Renew could ally themselves with the European People’s Party and the ECR: “As far as Manfred Weber’s Roman visits and Antonio Tajani’s interviews are concerned,” he replies, “we say ‘don’t even think about it’. We say no to political alliances with the post-Francoists of Vox, the post-fascists of Fratelli d’Italia, the Swedish right-wing extremists, the Bulgarians who make the Roman salute in the hemicycle. If this drift to the far right is the future that Weber and Tajani have chosen for the EPP, good luck. But we won’t be there.

We don’t see any evolution in the FDI 

In Brussels, a ‘skimming’ of the right has been going on for some time, and the process has accelerated with the war in Ukraine, with the pro-Atlantic party, the Poles of the PiS (ECR group) in the lead, dialoguing with the traditional parties: ‘We – Sandro Gozi observes – do not see these changes. Of course, full support to Poland, Romania and all the countries that are making a great effort to support the Ukrainians’ battle for freedom. But this does not prevent the Polish Prime Minister from saying that he is in favour of the reintroduction of the death penalty. So much the better if Giorgia Meloni confirms and gives new weapons to Kiev, the sooner the better, but we, to Fratelli d’Italia, have not seen this development that so many people are talking about. It seems to us, she added, that on immigration, on the rule of law, on fundamental values, on European alliances, Fratelli d’Italia is what we have always seen. They confirmed the Draghi line on the budget simply because they can’t do anything else: and it’s a good thing they can’t do what they want to do on the economy too. If the whole EPP really thinks it’s the right choice to go for the ECR and ID, good luck. This is one more reason why Renew should grow. If the party of De Gasperi and Schuman is thinking of building political alliances with ECR and ID, it means that we are right to say that we have to go beyond the old political distinctions and build a new, strong pro-European, central grand alliance. This is what we want to do.

With the rightward shift of the EPP, there is room in the centre for Renew Europe: “Absolutely yes,” says Sandro Gozi, “it’s not for me to say what the EPP will do, I read what Manfred Weber and Antonio Tajani say. So I ask myself: does everyone in the EPP really want this drift to the far right? I find it hard to believe, but I have to note that Weber and Tajani seem to be working for this perspective. If Antonio Tajani would concentrate on his role as foreign minister, since we haven’t had one for years, it might be better. These are the things we will say tomorrow in Milan.

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