“We can’t preach human rights in the World if we don’t tackle the issue in Europe first” Heidi Hautala warns

News / 03.7.14

Intervening at the New challenges for a new Parliament conference Heidi Hautala, Co-president of Green European Foundation, argued that the biggest challenge ahead, after the May elections, is bringing closer institutions and citizens.

“The Brussels bubble so convenient for us, is actually deceptive”, she continues, “political foundations could look for ways to bridge the gap that erodes civic trust in the EU and that is becoming the major obstacle for European integration”

She carried on her intervention with a mention to the spitzencandidaten system. To her, the nominations are an improvement of importance which represents as well as an enormous challenge for the European political parties. On this point she made a special mention to the Greens candidate to the Commission Presidency. Ska Keller offered a different face to Europe and received very good feedback despite little Media coverage of the her campaign.



Another important point of her speech was devoted to gender equality in the institutions: she wishes that Juncker breaks with his predecessor’s policy and puts forward a gender balanced Commission, even if this means that he has to stand against member states and request them to propose to names (a man and a woman) for the commissioner posts.

Her intervention continued facing the problems raised with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). To her, the Partnership won’t have people’s support “unless the Commission understand that it isn’t an ordinary trade deal because it is not merely technical but touches the essence of our legislation”. “We are accountable to the citizens” she said “and this treaty has far-reaching impact, is needed transparency first of all”.

To conclude her speech , she raised a point on the state of Rule of Law and Human rights and how these subjects are increasingly becoming a problem for European Democracy, specially when looking at some countries, like Hungary, that have passed bills that damage these principles very fast. This is a serious concern, since “we cannot preach human rights or democracy in the world if we don’t tackle this problem within our borders first” she ended.



Watch all the interventions of the conference and follow #EUChallenges for further information.