Make your voice heard on May 26! Voting is of utmost importance! Do not let others decide upon the Future of Europe on your behalf
Commissioner Christos Stylianides
On April 5 2019, Commissioner Christos Stylianides participated in a Citizens' Dialogue in the Adult Education Centre in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Germany. The event was organised under the title “Our Europe – our Future! We need to talk!”.
About 90 people took part in the debate, citizens from all walks of life as well as local government and municipal officials.
Commissioner Stylianides shared the stage with Baden-Württemberg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Digitalization and Migration, Thomas Strobl.
During his visit to Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Commissioner Stylianides was awarded the Gold Medal of the German Technical Aid Organization (Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk).
The main topics discussed in the Citizens’ Dialogue were the upcoming European elections, Brexit, the EU’s global role in providing humanitarian and development aid, social rights in the EU as well as migration.
In his opening remarks, Commissioner Stylianides highlighted the importance of the European elections and made an appeal to the German public to go to the ballot box on 26 May and to not let others decide upon the Future of the EU on their behalf.
Another issue raised was Brexit, where Commissioner Stylianides outlined the state of play, concluding that it would be a very sad event in EU history. Commissioner Stylianides also pointed out that, as sad as it is, Brexit had determined the remaining 27 Member States to stand united and seek close cooperation.
The Commissioner thanked Baden-Württemberg’s citizens for their humanitarian commitment in the refugee crisis as well as in other natural disasters and mentioned rescEU, the recently adopted plan to strengthen EU civil protection as a response to disasters, which is inspired by the German regional expert approach in crisis management.
Commissioner Stylianides also pointed out the EU’s leading global role in providing humanitarian and development aid.
Another topic of the Dialogue was migration. The Commissioner stated that over the past 20 years, the European Union has put in place some of the highest common asylum standards in the world. He stressed that the EU needs a more united approach to dealing with migration, while acknowledging diverging opinions around member states on this issue.
The issue of social policy was another topic discussed. Commissioner Stylianides presented the European Commission’s concrete initiatives to put the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into practice at European level, which can significantly improve the social situation of millions of Europeans.
Finally, Commissioner Stylianides talked about the Erasmus+ Programme, which has given young Europeans the opportunity to get to know their peers in other member states, thus playing a key role in building a united and solidary Europe.