In this edition, we head to Strasbourg to rate Spain’s six-month presidency of the Council of the EU and break down the landmark deal reached on the rights of platform workers.
Our panel this week included Irish MEP Seán Kelly from the European People’s Party, Hungarian MEP Katalin Cseh from the liberal Renew Europe group, and Polish MEP Robert Biedroń from the Socialists.
MEPs broke down the performance of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez who addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg Wednesday. Despite a shaky political period, Sánchez insisted he got the job done with his team finalising 44 different legislative files. But overshadowing the term was the proposed legislation to grant amnesty to hundreds of people linked to Catalonia’s pro-independence movement over the last decade.
“I have to say that my group is very worried about the amnesty law and how coalition formation happens,” said Hungarian MEP Katalin Cseh.
Polish MEP Robert Biedron disagreed.
“The victory of Pedro Sanchez for Polish people and combating radical right-wing populism in Spain brought a lot of hope for Europe, that we can combat the radical right wings”, said Biedron adding: “Imagine that in Spain we will have now radical right-wing populists in government? It would be another troublemaker besides [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán”.
The panel also discussed a European Commission decision to unblock €10.2 billion of frozen EU funds for Hungary, just a day before Orbán was to attend a summit of EU leaders in which important financial and membership decisions for Ukraine were to be taken and against which he had mounted strong opposition.
The funds had been put on hold due to issues with human rights and the rule of law in Hungary.
” I think it would’ve been better if the Commission held the line and showed all of Europe that one individual, obnoxious and selfish as he is, can’t get away with it and then go back to his own country and say how great he is,” said Kelly.
Panelists also reacted to the landmark deal reached on the rights of platform workers.
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