Speaking following the presentation today by president Juncker of the European Commission White Paper on the future of Europe, S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
"We are disappointed with the European Commission White Paper. We consider it a mistake to simply present five possible scenarios for the future of the European Union, instead of singling out a strong and comprehensive choice to fortify ourselves against the current storm we are facing.
"We know Juncker is a dedicated and sincere European. We know he is courageous and I call on him to challenge the divisions and inaction of the governments in the Council by outlining a clear political choice for the future of Europe.
"The Socialists and Democrats only see one option: to work together as Europeans and do much more together, because together we are stronger.
"We cannot accept the sacrifice of a common European future as a result of the short-sightedness of the Council or because of a fear of possible outcomes of national elections.
"There is so much left to do: we need a strong social pillar to protect our citizens. A European fiscal capacity. We must complete the European Monetary Union. And build a sustainable Europe capable of fighting climate change and creating jobs and growth. We must combat tax fraud. And the project of a common European army is now more important than ever.
"All of this can only be done if we stay united as Europeans! President Juncker, I call on you and the whole Commission to take up your responsibility: you are the guardians of the treaties, the guardians of the common European good and our common European future.
"Is it really too much to ask of this generation of leaders to commit to the future of Europe? Let us not give up, let us show political leadership and fight together for a stronger, united and progressive Europe."