Presidents of Parliament in favour of more integration within the EU

Norbert Lammert, Laura Boldrini, Claude Bartolone and Mars di Bartolomeo at the signing of the Europe Declaration on 14 September in Rome

Norbert Lammert, Laura Boldrini, Claude Bartolone and Mars di Bartolomeo at the signing of the Europe Declaration on 14 September in Rome (Camera dei Deputati)

Bundestag President Professor Norbert Lammert, together with the President of the Italian Camera dei Deputati, Laura Boldrini, and the Presidents of the Parliaments of France and Luxemburg, Claude Bartolone and Mars Di Bartolomeo, called for significantly greater political integration within the European Union. The declaration signed on Monday, 14 September 2015 in Rome states that they “believe that more, not less, Europe is needed to respond to the challenges we face, both internally and externally”.

“National parliaments must play a greater role”

The declaration lists these as the “greatest refugee and migration crisis since World War II”, the threat of climate change, growing social inequality, the economic and financial crisis, alongside international crime and terrorism. Member States are not able to master these challenges alone, but only through greater and improved integration in the European Union, as laid out in the Treaty on European Union.

In specific terms, the Presidents of Parliament suggest completing the economic and monetary union by creating a veritable financial and fiscal union, while at the same time however strengthening the institutions that control it and ensuring genuine democratic accountability and legitimacy. Overall, the Presidents advocate seeking to transfer greater powers to the European institutions; however national Parliaments would need to play a greater role in this decision-making process within the European Union.

In addition, during his working visit to Rome, Lammert also held talks with the Italian President Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, and with the Chairs and Members of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. In the Vatican, he met Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and other leading representatives of the Curia.

Refugee crisis and development of the European Union

The focus of these talks was the political approach to the refugee crisis, issues relating to the further development of the European Union and the Italian government’s reform efforts; the talks in the Vatican also covered the current status of ecumenism and Pope Francis’ efforts to reform the Curia.

In view of the upcoming 25th anniversary of German reunification, Bundestag President Lammert also gave a speech entitled “Was stiftet Einheit?” (“What brings about unification?”) in the church of Santa Maria dell‘Anima. Lammert was accompanied on his visit by the religious policy spokespersons for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Dr Franz-Josef Jung, for the SPD parliamentary group, Kerstin Griese, and for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, Volker Beck, along with the deputy chairman of The Left Party parliamentary group, Dr Dietmar Bartsch. (16.09.2015)