“I believe I will see MEPs from the UK elected to this chamber again,” the Green MEP tells Kirsty Hughes in the latest of our European Conversations podcasts with the Scottish Centre on European Relations. “But I’m a long distance runner and I’m ready to run this as a marathon,” she adds.
The German Green, one of the youngest MEPs, also says, generously if a shade surprisingly, she would welcome UK input to the forthcoming Future of Europe conference even though it will have definitively left the EU.
At the same time, Ms Reintke makes plain an independent Scotland would be “warmly” welcomed if it asked to rejoin the EU in its own right. A regular visitor here, she said. “We know that almost two thirds of Scots voted to remain…and feel dragged out of the EU against their will. There would be a very positive feeling about Scotland coming back.”
At the same time, she insisted that the EU – which stages its own summit this week – must stand firm against “blackmail” over the rule of law from Hungary and Poland who are vetoing the recovery fund and latest 7-year budget over that issue. “We have to stay strong if we are to defend what this European Union is based upon: democracy and freedom.”
She is a co-author of the following petition: “The governments of Hungary and Poland are blocking the EU budget and the Corona recovery programme. Urgently needed aid money for the European economy and citizens amounting to € 750 billion can therefore not be paid out as planned at the beginning of 2021. The veto from Warsaw and Budapest threatens to worsen the economic hardship and plunge Europe into a severe crisis.
“That is why Franziska Brantner, Daniel Freund and I (Sven Giegold), together with 27 colleagues from all pro-European groups in the European Parliament have launched a petition. Please sign the petition here: www.change.org/europeanvalues
“Hungary and Poland are abusing their veto to prevent the new rule of law mechanism. The European Union wants to make sure that only member states who respect the rule of law receive EU funds. Both Hungary and Poland have long been criticised for abolishing the separation of powers, for taking action against the free press or for suppressing minorities.
This is blackmail against the European Union. We will not accept an ultimatum “solidarity or democracy”. Especially at a time of greatest economic need for all Member States, we need both!“
You can listen to the entire podcast with Kirsty and Terry here: https://www.euromovescotland.org.uk/podcast/a-green-european-future/