‘Every vote matters’ in crucial year of democracy says Metsola at EU Summit

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola welcomes €50 billion deal for long-term financial support for Ukraine during pecial European Council. 

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola at the European Council
European Parliament president Roberta Metsola at the European Council

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola welcomed the deal reached on providing long-term financial support for Ukraine during a Special European Council. 

Addressing European leaders, President Metsola said the deal to give €50 billion funding to Ukraine showed that Europe delivers. “This gives the credibility, legitimacy and predictability that is expected from us. Because Ukraine’s security is Europe's security.”

EU leaders agreed a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine after Hungary dropped its threat to veto the decision. The agreement between all 27 EU leaders came shortly after the start of a summit in Brussels, surprising many observers at the speed with which the deal was sealed.

Hungary had blocked the deal during a summit last December. Agreeing a new package of aid for Ukraine requires the unanimous support of all 27 EU member states.

Viktor Orban, Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest ally in the EU, had said he wanted to force a rethink of the bloc's policy towards Ukraine and questioned the idea of committing funds for Kyiv for the next four years.

The package will help to pay pensions, salaries and other costs over the next four years.

Diplomatic sources have suggested the new deal includes a yearly discussion of the package and the option to review it in two years, "if needed".

Orban had been pushing for a yearly vote on the package, but this could have left the deal exposed to an annual veto threat from Hungary.

President Metsola said that Europe will continue to deliver “by listening to the concerns of its citizens, businesses, farmers, by making it easier to invest and to modernise, and by ensuring economic growth that benefits all.”

Metsola referred to the agreement on the revised Multi-Annual Financial Framework and said, “we need to top up funds on health, energy, and research. Our Parliament and our citizens want this.”

Metsola also referred to the dire situation in the Middle East, and stated that the European Parliament was the first EU institution to call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. “It is a necessary step towards lasting peace and stability – as are the return of all hostages and the need for Gaza to be led by legitimate Palestinian representatives.”

During the EU summit, President Metsola said that 2024 will be a massive year for democracy, for Europe and for the world. “My appeal is for us not to take our democracy for granted, but to defend it by taking part. Because every vote matters.”

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