Europe must act fast to ensure its future is not derailed by those seeking "populist inroads into our European values,” President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has appealed during an international meeting.

Addressing the second working session of the 14th meeting of the non-executive European Union presidents of the Arraiolos Group, entitled ‘The Future of Europe’ in Latvia, President Coleiro Preca was speaking in the context of next year's European Parliament elections.

“We need a Europe with no borders and walls, that bridges over from one country to another; a united Europe that is a leader on the world stage," she said.

“We cannot continue to afford to be complacent about the huge disparities that still dominate our peoples.”

President Coleiro Preca said that poverty is still a huge concern, as over 100 million Europeans are considered to be living in poverty. Huge gender gaps still persist, with women in leadership positions, “be it political or economic, still drastically lagging behind.” 

The President said she dreams "that Europe will again be a front-runner on the global stage", and called for a re-modelling of the European approach towards Africa, saying "we have been too slow to act, and fragmented in our actions."

The President said that Africa is a continent of opportunity, adding that it can be the land of economic growth for Europe, and an opportunity of sustainable investment and partnerships, where the young people of Africa can guarantee for themselves a dignified future.

President Coleiro Preca also addressed a concluding press conference together with the Presidents of Latvia, Greece and Portugal at the end of the Arraiolos meeting.


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