21st Mar 2018


An opportunity to help shape a better future for Europe

  • MEP Laurentiu Rebega believes the ECR Group best serves the Romanian people and the future of Europe (Photo: REBEGA LAURENTIU)

Political events of the last 18 months have prompted much soul searching and debate over the future of Europe. It has also caused me to evaluate my role as a politician in shaping the future of the European Union.

The EU is at a crossroads, and the decisions we all take now will affect the future of our citizens for generations to come.

I was elected to the European Parliament in 2014 and during my time as an MEP I have built relationships across the political groups and the parliament which I greatly value. Due to political events in Romania, my journey in the European Parliament has taken me from the federalists in the S&D Group to the ENF Group, where I found their vision of the EU lacks reason or a workable path to reform.

I want to show the voters of Romania that there is a credible and real alternative to the challenges we face around Europe and the stagnation felt here in Brussels.

In the ENF Group it became clear they have no clear agenda or any ability to change the way the EU works for the better - they would rather it fell apart rather than see it rebuilt to better serve their citizens. I quickly realised that joining this group was a mistake and one that I am glad to have now rectified.

In Romania, a new trend in politics is evolving. New political movements express alternatives to the old political parties.

Among them, the Pro Romania Party, was launched by Daniel Constantin and includes former prime minister Victor Ponta as well as many young politicians who have grown frustrated with the status quo in the country.

We all want to see a Romania that is fully engaged with the EU, but not relegated to a fringe player in a two-speed Europe. We do not want Romania's future to be within an EU where its values are selectively applied depending upon which country and which party you come from.

Neither do we believe that the EU is best served by the dominating vision of two leaders of two member states. If this continues, then the EU will significantly diminish its best qualities - diversity and equality of membership.

My political movement wishes to become part of the biggest group with the largest influence with the best ideas for EU reform. I want to be a part of a political group that does not seek to destroy the EU, nor protect it at any cost.

Challenging the status quo

I have watched, observed and worked with members of the ECR Group, and have realised that it is only by challenging the status quo and working constructively on a daily basis to help deliver a reformed EU, rather than shouting from the sidelines, that the future of the EU can be rescued.

When Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker presented his white paper on the Future of Europe, he painted a picture of five different scenarios for how the European Union could evolve.

I reflected upon what kind of Europe I wanted to see, and for me it was clear that there was only one serious answer. I wanted a Europe which did less, and did better, not bring it down and leave nothing in its place.

I listened to what kind of Europe other political group leaders were offering and supported.

There was little to pick between them, the rhetoric and reasoning almost identical and interchangeable. For most political groups in the parliament, the future of the EU was already set in stone. It was going to be a determined path towards more centralisation, more spending, and more power away from the member states.

This is not the kind of EU that I believe offers the best future for my country, and the people of Romania.

How could a better, fairer, more efficient EU be achieved by calling for more of what had already proven to have failed?

Yet one voice stands out in a sea of near consensus, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

Like the ECR Group, I believe that we need to create an EU that understands that the people of Europe are best served by looser integration. I believe we need an EU which compliments the work of its capitals, rather than replaces them.

I want an EU which realises its voters expect politicians to place the needs of its people above the ambitions of the European project.

It is therefore, clear to me that in order to best serve the Romanian people, the ECR Group should be where I continue my political journey.

Having applied to join, my hope is that membership of the ECR Group will be the beginning of a new political chapter for me, with what I believe are like-minded colleagues and parties.

Laurentiu Rebega is a Romanian MEP and member of the recently launched 'Pro Romania' Party.


MEPs shun commission-led group on future of EU

The European Parliament have decided, on principle, to refuse to take part in any high-level working group organised by the Commission, because it would undermine its ability to scrutinise the executive body.


Macron's EU vision doesn't fit Europe

Emmanuel Macron's speech was delivered with an eloquence only French politicians can muster. Its content, however, was also very 'French' - and that's the crux of the matter.

Restoring trust and confidence in the European Parliament

Helga Stevens MEP will be standing for the presidency of the European Parliament because she wants to make it a place of open, transparent debate once again, where the voices of all 751 MEPs and the people they represent matter.

Behind the scenes of the Nordic model

The Nordic is comprised of 74 regions and, combined, is the 12th largest economy in the world. The State of the Nordic Region 2018 gives a unique look behind the scenes of the world's most integrated region.

Behind the scenes of the Nordic model

The Nordic is comprised of 74 regions and, combined, is the 12th largest economy in the world. The State of the Nordic Region 2018 gives a unique look behind the scenes of the world's most integrated region.

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

News in Brief

  1. Hard Brexit would hit poorer Irish households hardest
  2. Finland hosts secretive North Korean talks
  3. EU to unveil 3% tax on digital giants
  4. German elected S&D leader in European Parliament
  5. Germany: nearly €350m child benefit goes abroad
  6. Norway's far-right doubles support as minister resigns
  7. Sarkozy held for questioning on Gaddafi funding
  8. EU leaders expected to approve Brexit future talks guidelines

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverHiring - Sales Associate With 2+ Years Experience - Apply Now!
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  2. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrest Malta bank chair
  3. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  4. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions
  5. EU mulls coercion to get refugee kids' fingerprints
  6. Five east European states prevent new CAP consensus
  7. EU to probe UK 'election-rigging' firm
  8. 'Denial' - is meat the new climate change?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressThe 2018 European Medal of Tolerance Goes to Prince Albert II of Monaco
  2. FiscalNoteGlobal Policy Trends: What to Watch in 2018
  3. Human Rights and Democracy NetworkPromoting Human Rights and Democracy in the Next Eu Multiannual Financial Framework
  4. Mission of China to the EUDigital Cooperation a Priority for China-EU Relations
  5. ECTACompetition must prevail in the quest for telecoms investment
  6. European Friends of ArmeniaTaking Stock of 30 Years of EU Policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: How Can the EU Contribute to Peace?
  7. ILGA EuropeCongratulations Finland!
  8. UNICEFCyclone Season Looms Over 720,000 Rohingya Children in Myanmar & Bangladesh
  9. European Gaming & Betting AssociationEU Court: EU Commission Correct to Issue Guidelines for Online Gambling Services
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina Hopes for More Exchanges With Nordic, Baltic Countries
  11. Macedonian Human Rights MovementCondemns Facebook for Actively Promoting Anti-Macedonian Racism
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersGlobal Seed Vault: Gene Banks Gather to Celebrate 1 Million Seed Collections