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The demanding attitude of EU institutions and the Member States in promoting values will save the European synthesis

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Andersen Tax & Legal and Lansky, Ganzer + Partner organize a conference on the "The Present and Future of Europe's Values" offered by Marcelino Oreja

Europe is going through a period of crisis of values and the only way to save the European synthesis is for the Community institutions and the Member States to show a firm and demanding attitude. This was highlighted by Marcelino Oreja, Spanish jurist and diplomat, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the University Institute of European Studies at the CEU San Pablo University, during the conference on "The Present and Future of Europe's Values" organised by Andersen Tax & Legal and the Austrian firm Lansky, Ganzer + Partner at the Andersen Auditorium in Madrid, in which Jaime Olleros, managing partner of Andersen Tax & Legal in Spain, Gabriel Lansky, managing partner of Lansky, Ganzger + Partner, and Íñigo Méndez de Vigo-lawyer and former Minister of Education, Sport and Culture also participated.

During his speech, Jaime Olleros stressed the importance of placing the value of Community origin precisely at this time in view of the European elections, the migration crisis of recent years, the possibility of Brexit, the increased presence of extremist parties in the European political scene, among others. "The concern and uncertainty that has been generated in Europe makes us return to our origins to see what Europe is, what values it represents and what its future holds," Jaime Olleros pointed out.

For his part, Gabriel Lansky recognized that it is a "complicated" time for those values. "Europe needs that human rights spirit of internal internationalism and not nationalism or anti-liberal movements," explained the partner of Lansky Ganzger + Partner, who stressed the need to explain how this "difficult stage" can be overcome.

The ex-Minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo indicated that "it is very important to know where we come from in order to know where we are going," which is why he recalled a phrase by Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish politician, philosopher and theologian from the 19th century, who said that life can only be understood backwards, but can only be lived forwards.

Along these lines, Marcelino Oreja highlighted a series of examples that are putting Europe's values in crisis. The case of Poland and its controversial legislation on its judicial system, the case of Romania, Hungary. He also referred to the Government of Italy, which is turning a "deaf ear" to all the appeals of the European Commission, so the countries of the Eurozone must decide whether to subject Italian accounts to strict scrutiny that could lead to sanctions of up to 0.05% of GDP. On the other hand, he said, Sweden has more and more populist parties that move from "marginality to setting the European agenda," as happened last year in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy.

According to Marcelino Oreja, the presence of radical parties is becoming generalized, ten of the 28 countries of the EU are experiencing strong rises of far-right parties and some are founding countries such as Germany and Italy. "All of them have articulated their discourse with the rejection not only of immigrants but also of refugees," lamented the ex-Minister, who stressed that in front of this feeling there are 'Europeanists' and nationalists who want to "advance against those who want to retreat."

“Europe must protect others from those who promote the 'unconditional injury' of the European project," he said, adding that for this reason, now more than ever, "we must preserve and make our values effective because our identity and our deepest convictions depend on them" and this will be achieved by imposing "firmness and clarity."

Faced with the two most important issues in the media, the migration crisis and Brexit, Marcelino Oreja said of the latter that "nobody knows what will happen, but whatever it is, it will harm the European institutions." On the other hand, he was more optimistic about the problem of immigration "it is a new situation and we don't know how to respond to it, but the European Commission is promoting a Community border policy turning the controversial control of irregular migration into a European competence."

In spite of everything, the Spanish lawyer remarked that for years Spain has been an active member of the EU, a country open to dialogue and negotiation, respectful of the rights and freedoms of citizens "faithful to the principles and values that have always inspired the EU."

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