(Italiano) Vita, famiglia, giustizia sociale e democrazia. Intervista a Pedro Agramunt, nuovo presidente PACE

The new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is a Spanish man from Valencia, born in 1951. He has a relatively low profile, but at the same time a great will to carry on with the European integration plan. Mr. Pedro Agramunt, Spanish Senator since 2008, had been a regional […]

The new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is a Spanish man from Valencia, born in 1951. He has a relatively low profile, but at the same time a great will to carry on with the European integration plan. Mr. Pedro Agramunt, Spanish Senator since 2008, had been a regional […]

The new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is a Spanish man from Valencia, born in 1951. He has a relatively low profile, but at the same time a great will to carry on with the European integration plan. Mr. Pedro Agramunt, Spanish Senator since 2008, had been a regional member of parliament in Valencia from 1991 to 1994, comes from the Spanish Partido Popular and was president of the European People’s Party. Thanks to his experience, the EPP puts again its founding values at the centre of its European plan. The new president of the PACE talks about himself in an exclusive interview for Matchman-News.

Dear Mr. President, our best wishes for your two-year mandate!

Thank you. I am very happy to start this new phase of political commitment in favour of European values and principles. In addition to my mandate in the Spanish senate, I worked for 15 years in the Council of Europe and before that in other European parliamentary bodies. It is a real honour for me and the whole EPP group to preside over the PACE throughout these difficult years, which at the same time are certainly full of great opportunities.

We should take into consideration the historical perspective while evaluating the activities of people, e.g. the founding fathers of the Council of Europe, who overcame the obstacles during tragic moments in European history, in order to start a restoration and unifying process above national differences.

Adenauer, Monnet, De Gasperi and Spark were the main creators of new Europe. They fought for Classic Europeanism, the peace between nations, a good democratic government and social-economic well-being in collaboration with other people of their generation. They took several essential steps to consolidate a time of peace and prosperity (as long as possible) in our Continent.

Your commitment in the EPP, as well as its Charter and the history of your group at the Council of Europe have been very faithful to Christian values and the European Convention itself. How could you conciliate all these elements?

As you said, between 2010 and 2013 the EPP group at the Council of Europe received a strong encouragement to be coherent with its founding values. President Volontè in the past decided (as myself since 2013 until today) to follow the party’s common way to be coherent with our values on life, family, social justice, state of right and democracy. According to the Convention, we especially want to reaffirm that there could not be a “double morals” implementation of values and commitments assumed by every country. Our democracy is rooted in western Christian faith, in Christian natural law and in the principles of Christian ethics. Christian principles don’t protect the interests of State or the ones of a particular social class. On the contrary, they protect people’s freedom and dignity.

There would not have been any Renaissance without Christianity, nor Age of Enlightenment, French Revolution, from which the respect for the human being emerged. There would not have been any socialism or liberalism.

In this sense, my presidency will not regret my story. On the contrary, it will strengthen my values; my convictions about life, family, freedom of religion and education will still be the starting points of my choices and decisions.

Your presidency begins with many international problems which have just exploded. How could the PACE intervene as a place of pacification?

The disorder level is currently incredible. In the Middle East there is the threat of Daesh, the bloody war in Syria, the dissolution of states like Iraq, Libya and Yemen. In Europe we have faced 4 overlapping challenges leading us to continuous tension. Firstly, the transnational terrorism presents itself as fundamental multifaceted danger. Secondly, the refugees crisis has triggered many debates regarding European identity and values. Thirdly, there are still conflicts in our Continent. The Ukraine situation is still very delicate. Over 9,000 people already died. The separatists supported by Russia keep on commanding a part of the country, and there is no peace yet. There are still threats to security or latent conflicts in regions like Transnistria in Moldavia, Abkhazia and southern Ossetia in Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. In addition to that, the recent crisis between Turkey and Russia increases general concern. I would also like to remind you the populism wave from both right and left wings, the increasing nationalism and the erosion of democratic principles and human rights in some areas. These facts damage our cohesion and ability to take common action.

These challenges are interacting and intensifying, and are discussed every day at the Parliamentary Assembly. I am sure that in the next 2 years we will be all able to suggest new perspectives and solutions to be addressed to our governments and to give the Council of Europe the political esteem it deserves.

What role will the PACE play?

Diplomacy and parliamentary commitment will be essential in these crisis. Our predecessors gave a great historical contribution in democracy, human rights and state of right in Europe. This is what every generation should do once again through an irreplaceable tool, which is parliamentary diplomacy.

Luckily there are excellent colleagues in the Assembly, who will be able to sacrifice themselves to recreate contacts and to find coherent solutions according to the Convention’s principles. We should not forget that the Parliamentary Assembly includes a huge number of “former honorary members”, who have great experience and ability. We will decide how and when we can promote their skills and talents.

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