President of the Slovenian Democratic Party Janez Janša has held a speech at the European Peoples Party Congress in Malta.
"The EPP is the main European political force. There would be no EU as we know it today, without the EPP. Our responsibility for the future of the EU and for the European civilisation is therefore enormous.
When my party joined the EPP 15 years ago, our European family was on the rise. Europe was again whole and free. Our values and our program inspired EU institutions and our European political partners. Several victorious European elections followed and with a strong majority in the European council, EPP has taken over the main EU institutions. For a certain period, we have been strong and determined enough to lead the EU in line with our program. The EPP also shaped successful outcome of the last economic and financial crisis. With the migratory crisis situation drastically changed. There was no unity in the EU, there was no unity inside of our family either. Today it is clear, who was right and who was wrong and we are facing the consequences. It is not the EPP decisively shaping the policies of the EU institutions any more. It is the opposite. Nowadays, the policies of the EPP are influenced by institutions and big coalitions. And it will not work. It is not working.
Institutions are precious. We need them. Robert Schumann said it best: nothing happenes without people, nothing lasts without institutions. But they come second and people come first. People are first at national and at EU level. And we are called peoples party. European peoples party.
When we face a problem, we have to know it and we have to name it properly. Currently we are making a mistake. Populism is not the cause for the main European problems. It is a consequence. A reaction. An answer, usually the wrong one, but still not the issue. And we will not eliminate the problem by simply accusing others of populism.
By calling someone a populist when he or she is lying, we’re doing them a huge favour. He is a liar and not a populist. On the other hand, if something is true and we call it populism, we are misleading ourselves. Therefore, we have to start judging problems on the basis of real facts and not on the basis of our wishful thinking.
The next two years will be crucial for the destiny of the EU project. The responsibility of the EPP on both, the EU and national levels, for the future of Europe is enormous. Multi-speed EU is a fact, but not a solution. In the agreed common areas, we need one speed and clear responsibility. We have to secure our borders to such levels that we will not be dependent any more on good will of the third-party leaders. To re-establish the trust of the people in not only prosperous, but also secure Europe has to become our genuine goal, supported with the resolute action. If we fail to do it, the EU project will fail.
As a family, we have to support our sister parties across the continent and not helping socialists in destroying them with selective justice, Soros money and unreasonable demands, risking destabilisation of the entire region, as we’re witnessing this now in Macedonia.
As European people’s party, we need to go back to our values. We need to rethink our identity and start fighting for it. We need to fight for the people, for Europeans, for our heritage, our freedom, our way of life and our future. Who, if not the EPP? EPP has to go forward. Because we are the people’s party."