TALLINN – European Commission Vice-President Franz Timmermans said at an economic conference organized by the Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE) in Tallinn on Friday that the Russian president wants extreme right-wing parties to come to power in Europe, but political parties that keep society together should be preferred in the elections instead.
"Europe is at war and Putin is trying to weaken the member states -- he is doing everything to ensure that the far-right parties come to power all over Europe. Politicians therefore have a responsibility to maintain solidarity and unity," Timmermans said.
According to him, people are currently most worried about their own coping and therefore it is necessary to ensure that people in the European Union member states and Ukraine manage.
"Household expenses are increasing, so it is necessary to support people's livelihoods. We need to make buildings more energy-efficient and create more opportunities for renewable energy production," Timmermans said, adding that in addition to that, it is necessary to have more suppliers so as not to depend only on a few.
"Price growth is blamed on the green turn, but it is actually caused by the security situation and coronavirus. Russia is deliberately attacking and rattling the whole of Europe, which is why we need to strengthen our economy and help Ukraine," he said.
According to the Commission vice president, it is necessary to change the European economy in order to preserve both the environment and the climate, but increasingly also to ensure security.
"Renewable energy is an important direction here, but in order to adapt to climate change, it is also important to help countries whose industry does not pollute as much, but whose living environment and agriculture suffer," he said, adding that reducing pollution and emissions is a part of a competitive economy.
According to Timmermans, China has also made progress in this context, as 30 percent of CO2 emissions come from there.
"It must be understood that changes are global and Europe has the advantage of adapting and implementing changes faster. Europe must remain united, because this is the secret to our success. Russia is trying to tear us apart at the same time, but our solidarity is a core value that will help us emerge stronger from the crisis," he said.
The Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE) is holding a conference in Tallinn's Creative Hub on Friday, where business leaders, social scientists and ministers will focus on an entrepreneurial state, economic security, a new economic model and the future of work.