Ukraine war has shown how powerful Europe is collectively: Lagarde

PTI | Davos | Updated: 25-05-2022 22:05 IST | Created: 25-05-2022 22:05 IST
Ukraine war has shown how powerful Europe is collectively: Lagarde

Calling it a new dawn for Europe, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Wednesday said the Ukraine war has shown how powerful the block can be collectively.

Speaking at a special session during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 here, several European leaders said the European Union surprised the world, and even itself, with the speed, scale and unity of its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

This ''new'' Europe is ready to project both soft and hard power on the global stage, they told the participants of the summit attended by the rich and powerful of the world.

''The Ukraine war has revealed how powerful Europe is collectively. This is a new dawn for Europe,'' Lagarde said.

The war on Ukraine has also revealed weaknesses -- including global supply chain vulnerabilities and over-reliance on Russian energy, but Europe is addressing this and can begin to flex its muscles on the global stage, she added.

''Europe has untapped purchasing power, trading power, technology power, pension power and moral power,'' the former IMF chief said.

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, reinforced the point. ''This is Europe's moment. Europe can become the global project for peace,'' she said.

''Mistakes of the past will be rectified. For way too long we did not seriously consider an energy union where we can rely on each other rather than on a country that can switch us off at any time,'' she added.

Referring to the EU's support and defence of Ukraine, she was emphatic: ''This is not the time to talk about face-saving for Russia or appeasement.'' Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger, also on the panel, said: ''If Ukraine falls to Russian aggression, Slovakia is next.'' He added that we must continue to provide military support as well as step up humanitarian aid. ''Above all we need to give Ukrainians hope.'' ''Let's not compromise -- we must remain faithful to the values of the EU -- freedom, rule of law, human dignity and equal rights,'' Heger added.

Micheal Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland, said of Russia's invasion of Ukraine: ''The people of Europe have spoken. Enough is enough.'' ''We see the EU's future in terms of the green economy and in terms of the digitalisation but also in terms of enlargement,'' he added.

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, called on European member states to continue to raise their defence spending.

''The NATO alliance members are inseparable, but Europe must play its part. This will help transform Europe from a soft power to a hard power,'' he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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