Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron addresses the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, on Tuesday 17-4-2018. © EP photo

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament

The President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron debated Europe’s future with the members of the European Parliament and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday 17-04-2018. This is what he told them.

“The European Parliament is, in my eyes, the seat of Europe’s legitimacy, its responsibility and hence its vitality. It is here that part of Europe’s future is being played out (…), here that we must anchor the renaissance of a Europe borne by the very spirit of its peoples. I wish us to move beyond the divides between North and South, East and West, small and large, and national setbacks”, said the President.

“Our responsibility in the coming months is to hold the real European debate, to have real European deadlines that will enable our peoples to choose”, he told MEPs, one year before the European elections. To cope with upheavals worldwide, we need a sovereignty that is greater than our own, but which complements it: a European sovereignty”.

Welcoming Mr Macron, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said: “Thank you for taking part in a real debate with MEPs. The future of Europe is now and starts here, in the heart of European democracy. It’s time to convert vision into reality together: controlled migration, a strong defence and foreign policy for a secure Europe”.

Most of Parliament’s political group leaders welcomed President Macron’s pro-European élan and France’s role in the recent joint military intervention in Syria, whilst calling for more European Union and the formation of a European army. Other MEPs stressed the challenges facing the European Union today: fighting terrorism, managing the migration crisis, digital technologies and completing EU banking and monetary union.

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