Macron Issues Wake-up Call for ‘European Renewal’ before ‘Decisive’ EU Elections
The French leader has urged the creation of a European Agency for the Protection of Democracies to defend the fairness of the electoral process throughout the EU.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has issued a strong address “For European Renewal” calling for protecting the European Union and its achievements, less than two months ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections.
With an impassioned and rather alarmist tone, Macron’s op-ed published in each of the 28 EU member states warned that Europe was in danger and described the 2019 EU elections as “decisive”.
The French leader not only defended the tremendous achievements of the European Union for peace, stability, security, democracy, and prosperity in Europe but also urged the Europeans to seek a “European renaissance” and renewal, including through deep reform of the EU.
“Never since the Second World War has Europe been so necessary. And yet never has Europe been in such a danger,” the French leader declared.
“In a few weeks, the European elections will be decisive for the future of our continent,” he stated.
In his op-ed, Macron in particular dwelled on Brexit, the UK’s controversial upcoming departure from the EU, as a symbol of “the crisis of Europe”.
“It also symbolizes the European trap. The trap is not being part of the European Union. The trap is in the lie and the irresponsibility that can destroy it,” he stated.
“Who told the British people the truth about their post-Brexit future? Who spoke to them about losing access to the European market? Who mentioned the risks to peace in Ireland of restoring the former border?,” the French leader asked in a number of rhetorical questions.
“We have to stand firm, proud and lucid, in the face of this manipulation and say first of all what Europe is. It is a historic success,” Macron proclaimed.
France’s President outlined a number of initiatives the EU could undertake in order to ensure its survival while also defending its core values, including the establishment of a “European Agency for the Protection of Democracies”.
“A European Agency for the Protection of Democracies would provide European experts to each member state to protect its electoral process against cyber-attacks and manipulation,” he suggested.
The French leader also argued that any funding from abroad for political parties in the EU must be forbidden, and that rules should be put in place to ban “hateful and violent speeches from the Internet”.
Macron declared further that those European countries that wish to belong to the Schengen Area Agreement should accept stricter external border controls, including through a common border force, as well as a common asylum policy for migrants.
Ahead of the 2019 EU elections, Macron has made clear his intentions to establish a centrist pro-EU alliance in order to try to neutralize populist and nationalist movements gaining traction throughout Europe.
(Banner image: TV grab from France24)