President Macron, in a debate at the Strasbourg Hemickels, declared that the founding promises of the European Union – democracy, progress and peace – were threatened today and called for action to revitalize them. He warned that the end of the rule of law was the beginning of authoritarianism and stressed that the EU should use dialogue to win back those who “distance” from democratic principles.
He assured MEPs that the French presidency would propose legislation to improve the quality of employment, ensure decent wages, close the gender pay gap, give workers the platform the rights of workers, fight discrimination, and ensure equal representation of women and men in the EU would prioritize corporate governance bodies. He also suggested including the right to abortion in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. President Macron also noted challenges in the areas of climate, digitalization and security, for which legislative proposals will be presented during the six-month period.
On the defensive side, President Macron stressed that Europe must be able to anticipate risks and ensure its security. He stressed the need to stand firmly in the face of interference and attempts to destabilize Europe, especially from Russia, and to effectively punish those who violate international rules.
He concluded by saying: “Europe must become a cultural, democratic and educational force (…) We have the strength and the means to do so.”
Speaking on behalf of the Commission, Vice President Maros تečković noted the challenges facing European security: “We are ready to take action if necessary.” As priorities for the coming months, he called the strategic partnership with Africa, relations with Western Balkan countries and Europe’s economic and technological independence (“We are bringing technology back to Europe”). Referring to the UK, he said the Commission would show goodwill but Europe needed a partner to do the same.
In their reactions to Macron’s speech, the leaders of the group broadly welcomed France’s priorities, but added other points, including the abolition of the consensus rule in the Foreign Policy Council, in order to be able to respond decisively to the behavior of Russian President Putin, among others not Balance the salaries of men and women and review the financial agreement. Several speakers called for progress on rule of law issues regarding Hungary and Poland and criticized the French government’s support for including nuclear energy in new green classification proposals.
Videos of the entire discussion
Videos of individual sermons:
Maros Sevicovic for the Committee
Manfred Weber (EPP, DE)
Iratxe GARCIA PEREZ (S&D, ES)
Stephane Sigourne (renovation, France)
Yannick Gadot (Grüne/EFA, FR)
Jordan Bardella (ID, French)
Raffaele FITTO (EKR, IT)
Manon Aubry (Day Link, France)
Tiziana Begin (NY, IT)
Responses from President Macron
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