|Author (Person)||Negrier-Pascaud, Mathilde|
|Series Details||April 2018|
France's President Emmanuel Macron addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament on 17 April 2018. In his speech, he laid out his vision for the future of the European Union.
One of Macron's focal points in his speech was the rise of nationalism throughout Europe demonstrated by Brexit but also by the increasing number of EU member states electing nationalist leaders. As regards this topic, Macron believes that the European democracy is better than authoritarian democracy.
In his speech, he mentioned his proposal for the EU's monetary union. Macron would like to reform the monetary union with the creation of a European Budget as well as the appointment of a European Finance Minister. This proposal was met with some resistance from Germany. Indeed, the German finance minister, while agreeing with Macron's reforms also said that not all of his ideas could be realized. Other measures included among others a EU-wide initiative to integrate refugees and immigrants, greater cooperation on security and defence and the creation of a new digital tax for giant technology companies.
In the discussion following the speech, Macron also exposed his views of what the relations between the EU and the United Kingdom should be like post-Brexit. Macron pointed out that changes needed to be made to the EU budget due to the UK's withdrawal. While he showed willingness to increase France's contribution, he also argued that there should be budget rebates for some member states. As regards the relationship between the EU and the UK after Brexit, Macron would like to keep the country close to the EU if the UK respects the four freedoms of the EU single market.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker praised the speech but was also quick to remind MEPs that the EU was an ensemble and not only the axis between France and Germany.
He made this speech at a time when the EU was getting ready for the next parliamentary election. While Macron's En Marche party was still not represented at the European Parliament, it was expected to gain numerous seat after the poll in May 2019.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Europe, France|