Macron: Proposes European Programme to Finance Local Communitiesby Opinion Express April 18, 2018 0 comments
“There seems to be a European civil war” between rising authoritarianism and liberal democracy, warns the French President Emmanuel Macron.
He urged the EU to renew its commitment to democracy, in a passionate speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “I don’t want to belong to a generation of sleepwalkers that has forgotten its own past”, he said, recalling how the EU arose after World War Two.
He is launching debates with voters, aimed at re-engaging them with the EU.
In his speech, he condemned what he called “a fascination with the illiberal” in Europe.
Last year Macron and his new liberal party, La République en Marche (LREM), triumphed in French elections with a strongly pro-EU platform.
His second-round rival in the presidential election was National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen, a nationalist and fierce critic of the EU.
Macron was also hitting back at the Eurosceptics who drove the vote for Brexit in the UK. As Brexit will leave a big hole in the EU budget he said there should no longer be budget rebates for some member states. He added that France was prepared to increase its contribution.
Macron proposed to create a European fund for communities that take in refugees in a bid to tackle one of the most politically toxic issues facing the EU.
“I propose creating a European programme that directly financially supports local communities that welcome and integrate refugees,” Macron said in a speech to the European Parliament outlining his vision for the bloc.
“France, Britain and the United States carried out airstrikes targeting chemical weapons sites in Syria to defend the “honour of the international community”, he added.
“Three countries have intervened, and let me be quite frank, quite honest — this is for the honour of the international community,” Macron said.
Courtesy: The Pioneer