Macron’s call for European integration

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, in an article for the Financial Times makes a clear and resolute commitment to European integration, writes Francisco César das Neves

The current political crises shaking the western world are a wake-up call for the EU to step up and adapt in order to ensure acceptance from its citizens. Mr Macron underpins this criticism with a coherent agenda: Instead of being swept along in the wave of isolationism, he urges Europe to unify to tackle the challenges head-on:

 “We must rebuild Europe’s institutional and democratic foundations and ensure that any new EU-wide powers are understood and accepted by its citizens. At the same time we must defend and strengthen a union that allows European countries to speak with a louder voice on the world stage.”
The United States’ protectionist turn has left Europe with more responsibilities to bear, and it is now for Europe to maintain the defense of liberal democracy. Mr Macron calls for the formation of a European defence fund, along with the armed forces to guarantee security in a troubled and shifting world. His call to shed old world-views in order to adapt to new challenges is a necessary change from the polemical and regressive narrative roiling the continent:
“Today, Europe faces multiple enemies, while the alliance is uncertain. We cannot fail again. We must create a European defence fund, with a permanent headquarters in charge of operation planning and monitoring. Central to this is a Franco-German relationship that is strong enough to ensure that Europe can act credibly and effectively in the Middle East and Africa.”
One of the key issues at the heart of the turbulence shaking the European project is the question of legitimacy and sovereignty. Mr Macron’s message is unifying and direct, exactly what we need in these troubled times:
“We can keep on bickering, mesmerised by the lure of an illusory sovereignty. Or we can decide to act together and shape our own future.”
It is most welcome to hear a resolved voice describing a way ahead that recognises the complexity and gravity of the current situation, instead of fleeing into simplified absolutes. The PDU hopes that more politicians may recognise what is at stake and take courage, offering tangible and convincing arguments against the furor of populist eurosceptism. The EU has to steer back on track, and it is encouraging that this observation is slowly being underlined with the clear acknowledgment that the solution is not less, but more Europe.”
Image ‘Emmanuel Macron, Ministre de l’Économie et des Finances (2)’ courtesy of Gongashan via Flickr, released under Creative Commons License 2.0.
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