EU needs reformed institutional framework, says President

European Union – Belgium/NATO – Statements by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, during his joint press briefing with Mr Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium (excerpts)

Brussels, 25 May 2017

(…) I was elected by the French people on 7 May on the basis of a largely European programme, winning against attempts to make Europe inward-looking, to diminish it and to destroy it. And so this is clearly what I intend to carry out; I’ll do what I was elected for, in France and also in Europe.

And this European project of tomorrow is the one we share. We have many common challenges: economic growth, the return of investment, a Europe which develops in terms of the energy and environmental transition and digital technology. This is the agenda which we, Belgium and France, are going to share, but which we’re also going to promote together at European level. This means a Europe, and a Euro Area in particular, which functions better, whose framework – the institutional framework and also the way it functions daily – is reformed. This radical European reform is what I want us to be able to promote together and what will be our generation’s responsibility.

We’ve occasionally got used to managing Europe. This Europe, if we go on simply managing it, will unravel, and I say so very firmly here in this city, which has the institutions of our Europe.

Finally, we have a protection agenda. There’s a section of European people – the middle and working classes – who express doubts, who might have expressed doubts about many of our governments and occasionally express doubts about Europe, because they feel we no longer protect them against the major risks posed by world events. And so this protection agenda is also, and must be, an agenda of cooperation for the European project.

Europe isn’t and can’t be – some people have too often wanted this to be the case – about the survival of the fittest. We’ve got to be able to protect our most vulnerable workers, and we’ll be having an important discussion on the Posting of Workers Directive – I’d like to review it with you thoroughly and find a more harmonious framework; this means working to harmonize our social rights (…), working for fiscal harmonization, working to protect our industries and our workers from international trade imbalances and the fact that certain countries don’t comply [with legislation], and obviously it means protecting against the terrorist threat. Our British friends experienced the terrorist threat in Manchester a few days ago, as both our countries have experienced it in recent months.

Beyond our solidarity, European cooperation must be stepped up on intelligence services, the exchange of information and the protection of our common borders, and this security agenda is the one which we’re going to promote together within the European Council. (…)./.

Published on 31/05/2017

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