President will seek to maintain solid ties with UK

New Year greetings to the French people by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic (excerpts)

Paris, 31 December 2019

(…)

Our commitment, our sense of duty, our sense of respect for other citizens – these are values essential to our unity and harmony. (…)

I remember those spring days when the spire of Notre Dame burned and then collapsed. The wave of shock was immediately followed by an outpouring of enthusiasm to swiftly rebuild that national gem for the next 1,000 years. What everyone saw with Notre Dame was our French spirit – going beyond our limits.

We are a people of builders, aware of our universal vocation. A long-term people, because we know where we come from and are capable of looking ahead. A people who are always able to rise to the occasion.

This sense of history, this unity challenged time and again, will be our most solid strengths when it comes to tackling the times ahead.

When the pace of history quickens, the French spirit makes no concessions to fatalism.

We have demonstrated this by protecting the Paris Agreement on the climate, influencing the resolution of crises in Ukraine, Iran, Libya and Syria that have a direct impact on our security, and resolutely committing ourselves to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel.

We shall have to demonstrate it once again in the coming weeks and months.

In particular, so that a sovereign Europe is built in terms of defence, security, the climate and digital technology, a Europe which – proud of its democratic model combining freedom and solidarity – will not only be our shield but also project our voice. In this regard, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is a challenge. I shall work to maintain a solid relationship between our two countries.

My dear compatriots, if we so choose and if we pull together, we can take ownership of the decade that is beginning, and ours can become the nation that devises strong and happy ways of living in these times of great upheavals.

We shall have to be able to make clear choices, invest in the future, in our young people, in our research, in new systems, and look ahead to the end of this decade. (…)./.

Published on 24/01/2020

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