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Macron’s French EU Presidency speech analyzed by an expert

According to a draft statement, the group of federalist MEPs will today launch the proposal that EU leaders should listen to the recommendations received at the conference on the future of Europe.

The draft, seen by Politico, reads: “We want a Europe that is stronger, more democratic, more representative of people’s daily needs, more ready to act and that requires changes to the current treaties.”

They will also argue that the French presidential election will be “a window of opportunity” for ambitious EU reforms.

An attempt to replace the EU Treaties with a single document had already been made in 2004, but French and Dutch voters in May and June 2005 rejected the idea in a referendum, dashing hopes that a Constitution European is finally drafted.

But while French President Emmanuel Macron has long campaigned for more EU integration and a federal approach to the bloc’s fundamentals, MPs are now hopeful that his potential re-election in April and his plan under the French presidency of the EU will revive the dream.

EU news: Emmanuel Macron has long campaigned for more integration into the EU (Image: GETTY)

Speaking to the European Parliament on Wednesday, the French leader outlined his vision for the bloc as France begins its six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.

But the French president’s vision of the EU came under attack from French MEPs three months before the French presidential election.

In France, a president never takes part in debates in the National Assembly, and having to answer questions from lawmakers live is a very unusual affair.

“For France, but also for Europe, it is essential that you have only one mandate,” MEP Jordan Bardella of France’s far-right National Rally told Macron, who came to power in 2017. .

Manuel Bompard, of the far left La France Insoumise (insubordinate France), was one of many to accuse Macron of lying, adding: “In three months, the French will be able to make sure that Europe gets rid of him” .

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Macron, who has already made clear he wants to run for a second term but has yet to officially confirm it, accused his opponents of misunderstanding the challenges facing Europe and France and of distorting his policies.

Opinion polls show Macron, 44, as the likeliest winner of the April election, but it’s not done.

A fervent pro-European, Macron hopes his proposals for a more assertive Europe will help secure him a second five-year term as president of France.

While Europe is not at the heart of French voters’ concerns, opinion polls show that issues of sovereignty, security and identity are, and his opponents like to paint Macron as too cerebral and distant. to understand the concerns of ordinary people.

“Emmanuel Macron’s Europe has neither heart, nor head, nor soul,” far-right candidate Eric Zemmmour said on Wednesday in Calais.

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Macron’s wish for a more sovereign and strategically autonomous Europe is a fantasy, says Zemmour (Image: GETTY)

Mr Zemmour, the far-right French presidential challenger, said on Wednesday he would take back control of France’s borders from Europe, block European Union free trade talks and prevent any further expansion of the east block.

Presenting his view of France’s relations with the EU, Zemmour called President Macron’s quest for deeper European cooperation a madness that put the needs of French citizens in the hands of an illegitimate Brussels elite.

“I want France to be in Europe, but I want France to come before Europe,” he said in a speech from a windswept point near the northern port of Calais, from where thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to reach Great Britain each year. .

That meant regaining control of France’s borders, restoring the primacy of domestic law over European law and halting accession negotiations with states on the bloc’s eastern flank, Zemmour said.

“With me, the European flag will never fly without the French tricolor,” he said. Earlier this month Macron’s opponents reacted furiously to his decision to fly the EU flag alone under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the start of France’s rotating presidency of the European Council.

He said France should stay in the EU, the world’s largest trading bloc. But echoing the arguments used by the ‘Leave’ campaign during Britain’s Brexit campaign in 2016, he denounced the destructive interference of an out-of-touch Brussels elite in the daily lives of European citizens.

Macron’s wish for a more sovereign and strategically autonomous Europe was fanciful, Zemmour said.

“Macron’s Europe is a fictional Europe,” he continued.

“Contrary to what he thinks, Europe is not a nation.”

Mary I. Bruner