Tag Archives: Macron

EU Wider Europe platform

Brussels 24.06.2022  During the EU Summit in Brussels the leaders had a first and constructive discussion on an emerging European Political Community. According to the unnamed EU official he goal would be to foster political dialogue and cooperation between European countries, so as to strengthen security, stability and prosperity on the European continent.

The Community concerns all European countries with whom the EU has close relations, he continued. It would consist in regular meetings at leaders level, which would create space for political discussions and therefore contribute to mutual understanding and a common strategic culture.

The President of the European Council will now pursue work to move this project forward, together with the French and the Czech rotating Presidencies, the official concluded.

Proposed on 9 May in Strasbourg, Emmanuel Macron’s “European political community” is a innovative approach. Inspired by former president François Mitterrand’s initial idea of a European confederation, the French president (1981-1995) outlined a European forum that would be separate from the European Union.

The aim is to offer a platform for political coordination for European countries across the continent. It could concern all European countries with whom we have close relations.

The objective would be to foster political dialogue and cooperation to address issues of common interest so as to strengthen the security, stability and prosperity of the European continent.

Such a framework will not replace existing EU policies and instruments, notably enlargement, and will fully respect the European Union’s decision-making autonomy.

Building on this first exchange of views, the European Council will revert to the issue.

“This new European organisation would enable democratic European nations adhering to our set of values to find a new area of political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure, and the movement of people, especially our young people. Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future membership of the European Union, just as it would not be closed to those who have left the latter”  President Macron during the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Ukraine: EU leaders in Irpin

Brussels 16.06.2022 The leaders of Germany, France and Italy – all criticized in the past by Kyiv for support viewed as too cautious – made a joint visit to Ukraine, touring a town of Irpin devastated by Russia’s invasion.

“It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians,” French President Emmanuel Macron said after pulling into Kyiv on an overnight train along with Germany’s Olaf Scholz and Italy’s Mario Draghi. They were also joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy visited Kyiv on Thursday in a show of European support for Ukraine, as Russia presses its brutal offensive in the east of the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrived in the Ukrainian capital by train from Poland, according to an AFP reporter travelling with them.

Asked by a journalist why he had come to Ukraine, Macron said: “For a message of European unity.”

Scholz told German daily Bild that they “want to show not only solidarity, but also assure that the help that we’re organising — financial, humanitarian, but also, when it comes to weapons — will continue”.

“And that we will continue it as long as it is necessary for Ukraine’s fight” against Moscow, he said.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24 invasion.

They are due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, at a time when Kyiv is pushing to be given official candidate status to join the EU.

France which holds the rotating presidency of the EU until the end of this month — Germany and Italy view Ukraine’s aspirations to join the bloc favourably.

Metsola:”Europe is future”

Strasbourg 09.05.2022 The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola addressed the opening speech of The State of the Union 2022 at the European University Institute in Florence.
In her speech ‘Is Europe fit for the next generation?’, she encouraged European citizens and leaders to believe, to be confident and to use this difficult moment in time as an opportunity for change.

“…In my first address as President of the European Parliament I described myself as part of the generation that sees no old and no new Europe. We are the first of the Erasmus generation, the last of the Wałęsa, Kohl and Havel generation.

“What I meant was that I am part of the Europe generation. 18 years ago on the 1st May, I was standing in Valletta with what felt like the entire country, at midnight staring across the sea in our Grand Harbour as we counted the minutes and the seconds until Malta, together with nine other countries, joined the European Union as Member States.
I still recall the feeling of unbridled possibility, hope and belief in the future. A sort of sense of homecoming, of victory in the potential of our people, of relief, of joy – feelings shared by millions across Europe.

“With war in Europe, today, it is that spirit, that sense of purpose, of enthusiasm, of a clear direction, that I want our European project to re-capture.
People in Ukraine, in Moldova and Georgia, and still in the Western Balkans, are now looking to Europe, with the same sense of belonging and hope.

“And I want people to believe as we did. And to do that we need to understand that we are not just an economic bloc, we are not just about free movement, or about abolishing roaming charges. For my generation, Europe is – as cliché as this might sound – about a shared dream. About shared values. About a shared future, about coming together.

“To us, Europe is the future. It has always been the future.
However, we cannot deny that over the last years polarisation in our societies has increased. There are still too many people who feel lost, let down and left out. At the same time many will now look to Europe and to our institutions for leadership. And we need to be able to respond, we need to be able to lead. We must counter the anti-EU narrative that takes hold so easily and so quickly: mis- and dis-information, enhanced by bots and fabricated in Russian troll factories.

“Europe is about the defence of multilateralism. The understanding that we can only face the future together…”

EU focus on Strategic Compass

Brussels 21.03.2022 “Today is going to be a very long day. We are going to have a joint meeting with the Defence Ministers in order to approve – I hope – the Strategic Compass. Which is not the answer to the Ukrainian war, but it is part of the answer. We have been working on that for two years, and when we started working, we could not imagine that it the last moment of approval, the situation would be so bad, and that Europe was going to face such a big challenge,” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said upon arrival to the Foreign ministers Council in Brussels.

“This is the moment to rethink the future of European capacities to face challenges like a war. That is why the European Union Member States will have to increase their military capacities. [And to] do it in a coordinated manner. As responsible for the Common Security and Defence Policy, we will be working to make us stronger militarily and use our capacities in a more coordinated way.

“We are going to continue providing support to Ukraine – with the second tranche of the European Peace Facility providing more financial support. We are going to have a meeting with the [Deputy Prime Minister] and Foreign Affairs Minister of the [Republic of] Moldova [Nicu Popescu]. Moldova is providing incredible support to the Ukrainian refugees. And then we will have a video-conference with the Defence Minister of Ukraine [Oleksii Reznikov], who will talk about the war situation.

“Russia is really committing a lot of war crimes – that is the word, we have to say it. What is happening in Mariupol is a massive war crime. [They are] destroying everything, bombarding and killing everybody in an indiscriminate manner. This is something awful that we have to condemn in the strongest terms. This is a war crime, a massive war crime, what is happening in Mariupol. The city will be completely destroyed, and people are dying. We will continue working and supporting Ukraine, with all of our resources. We will continue talking about what kind of sanctions we can think of again, more – especially related with energy. And we will see from [our discussions with] the Defence Minister of Ukraine, what is the situation there and how we can continue supporting them.

The enhancement of the EU defence plans is due to the France Presidency of the Council of the European Union. President Emmanuel Macron has ensured that his goal is to “to move from being a Europe of cooperation inside of our borders to a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its choices and master of its destiny.” The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell clarified that it is means the EU should be “learning the language of power,” and being willing to act more rigorously to defend its interests wherever they are threatened.

The France Presidency has an ambition to upgrade the European defence to become fully operational. That is why the Strategic Compass has been promoted as the first White paper on the EU defence, becoming the major achievement of the French presidency. The document will lay out a common strategic vision for EU security and defence, and set the practical objectives in accordance with the timetable, or a roadmap.

There will be strong incentives to follow up on the commitments included, the EU diplomats ensure, as the document will be endorsed by the heads of state and government and will leave room for potential adaptations. The Strategic Compass will be a barometer for both member states’ and the bloc’s ambitions to make the EU a leading security provider for its citizens on the continent and beyond.

Ukraine crisis: Macron diplomatic efforts

Brussels 07.02.2022 Macron attempts to mediate over Ukraine visiting Moscow today.
The U.S. standoff with Russia over Ukraine is at a critical point. At present Washington has engaged NATO to and moved forces east, while Moscow has been sending additional military on the Ukraine border. However beneath those tensions, diplomatic avenues are being intensely explored and the outlines of potential solutions.

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, is meeting with Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, today in Moscow. At the same time, President Biden will be meeting with Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, in Washington. In line with the position of France as chair of the EU rotating presidency, Macron has placed himself at the center of the diplomacy in Europe, giving him an opportunity to perform more than usual leadership role.

For Macron, the risks are as great as the potential payoff, because he is facing falling popularity among his electorate.

Although the solutions to the crisis seem fiendishly elusive for now, in spite of the fact that Russian diplomacy denies the intentions of military conflict, and the situation has appeared less directly threatening toward Ukraine over the past week.

With its huge concentration of troops at the Ukrainian border, Russia is still representing a potential of armed conflict, and Kremlin grievances against NATO expansion continue to play a major role in Ukraine border crisis.

EP: Macron on Defence Union

Strasbourg 19.01.2022 This semester will also lead to the adoption of the “strategic compass”, the definition of “our own security doctrine in addition to NATO”, and a real “strategy in terms of industry, defense and technological independence », the whole to find «a Europe power of the future».

In Strasbourg, Emmanuel Macron gave the traditional speech marking the launch of the rotating presidency of the European Union, which France will exercise until June 30. Before the MEPs, and less than three months before the French presidential election, the Head of State expressed a vision deeply attached to this continent, a long symbol of an “intangible peace” but now subject to “doubts”. To “rebuild our Europe”, the tenant of the Élysée has drawn up the major projects to come and established three promises: democracy, progress and peace.

EU: Macron highlights priorities

Strasbourg 19.20.2021 Anna van Densky President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and President of France Emmanuel Macron held a press conference on Wednesday at 14.45, after the debate on the priorities of France’s Presidency of the Council. (Image: illustration)

In Strasbourg, Emmanuel Macron gave the traditional speech marking the launch of the rotating presidency of the European Union, which France will exercise until June 30. Before the MEPs, and less than three months before the French presidential election, the Head of State expressed a vision deeply attached to this continent, a long symbol of an “intangible peace” but now subject to “doubts”. To “rebuild our Europe”, the tenant of the Élysée has drawn up the major projects to come and established three promises: democracy, progress and peace.

What is it to be European? It is to feel an equal emotion in front of our treasures. For the tenant of the Élysée, this presidency will also be that of European civilization – a culture that should be “promoted” through a “common project respectful of the singularities and identities of each”. To do this, historians and intellectuals will help to “build together the legacy of this common history” and make Europe “once again a cultural and educational democratic power, proud of itself”.

The president named two: the climate challenge and the digital challenge. For the first, “strong proposals” made by the European Commission must be implemented “in the coming weeks”, then be “deployed at national level”. A “summit for the oceans” is scheduled for February to defend biodiversity and the “great maritime power” that is Europe. “We have to move from intention to action,” said the head of state.

Leyen supports Europe defence Union

Brussels 07.01.2022 “…We agree that there is a need for a genuine Defence Union” the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said, while attending event the EU event in Paris, hosted by President Macron.
“A Defence Union that prepares us for new threats in the future. For example, the next hybrid attack, no matter where it comes from. So let us agree on our priorities using our Strategic Compass, which is a kind of White Paper on defence. I am delighted that the French Presidency has committed itself to this issue. I have high expectations of the discussion on this subject at the March Summit. I believe it is high time for the Europe of defence to move up a gear”.

The top EU executive has also reminded about the strain relations with Russia: “…here are considerable tensions at our doorstep, as shown by Russia’s military pressure on Ukraine and its intimidation of Moldova. I am delighted, therefore, that a country with the political weight and experience of France is taking on the Council Presidency at such a delicate time. France’s voice resonates far and wide. And Europe is dear to France”.

The statement was made in the context of the inauguration of the rotating EU presidency of France from January to July 2022. Starting from 1 January, France will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. It will play a central role, together with its European partners, to move forward on negotiations to ensure a more sovereign Europe, a new European growth model, and a human-centred Europe.

In particular, France will be responsible for organising the meetings of the Council of the European Union, fostering cooperation between the Member States and handling the Council’s relations with the European Commission and Parliament. The French Presidency of the Council of the EU will contribute to reaching compromises and decisions that serve European citizens in several key fields such as the ecological and digital transition, protection and adaptation of our social model, better protection of borders and reaffirming the importance of European values.

In order to address these priorities, a number of events and informal meetings are being organised by the French Presidency throughout France, as well as in Brussels and Luxembourg where formal Council meetings are held.

Macron stands by his threats to non-vax

Brussels 07.01.2022 French President Emmanuel Macron said he stood by his earlier comments saying he wanted to “piss off” the five million French people who are still not vaccinated against COVID-19, adding it was his responsibility to sound the alarm given the Omicron threat.

“I stand by my earlier comments,” said Macron, while he has been hosting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her trip to Paris.

Macron added it was the authorities’ obligation to place restrictions against those who are not vaccinated, to protect the more than 90% of French citizens who are vaccinated.

France is reporting more than 200,000 daily new COVID-19 cases on average, an all-time record, due to the high contagiousness of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. According to the source SOS Medicine France there are three persons per 100 000 inhabitants per week, who are hospitalised in critical condition, the overall cases have been reduced to 33 persons per week per 100 000 inhabitants.

EU: Poland at crossroads

Brussels 27.10.2021 In spite of the deepening EU-Poland crisis the Member of the European Parliament Ryszard LEGUTKO (ECR) drew attention to the fact that in recent weeks there has been less than usual criticism from the French government. “In recent times, France has been reluctant to join the anti-Polish crusade,” Legutko underlined. As he assessed, it has, inter alia, related to the country’s growing anti-federal sentiment and the upcoming presidential elections.

Legutko emphasized that as regards the dispute between Brussels and Poland over the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal, the French opposition clearly stands on the Polish side. “President Macron is under pressure because of this. This is a good time to visit and do business with France, he noted, referring to President Andrzej Duda’s visit to the Seine, who meets President Macron on Wednesday. If we have common economic interests, it can also bring us closer politically” – Legutko said.

In an interview with Krzysztof Skowroński on Radio WNET, prof. Ryszard Legutko commented on the dispute between Warsaw and Brussels. The politician assessed another debate on the rule of law in Poland as anti-Polish. As he added, Moreover, the EU leadership is trying to destabilise the situation in Poland. “The European Union wants to destabilise the internal situation in Hungary and Poland” – he said.
Legutko pointed out that the European left, entrenched in EU institutions, is waging an increasingly brutal “cold war” against conservative governments in Europe. He stressed that this is a relatively new phenomenon.

The European Court of Justice said in a press release the fine was “necessary in order to avoid serious and irreparable harm to the legal order of the European Union and to the values on which that Union is founded, in particular that of the rule of law.” The European Commission had requested “financial penalties” be levied on September 9 after Poland failed to comply with the July ruling.
On Twitter, Poland’s Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta called the fine “usurpation and blackmail.”

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered Poland to pay a fine of €1 million ($1.2 million) per day on Wednesday, October 27, over its decision to ignore an EU ruling on Warsaw’s judicial reforms.
The top EU court imposed the penalty as Poland has not suspended the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court. The ECJ had ruled in July that the chamber did not guarantee impartiality.

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