In one of the most pro–Europe speech, the French President Emmanuel Macron spoke up for common EU policies on defence, asylum and tax, called for the formation of European universities, and promised to play Ode to Joy, the EU anthem, at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Mr Macron said the EU should:
- Strengthen borders and protect the “sovereignty” of member states against uncontrolled migrant flows – speeding up asylum applications, setting up a central asylum office to hold background files, and helping countries where immigrants come from to stabilise their economies
- Set up a single, EU-wide tax on financial transactions
- Forge a common policy on sustainable development by harmonising subsidies for green technology and introducing a bloc-wide carbon tax
- Make the Common Agricultural Policy more flexible and less bureaucratic
- Set up a European agency to encourage “champions” in digital technology
“Here we are with a Europe that is more fragile than ever bearing the brunt of globalization as we know it and falling victim to ideas like nationalism and identitarianism,” Macron said in a speech delivered at Paris-Sorbonne University on Tuesday. “The dangers, the ideas of the past are growing once more,” he added, alluding to the growing power of the far right in EU nations.