Macron’s appeal to the 'citizens of Europe' comes under fire from right and left

France 24 | 3/12/2019 | Staff
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Sensing a threat to the ideal of a united Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the “citizens of Europe” directly in an open letter published last week in 28 languages, saying the EU faces an “urgent” threat ahead of upcoming European parliamentary elections.

"In a few weeks’ time, the European elections will be decisive for the future of our continent,” Macron wrote. Resisting the temptation to “withdraw”, he proposed that Europe seek a “renaissance” organised around the three main principles of freedom (ensured through better cyber security and banning EU parties from accepting foreign money), protection (including a Schengen-wide asylum policy) and progress (better protections for workers and taking the lead on climate change).

Brexit - Example - European - Union - Today

Brexit is one example of the "urgent" threats the European Union is facing today, Macron wrote.

"It symbolises the crisis of Europe, which has failed to respond to its peoples’ needs for protection from the major shocks of the modern world."

Response - Macron - Appeals - France - Leaders

The response to Macron's appeals was lukewarm and particularly so in France, where both left- and right-wing leaders took him to task for merely offering more of the same platitudes of the past.

Laurent Wauquiez, leader of the right-wing Les Républicains party, said Macron was offering a false binary choice. In an opinion piece entitled, "There is another way for Europe," Wauquiez wrote that Macron’s proposals discuss “pro-Europeans and anti-Europeans, progressives and nationalists, saviours and destroyers, with nothing in-between”.

Macron - Proposals - Blindness - Face - Europe

Macron's proposals “show the same blindness in the face of Europe's impasse”, he wrote.“Rather than questioning, [he proposes] a leap forward towards more of a Europe that does not work.”

France must 'clean it's own house'

Slogans - Years - Schengen - Area - Europe

“What is striking is that these incantatory slogans are repeated continuously over the years: rebuilding the Schengen area, creating a social Europe ... Words that end up saying nothing in this era of scepticism,” said Wauquiez.

“If France truly...
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