France’s head of state never runs out of ideas for Europe. Emmanuel Macron now wants to mix ideas proposed by citizens and leaders to get Europe back on its feet. EURACTIV France reports.
In an interview with 40 regional daily French newspapers on Tuesday (21 May), a few days before the European elections, Macron tried to motivate French citizens to go out and vote by waving a red flag at Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN).
Regarding the issue of “what should the new European Parliament start working on?”, Macron replied: “a founding convention for Europe after the elections”.
“The heads of state and government, together with the new executive and leaders of the Parliament, as well as citizens, need to take the time to define Europe’s strategy for the next five years, including the changes to the Treaties that they would like to achieve,” he added.
The French leader had already tried to gauge public opinion and get Europeans to react by encouraging citizen conventions to take place, where European issues were discussed. A process more or less followed in various EU member states, but its results were then shelved and forgotten.
The topic was barely mentioned at the Sibiu Summit in Romania on 9 May when proposals for the EU’s future were supposed to be central to the summit.
Changing the treaties, always a delicate idea
The provocative idea of changing the EU treaties is not likely to thrill the masses, as heads of state and government are so afraid to give voice to increasingly populist voters to validate them.
The ballot boxes may confirm this risk on the final day of the European elections (26 May), particularly in Italy.
Among the European issues raised, the French president also called for “a common European tax on kerosene”.
[Edited by Sam Morgan]