Macron and Europe: Six figures to consider

Emmanuel Macron with Jean-Claude Juncker at Meseberg palace. [EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER]

A year to the day after Emmanuel Macron’s impassioned pro-Europe Sorbonne speech, the outcomes seem meagre. The Élysée Palace sees things differently though and has defended the work done towards making the president’s proposals a reality. EURACTIV France reports.

49 proposals

In his Sorbonne speech on 26 September 2017, Macron made 49 proposals to change Europe.

Of this total, the Élysée insists that 22 proposals have been “finalised”, 18 are still “ongoing” and 9 remain in “preparation”.

Among the finalised texts are proposals on creating a European civil protection force, the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive – which threatens to leave the transport sector in the lurch – and the common defence initiative concluded with nine countries.

Macron’s entourage also include the copyright directive as one of the successes, even though this debate was already well under way when he came to power.

Drama strikes hemicycle as European Parliament backs copyright bill

The European Parliament backed the controversial copyright bill on Wednesday (12 September), drawing cheers of jubilation and howls of disapproval from MEPs in the Strasbourg hemicycle.

27 proposals in limbo

Despite this questionable record-keeping, the majority of proposals remain either on hold, ongoing or in preparation, accounting for 27 proposals in total.

This is true of the tax on companies in the digital sector, which is still the subject of political debate, and particularly eurozone reform, which has had a poor start.

In this regard, the Élysée insists that the idea of establishing a common European budget will be on the table of the European Council summit in December.

On the other hand, establishing a parliament for the eurozone, which was also part of the proposal for reform, did not convince anyone.

Strong reactions in Germany against eurozone reform

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s opponents from left and right have contested the recently signed agreement between France and Germany for the creation of a budget for the euro area in 2021. EURACTIV.fr reports.

800 public consultations

At the beginning, the idea of holding meetings to debate and identify the proposals for Europe was seen as Macron’s propaganda project. However, the concept ultimately took off: 200,000 people have already reportedly participated in 800 events across Europe.

Citizens’ consultations: An ambitious gamble to connect citizens with Brussels

France hopes to reconnect Brussels and European citizens through debates organised by civil society. Jean-Claude Juncker’s participation in the first event on 17 April has yet to be confirmed. EURACTIV.fr reports

1 Jedi

The Joint European Disruptive Initiative is on track in the form of a Franco-German initiative. Created in the form of a collective, the project has already brought together some funds and has launched challenges in several French and German regions.

Return of the JEDI: European disruptive technology initiative ready to launch

When French President Emmanuel Macron proposed the creation of a European innovation body modelled on the US DARPA last September, few believed it possible. But the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) is taking shape.

6 European universities in 2019

In his speech on 26 September 2017, Macron proposed establishing universities with truly European courses. Having been approved by the European Council, the idea will materialised in October with the European Commission’s first call for proposals for the first six courses, which will be launched in 2019.

200 MEPs for transnational lists

The idea of having transnational lists for the European elections appealed to a good third of the European Parliament. However, setting up these lists has been postponed until 2024 as the heads of state refused to modify the conditions of the European elections for the moment.

European Parliament votes against transnational lists

MEPs rejected the idea of a transnational list for the 2019 European elections on Wednesday (7 February), though they agreed to change the composition of the Parliament in light of Brexit. EURACTIV.fr reports.

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