As of: 01/19/2022 5:21 p.m
Europe should remain safe – to underline this mission, French President Macron resorted to biographical narratives. In some places, his critics also used the EU Parliament as an election campaign platform.
It took 25 minutes for Emmanuel Macron to get to the heart of his speech: on the security of Europe. Macron said she was in more danger than she had been in decades, and then he tried to make it clear with a very personal statement how much the situation in Europe had changed. “I was born in 1977. In the blood-soaked soil of northern France where I grew up, Europe meant peace.” That was a matter of course. What the French President wanted to say with the excursion into his personal history, he also made clear: his generation of politicians must now fight very specifically to maintain security.
ARD studio Brussels
In the Ukraine conflict, Macron wants the Europeans not to stand on the sidelines. His proposal: an initiative for a new stability and security policy in Europe. It was noticeable how often Macron emphasized that this had to happen in dialogue with Russia: “The security of our continent requires strategic rearmament as a power of peace and balance,” he said, adding that this includes “particularly dialogue with Russia”. . Open dialogue is necessary, especially with a view to “destabilization, interference and manipulation”.
security in Europe
Like the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock before him, Macron once again campaigned for the Normandy format. France will continue together with Germany to seek a political solution to the Ukraine conflict. Macron left open whether Paris received signals from Moscow to respond to the offer – so far Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks directly with Washington.
For the French President, Europe’s security also includes better protection of the external borders. To this end, he wants to initiate a reform of the Schengen area with higher barriers to illegal migration.
Attacks by EPP and Greens
Several times during Macron’s speech, the European Parliament in Strasbourg became the stage for the French election campaign. First, when the CSU politician Manfred Weber went to the lectern. With a view to the presidential elections taking place in France in April, Weber said he was happy that there was now real competition with the conservative candidate Valérie Pécresse. “Let’s see if the French voters will then ensure gender justice”. Macron smiled.
His reaction to a contribution by Green MEP Yannick Jadot, who is himself a candidate for the French presidential election, was less amused. Jadot accused Macron of having entered into a “climate-destroying alliance” with countries like Poland and Hungary – only to enforce the sustainability seal for nuclear energy: “They produce the gas to save nuclear energy, although it has long been doomed to fail.” . The criticism brought the Green MP a call for order from Parliament President Roberta Metsola: “This is not a national debate here,” she explained.