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Τρίτη, 24 Οκτωβρίου 2017
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Macron Calls for a Europe that Leads Rather Than Adjusts

Europe must change because, as it stands, it is “too weak, too slow and too inefficient,” President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

Two days after the triumph of Euroscepticism in Germany, in the form of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the less-than-liberal FDP, President Macron made clear that Paris is demanding rather than merely wishing for change.

Leading not adjusting

Addressing an audience at the University of the French elite – the Sorbonne – President Macron projected the vision of a Europe that could shape the world rather than merely adjust to it.

Macron reiterated his proposals for an EU asylum office, general attorney, defense budget, intelligence Academy, a transaction tax, a common corporate tax rate, a common carbon emissions tax, a common budget, a simplified Common Agricultural policy, and a finance minister for the eurozone.

The French President even proposed the founding of a “Disruption Innovation Agency” to finance research in artificial intelligence, invest in startups, and boost European champions in strategically important emerging technologies.

Focusing on defense, Macron promised to open the French Army to other European nationals and called for an “autonomous capacity for action,” according to the BBC. “At the beginning of the next decade, Europe must have a joint intervention force, a common defense budget and a joint doctrine for action,” Macron said according to Reuters.

The French President noted that nationalism and identity politics are the barriers to his essentially federal vision, which also includes a parliament for the Eurozone, which will be distinct from the EU 28 European Parliament.

These ideas paint a picture that appears to be too federal even for the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who according to DW does not support the idea of a separate Eurozone budget or parliament.

The fear of German pushback

Two days after the entry of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the German Parliament and the worst electoral results since the Second World War for the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD), the proposal may seem less than in tune with the prevalent mood in Germany.

The most likely junior coalition partner of the fourth administration for Chancellor Angela Merkel is the Liberal FDP. The FDP’s leader, Christian Linder, campaigned on a promise to purge the Eurozone from Greece and put a stop on any project of financial integration.

Friends as well as foes

Since Sunday, the French President has consulted twice with Chancellor Merkel, DW reports.

Besides the Chancellor, the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker appears to be on the same page.

Before the German elections and under the auspices of the European Commission, the so-called “big four” – Italy, Spain, France, and Germany – have been demonstrating increasing political coordination, beginning from taxation issues. However, because political, fiscal, and strategic integration comes hand in hand with social transfers and debt mutualization, the sovereigntist pushback in Germany may be significant.

However, because political, fiscal, and strategic integration comes hand in hand with social transfers and debt mutualization, the sovereigntist pushback in Germany may be significant. Moreover, smaller states like Ireland, Malta, and Luxembourg could object to a kind of integration that undermines their economic model.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/macron-calls-europe-leads-rather-adjusts/

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