France is about to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union, and last week President Emmanuel Macron, one of the leaders of the Renew Europe political family, spoke at the plenary of the European Committee of the Regions to outline France’s objective for the European Union during those six months.
President Macron gave a sweeping analysis of the state of the Union, which can be watched again on the CoR’s Twitter account. He concluded going beyond the French presidency outlining three key objectives for the medium term:
- to reinforce the feeling of belonging to the Union amongst European citizens, and he highlighted the key role that subnational leaders have in helping with this objective.
- to create a European demos, a space where citizens from across the Union discuss European affairs together, with a Union that is closer to its citizens.
- European sovereignty and industrial, technological and military independence of the Union as a guarantee to protect our democracy, because if citizens perceive that we are vulnerable to hybrid attacks from outside the Union and cannot defend ourselves, then our democracies will disappear.
After President Macron presented the objectives and priorities of the upcoming French Presidency in 2022, Renew Europe CoR President François Decoster took the opportunity to tell President Macron of the Renew Europe CoR’s commitment to accompany it and to contribute to the strengthening of democracy in the EU. François Decoster said:
“Our commitment is to participate in the implementation of the three main objectives of this French Presidency: relaunch, power and belonging (Relance, Puissance & Appartenance). Local communities Local communities are major players in public investment and their more systematic association with the initial definition of the recovery tools is a factor of success. We are often on the front line to see too often European impotence (tragically off the coast of the Hauts-de-France region last week) and campaign for a new European sovereignty. The foundation of European construction, these are its founding values and we commit ourselves every day to defend them against all extremism.”
He also stressed the importance of reinforcing the visibility of what Europe does, its actions, in our regions, and of the dialogue it must maintain with its locally elected representatives: the example of the Europe correspondents which was set up in the municipalities of the Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays de Saint-Omer deserves to be deployed on a larger, EU-wide scale.