Since the establishment of the post of President of the European Council in 2009-now held by a Belgian Charles Michel-The EU presidency that allows 27 member states to take turns leading the EU every six months has lost all meaning. But despite this, Emmanuel Macron Determined to restore all its glory, just when France expires At the helm in Brussels from January to June 2022.
In a ceremonial press conference that lasted more than two hours, the French president was packed with reporters. The French president gave a detailed introduction of his vision for Europe and took this opportunity Show your credentials as the captain. He did so just as the 16 years of reign of Angela Merkel and the new prime minister had just ended. Olaf Schultz The power vacuum has not yet been filled.
In fact, Macron has little time to advance his priorities. If a semester is meaningless in the slow decision-making process in Brussels, his term as EU leader will be much shorter. France celebrates the first round of presidential elections on April 10. This Thursday’s behavior can be interpreted as the starting gun for his re-election campaign because a reporter accused him.
Nonetheless, the French President has put forward an ambitious agenda that is very detailed and has two core pillars: construction Europe’s true sovereignty over China or the U.S. And the creation of a new growth model based on re-industrialization and the creation of high-quality and high-paying jobs.
The motto of France, the presidency of the European Union, is “Recovery, effectiveness and belonging“. Its logo combines the colors of the French flag with European stars and an arrow to signify “a willingness to move forward in the face of the temptation to withdraw.” “We must start from a Europe that cooperates within our country. It borders a powerful Europe in the world, has complete sovereignty, and can freely decide and control our own destiny. This is the goal,” Macron said.
“Faced with all the crises that hit Europe, there are many people who just want to rely on the state. Nation is our strength and our pride, but the unity of Europe is their indispensable supplement. We must act like Europeans, we must think like Europeans,” he argued.
A more sovereign Europe
The first axis of European sovereignty that Macron defended includes Strengthen control of external boundariesThe French president’s recent attack on Belarusian immigrants on the Polish border is justified, but in fact his strategy is trying to cannibalize from his right-wing competitors. Valerie Pecres, Starting from the far right, Marina Le Pen and Eric Zemur. He said: “Protecting external borders is an indispensable condition for ensuring safety, responding to migration challenges and mixed warfare, and avoiding human tragedies.”
Macron hopes to establish a Schengen Council of Ministers with the image and similarity of the Euro Group and to strengthen border regulations.He also proposed to create a New border emergency support mechanism, Which will force all countries to send police and teams in front-line countries (such as Spain) when migrating avalanches occur. Finally, France will push for an agreement on a new immigration and asylum agreement, although he did not mention the mandatory allocation quota required by Madrid in his speech.
The second element of a more sovereign Europe is Advance defense policy, One of the traditional requirements of Paris. Macron proposed for the first time to conduct joint training exercises between different European armies and strengthen the community’s defense industry.In the French semester, the EU will approve its new safety doctrine (strategic compass), although it is not clear whether the proposal Joseph Borrell Establish a European rapid intervention force with 5,000 soldiers.
Finally, France hopes to Stability and prosperity EU’s nearest neighbors, especially Africa and the Balkans. A summit with the African Union will be held in Brussels in February. Macron plans to initiate a New price Economics and finance; a common agenda on education, health and climate; and a security association whose purpose is to counter the spread of terrorism on the African continent. The goal of the Balkans is to reiterate their European views in order to curb Russian or Chinese intervention in the region.
New growth model
Macron convened an informal summit of European leaders from March 10 to 11 to discuss the definition of this new growth model.In his opinion, the first pillar should be Reindustrialization of the African continent, To form alliances with Europe in leading fields such as semiconductors, cloud economy, national defense or culture. The French president talked about “European Champions”, a concept that triggered a boycott in Brussels and “the establishment of technological sovereignty.”
In order to achieve these goals, a large amount of public investment is required, which can only be achieved through “Adjusted budget rules“Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, the stabilization agreement limiting the deficit to 3% and the debt limit to 60% has been suspended, and Macron has defended reforms and made it more flexible before re-entering into effect. Effective in 2023 .”If we go back to the fiscal framework created in the early 1990s, we will not succeed.“, Say.
The President of France proposed Two options Major reforms.The first one will include Make the next generation fund permanent, So all investments are made within Europe and have common debt.If it turns out that this is not feasible (thrifty countries and Germany also oppose it), Macron bets Exclude national public investment from deficit calculations.
During his presidency, Paris will promote the European Union’s climate agenda and a library of regulations that will reduce emissions by 55% by 2030.At the same time, the French President regards approval as a priority CO2 emission rate at the border And rules prohibiting the import of food produced on deforested land. This is to ensure that the European industrial and agri-food sector will not be at a disadvantage compared to third countries with lower environmental standards.
In the digital field, Macron emphasized 8 of the world’s top 10 companies by market capitalization are technology companies, but none of them are European companiesTo this end, it requires more community assistance to be invested in Startups More innovative. The French President also hopes to approve the “Digital Market Law” in the next semester, “this will prevent digital giants from becoming monopolies without rules”; and the “Digital Services Law”, which “establishes a platform for the sale of products and disseminated content. Responsibility system”.
Finally, France will promote the final approval of the minimum wage and wage transparency directives.The ultimate goal must be to enable the EU to Provide higher quality and “higher-paying” jobs. If Europe does not protect the weakest, let Dump Macron warned that socially, the end result may be a new Brexit.