Let’s go ! Emmanuel Macron on December 2 kicked off a political and diplomatic sequence that will closely mix the national calendar and that of the European Union. Every six months, an EU member state chairs multiple Councils of Ministers that participate in drafting laws and making decisions on behalf of the Twenty-Seven. In the first half of 2022, it will be our country’s turn. A meeting that the Head of State was impatiently awaiting. A convinced European, he campaigned in 2017 claiming that the transformation of France required a deepening of the Union. This time, European themes will permeate even more intimately the speeches and actions of a president who will no doubt soon be a candidate for re-election next April.
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He will have to move quickly to get his ideas across, including that of a powerful Europe. This qualifier is never attributed to the EU, except in economic and commercial matters. However, faced with states that are the size of a continent and whose rivalry is increasingly asserting itself, Europe appears to be the only level of initiative or resistance possible. The French Presidency of the Union will seek to accelerate this awareness. A defense summit will be organized. But the need to be collectively stronger is essential in many other areas: health, as the fight against Covid-19 has shown; digital technology and the development of artificial intelligence, which must be accompanied by strict protection of public freedoms and personal data; trade and free trade, the principles of which must henceforth take into account the protection of biodiversity and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Imposing a border carbon tax on China, India and even the United States can only be done at the EU level.
Discreetly, the reinvention of the European project was defended Monday, December 6 by a voice that has become rare: that of Jacques Delors. It was on an evening marking the 25e anniversary of the research institute which bears his name today and which he created after his dual mandate at the head of the European Commission (1985-1995).
He himself was not there, in the red velvet case of the Odeon-Theater de l’Europe, in Paris. But his message was read by Pascal Lamy, who was one of his closest collaborators. “Europe at the beginning was thought of as a peace project, he explained in particular. Today it must also think of itself as a power; a power in the making, responsible and generous in the world. “
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In the front row of the audience stood Emmanuel Macron. Throughout his message, Jacques Delors approved the three elements of a triptych that will be hammered out during the French presidency of the Union: “Relaunch, power, belonging. ” “Europe belongs to us as much as we belong to Europe, he warned in particular. For all our countries, to belong to Europe today is to refuse to allow oneself to belong to China, to Russia, or even to align obediently with the United States. Without this feeling of belonging to Europe, our project will collapse like a house of cards. “ A valuable validation on the eve of decisive months for the EU… and France.