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05 Mar 2019

Macron Proposes Schengen Reform to Ensure the Future of EU

Emanuel MacronFrench President Emanuel Macron has urged the European Union to undertake a series of reforms to ensure the future of the block. In an open letter addressed to the citizens of Europe and published in newspapers in all 28 EU countries, Macron has called for a “European renaissance”.

In this letter, the French President estimates that, since the Second World War Europe has never been as essential and so much danger as now.

“Brexit stands as the symbol of that. It symbolizes the crisis of Europe, which has failed to respond to its peoples’ needs for protection from the major shocks of the modern world… Who told the British people the truth about their post-Brexit future? Who spoke to them about losing access to the European market? Who mentioned the risks to peace in Ireland of restoring the former border?” Macron asks in his letter.

He also lists a series of moves that the EU could undertake to defend itself and reach its future goals. Macron’s proposals are as follows:

  • The establishment of the European Agency for the Protection of Democracies. This agency would protect the EU from cyber-attacks, fake news, and in particular, it would ban foreign powers from funding European political parties.
  • The establishment of the European Council for Internal Security. This council would compromise of a Europe-wide border force agency and asylum office, which would also include the UK.
  • The establishment of the European Climate Bank. It would finance the transition of the EU suggested environmental targets.
  • An EU minimum wage. Macron suggests that the EU countries should agree on a minimum wage appropriate to each country that would be negotiated on an annual basis.
  • A conference for Europe. Macron wants the EU to set up a conference by the end of this year, so the institutions and member countries of the EU can approve the changes.

This conference will need to engage with citizens’ panels and hear academics, business and labor representatives, and religious and spiritual leaders. It will define a road map for the European Union that translates these key priorities into concrete actions.

There will be disagreement, but is it better to have a static Europe or a Europe that advances, sometimes at different paces, and that is open to all?” Macron writes, regarding his last proposal.

Macron’s letter comes in less than four weeks away from the date Britain finally leaves the EU.

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