Macron, Merkel Call for ‘Full Force’ EU Integration, Vow Brussels Won’t Tolerate Resistance to Migrant Quotas
Emmanuel Macron has demanded closer and faster EU integration towards a superstate, in a speech where he vowed to “yield nothing” to conservative eastern members which believe in a Europe of strong nations.
Speaking in Aachen, where he received this year’s pro-EU Charlemagne prize “in recognition of his vision of a new Europe” and his “decisive stance” against nationalism, the French president urged Brussels to move full speed ahead on monetary union and creating a single foreign policy and defence strategy for the whole bloc.Condemning the “music of nationalism [that] is resounding everywhere in Europe”, Macron called on Europhiles who want to see more power concentrated in Brussels to “move forward with full force and as quickly as possible” with plans for integration so as to drown out the “clear [voices] of nationalists and demagogues”.
“Barbed wire reappears everywhere in Europe, including in the minds,” the French leader cautioned, declaring that he would “yield nothing” in the fight with Hungary and Poland over so-called EU values, Politico reports.
Presenting Macron with this year’s prize, Angela Merkel endorsed the former investment banker’s vision for Europe, declaring: “We come from different political pasts but we find common ground, and that is the magic of Europe.”
The German Chancellor also repeated previous calls for a new EU migration policy based on “solidarity” across the bloc, insisting that closing the border to people from the third world was “not a solution”.
Demanding EU leaders protect “the European system of values … the dignity of each individual, in short everything that constitutes European identity,” Merkel warned the bloc should do everything to guard against “narrow-minded, backward-looking nationalisms and authoritarian temptations.”
On the same day, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán used his inaugural speech in Budapest to denounce the EU superstate envisioned by France and Germany as a “nightmare”.
“The [European] Union must function as an alliance of free nations and give up on its delusional nightmares of a United States of Europe,” he said, vowing to oppose mass migration — the goal of which he warned was the disintegration of nation-states and the creation of a single “open society” ruled from Brussels.
Previous winners of the Charlemagne prize, which is awarded for efforts to advance EU integration, include Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, and Angela Merkel herself.
Receiving the award in 2016, Pope Francis used his acceptance speech to outline his vision of a borderless Europe which would welcome and embrace unlimited numbers of third world migrants.
Declaring the founding fathers of the bloc to have been “heralds of peace and prophets of the future” he asserted that their vision of Europe should inspire the continent “to build bridges and tear down walls.”