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Macron’s EU vision is a recipe for further alienation – Matt Carthy MEP

29 September, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has criticised remarks of French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the future of the European Union, saying it is a recipe for further alienation from EU institutions.

Mr Macron, in a speech this week, has called for increased and accelerated EU integration, tax harmonisation and further EU military co-operation.

Matt Carthy said:

“There has been much media attention given to the recent speech by French President Emmanuel Macron but very little actual analysis as to implications of the future direction he has proposed for the European Union.

“Mr Macron’s championing of the cause of deeper and faster EU integration will have been music to the ears of EU federalists but should be of deep concern to European citizens and those who value the rights of independent nation states.

“There is a need for EU reform but this should not be used as cover for pushing the EU further in a direction that is already opposed by citizens and which has led to the existential problems that the EU currently faces.

“The French President has spoken of a ‘sovereign Europe’ but seeks to achieve this by compromising the sovereignty of national parliaments. That is not what people in Ireland or elsewhere across Europe want or need.

“He has also called for an EU military intervention force, defence budget and an EU military strategy, including a ‘joint doctrine for action’. And he wants all of this to be done as quickly as possible. This is a direct threat to Ireland’s neutrality and should be opposed by the Irish Government.

“Mr Macron’s idea of an EU ‘border police force’ merely reinforces the image of ‘Fortress Europe’ and offers nothing to alleviate the plight of refugees.

“He wants a two-tier EU, with a separate parliament of members of the Euro who will have their own Finance Minister, and he wants a single EU corporate tax band by 2020, suggesting that members who refuse to implement it should face aid cuts.

“Mr Macron completely ignores the factors which have led to Brexit and the rise of the far right in many states, and his ideas are a recipe for further alienation of citizens from the EU institutions.

“The French President may be set to take over the role previously played by Angela Merkel in seeking to dictate the direction and policies of the EU, as the German Chancellor’s room for manoeuvre has been limited as a result of recent elections in her own country.

"However, neither France nor Germany can or should direct or control the EU, which is meant to be a union of equal states. It is time that citizens were consulted as to their views on the future of Europe.

“The Irish Government and all Irish MEPs must oppose the vision Mr Macron has laid out and come up with constructive alternative ideas that can lead to building an EU that is responsive to the needs of member states and citizens.”

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