Why Emmanuel Macron should support the proposed convention to reform the European Union

May 8, 2022 at 3:23 p.m.

During his inauguration, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, insisted that the French had entrusted him with a new mandate to write a new page in the country’s history. An exceptional astral conjunction puts him in a position to open a new chapter in the history of the European Union without delay. Coinciding with the French and European calendars, Emmanuel Macron closes this Monday, May 9, in Strasbourg two days after his inauguration the conference on the future of Europe in the framework of the presidency of the Council of the European Union held by France until June 30.

This conference, inaugurated just a year ago in the European Parliament in the Alsatian capital on the initiative of France, has carried out an in-depth study with the participation of elected representatives of the Member States and citizens drawn, representatives of national and social sensibilities. , cultural and political issues of the Union. Thus, it has real legitimacy.

Concrete proposals to strengthen the Union’s decision-making and action capacity

From this background work, which received little media coverage and the quality of which surprised both the institutions and the Member States, concrete proposals emerged to strengthen the Union’s decision-making and action capacity, to adapt its institutions to the new geopolitical, economic, social globality. , health, energy and ecological agreement, as well as to respond to the deep democratic aspirations of European citizens. The latter want to be associated more directly and continuously with the European options. They also want to benefit from a genuine European civic education and to be able to debate transnationally so that the European debate is not limited to twenty-seven national silos.

Read also – In front of the Strasbourg Parliament, Emmanuel Macron wants to show “all the strength” of the European model

Without the crisis in Ukraine, which led most Member States to realize that the Union needs to be strengthened rapidly and provided with the means for genuine European sovereignty and strategic autonomy, it is very likely that these proposals would have been rejected. But the story goes like this.

Taking note of the proposals, the European Parliament has just voted on the initiative of five of the main European political families (the Christian Democratic right, the Socialists, the Liberals and Centrists, the Greens and the left to which LFI belongs) a resolution. . calling for a convention to adapt Europe to the new global situation. Let it be clear that this is not about launching a new debate on a European constitutional text or federalising the Union, but about identifying the reforms needed to ensure that the Union responds to the new needs in terms of security, defense, health, digital. … and give new life to the Union.

The virtues of a European convention

A dozen member states are already willing to support this proposal, four could sign up in the coming weeks, while a dozen would have to oppose it, not surprisingly. In total, most states could vote in the June European Council to launch a convention preparing a specific reform of the European treaties.

Emmanuel Macron benefits from the political force of his clear re-election and from all the institutional legitimacy that the exercise of the presidency of the Council of the Union gives him to advance this proposed agreement and create the conditions for a modernization of Europe. but also of a new European civic dynamic. It is not a battle won but it is worth the effort.

Therefore, it is very possible that on a personal level – the presidency of the Council of the European Union requires caution in expression – President Emmanuel Macron announced on May 9 in his speech in Strasbourg his support for the implementation of a European convention. Such an advertisement would have two virtues.

It would recall France’s capacity for initiative in the service of the general European interest.

It would completely invalidate the electoral slogan of “European disobedience” launched by French President Insoumise Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Why ask for disobedience to European rules when the European convention will create an opportunity to modernize those same rules through democratic debate?

Furthermore, why call for European disobedience when the European Union has already been radically transformed in recent years with the European recovery plan, the common debt, the Green Deal that puts Europe at the forefront, ensuring the global energy transition, the Maastricht suspension? rules, the reorientation of monetary policy in favor of support for growth and employment …?

* Guillaume Klossa, founder of the think tank EuropaNova, business leader is a former sherpa of the think tank on the future of Europe, also a special adviser to the 2008 PFUE and the presidency of the European Commission. next book “European pride, manifest for a civilization of the future” (Télémaque Edition, available in bookstores on May 25)

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