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France - Presidential Elections: Macron outlines plans for multi-speed Europe – by Aline Robert

In his program unveiled yesterday (2 March), Emmanuel Macron focussed on Europe. The eurozone is held back by “shame” and we must “dare to go for a multi-speed Europe”, he said.

The En Marche presidential candidate, currently riding high in the polls, unveiled his plans at length on Thursday. In a highly-centrist, pro-European programme, François Hollande’s former advisor did something rare in French politics: expressed his faith in the European Union.

Macron’s programme is right in line with the European Commission’s White Paper. Hardly surprising, given his contacts and high popularity in the EU executive.

Holding forth to an impressive crowd of some 400 journalists, including Chinese television and almost all of the foreign correspondents in Paris, Macron began by stressing the need to boost France’s credibility by restoring its public finances. This he hopes to achieve in the first six months of his mandate, before initiating a real investment plan and greater solidarity in the eurozone.

“The French-German axis is the core of the reactor, both in the eurozone and the EU. It is a pre-requisite for any progress,” he said. “I propose to restore the credibility of France in the eyes of Germany, to convince Berlin in the next six months to adopt an active investment policy and move towards greater solidarity in Europe. We need it because the future of Europe is at stake.”

“Since 2008 we have failed to build Europe. Since 2008 we have had a lost generation that has seen only a vacuum of plans. Our duty is to rebuild the European dream,” Macron added, stressing the need for a mulita-speed Europe.

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