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France-EU: Macron to show Eastern Europe how much he cares – by Philippe Wojazer

The French president will also use a trip through Central and Eastern Europe to show French voters that he hasn’t given up on a key electoral pledge: changing the European Union to make it more “protective” of its citizens — in order to better tackle populism and Euroskepticism.

The French president has long promised to spend part of the summer on a tour of European capitals to explain his proposals to improve the EU and defend his push for reforming the bloc’s controversial directive on posted workers, which he denounced as unfair during his election campaign.

However, Macron has a limited schedule with only three stops planned — Austria, Romania and Bulgaria — and a further two EU leaders are traveling to meet the French president.

In Vienna next Wednesday, Macron will meet Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern as well as Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovakia’s Robert Fico. In Bucharest the next day, he will meet Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Mihai Tudose. Then, on August 25, he will meet President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Varna, Bulgaria.

A Macron aide insisted the trip “also has a symbolic dimension. [Macron] wants to show France’s intent to rekindle links with the former Eastern Europe after years of neglect” under the presidencies of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.

Read more: Macron to show Eastern Europe how much he cares – POLITICO

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