‘Never has Europe been in such danger’: Macron calls for new ‘renaissance’ as Brexit looms

‘Never has Europe been in such danger’: Macron calls for new ‘renaissance’ as Brexit looms
French President Emmanuel Macron has penned a letter urging European civilization to ‘reinvent’ itself in the midst of unprecedented threats and crisis. His ideas include creating an agency to combat ‘manipulation’ in elections.

“Never since the Second World War has Europe been so essential. Yet never has Europe been in such danger,” Macron wrote in a letter published in more than two dozen European papers on Monday.

His grim assessment came weeks before the UK hits the official Brexit deadline, set for March 29, and two months before the next European Parliament elections, scheduled for May.

The French leader said that Brexit was the symbol of the crisis “of a Europe that has failed to respond to its peoples’ need for protection from the major shocks of the modern world.”

Faced with major crises in the world, citizens so often ask, ‘Where is Europe? What is Europe doing?’ To them, it has become a soulless market.

He also seized on an opportunity to vent frustration over the painstaking talks on the UK-EU divorce deal, and all the controversies surrounding it. “Who told the British people the truth about their post-Brexit future? Who spoke to them about losing access to the EU market?”

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The British government recently postponed a parliamentary vote on Brexit, and has been hectically trying to kick-start last-minute renegotiations after the previous hard-fought deal was overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Commons.

After blaming Brexit and other European misfortunes on “nationalism” and “anger-mongers, backed by fake news,” Macron shifted the alarmist tone to pro-EU praise and feel-good platitudes, calling for “a European renaissance.”

We can’t sleepwalk to a diminished Europe. We can’t remain in the routine of business as usual and wishful thinking.

Macron chose to appeal to his fellow Europeans as he himself faces pressure at home. The president’s approval rating continues to remain relatively low, while the nationwide Yellow Vest protests against his government have been raging for 16 consecutive weeks.

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Among the few practical suggestions, Emmanuel Macron proposed the creation of a European Agency for the Protection of Democracies that would supply each member state with “experts” tasked with protecting elections against cyberattacks and “manipulation.”

In addition to that, the French leader proposed banning foreign funding for EU political parties, and a crackdown on the “incitement to hatred and violence” online.

He also called for a “rethink” of the border-control-free Schengen Area, stressing the need for a common border force and an asylum office, as well as a new treaty to redefine common defense.

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