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France's Macron urges reforms to make EU stronger

French president addresses German parliament, renews call for changes for a united and stronger Europe

18.11.2018
France's Macron urges reforms to make EU stronger French President Emmanuel Macron

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN

French President Emmanuel Macron has renewed his call for major reforms to make the European Union a stronger actor to address new challenges.

Delivering a speech at the German parliament on Sunday to mark the National Day of Mourning, Macron praised the EU for its achievements and for keeping peace on the continent for more than 70 years.

But he also underlined that the 28-member bloc has to reform itself to meet today’s growing and complicated challenges.

“Today, we must, together, have the courage to open a new chapter,” he told German lawmakers.

“Security threats, climate change, the upheavals of digitalization, artificial intelligence, migration …..The European Union was not designed to confront these challenges,” he said.

Macron stressed that EU member states should move forward with plans to deepen fiscal integration, develop a common asylum policy, and create common defense structures.

He argued the member states which are ready for deeper integration in some of the areas should move forward without waiting for all the others.

“We must accept different paces, different circles," he said.

"Some of the members can take initiatives, such as Schengen or the euro, but they should always remain open to others and remember the interest of a united Europe,” he added.

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