Macron to Deliver Major Speech on Europe at Sorbonne University

French President Macron to deliver major speech on EU's future at Sorbonne, seen as start of campaign for upcoming European Parliament elections.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Macron to Deliver Major Speech on Europe at Sorbonne University

Macron to Deliver Major Speech on Europe at Sorbonne University

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced plans to deliver a major speech on the future of Europe at the Sorbonne University in Paris on April 25th. This will be Macron's second such speech at the Sorbonne, with the first one taking place in September 2017 where he laid out an ambitious reform agenda for the European Union.

In his 2017 speech, Macron outlined his concept of a "new European sovereignty" focused on six key areas: security, migration, ecology, digital, economy, and culture. The speech took many of his European partners by surprise at the time, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Seven years later, Macron sees that speech as a success, particularly on the issue of European sovereignty.

The upcoming "Sorbonne 2" speech is expected to further elaborate on Macron's vision for the future of the EU. It will come after the European Council meeting on April 18th. While Macron's entourage denies it, the speech is also seen as marking the start of his campaign for the upcoming European Parliament elections in June.

Macron and his Renaissance party are currently struggling in the polls ahead of those elections. They hope this speech will help provide some momentum by revealing Macron's pro-European credentials. "We have the right candidate and good ideas that have been implemented in Europe in recent years," Macron said, expressing confidence in his party's approach despite the challenges.

The French president also addressed the rise of the far-right National Rally party, criticizing the "simplistic responses" and "hypocrisy" in the current debate which he believes benefit from people's "fears and worries." Without naming them directly, Macron rejected the solutions proposed by certain parties.

Macron said he will get involved in the European election campaign "at the appropriate times and in the appropriate format." However, the Elysée Palace has already faced criticism for allegedly using its resources to campaign for Macron's preferred list, which would be against electoral financing rules. A complaint has been filed regarding this issue.

Why this matters: The upcoming speech and European elections represent significant tests for Macron's leadership and vision for Europe's future. As a prominent pro-EU voice, how Macron's message resonates could impact the direction of French and EU politics in the coming years, especially as forces skeptical of European integration aim to make gains.

Looking ahead, Macron expressed his intention to provide an overview of France's achievements and goals for Europe in the coming years. "I will deliver this speech to share a perspective, to explain the progress we have made and what we are aiming for," he stated. The speech and elections come at a time when EU leaders have been criticized for lacking a sense of urgency in strengthening European competitiveness and completing key projects like the Capital Markets Union. All eyes will be on the Sorbonne on April 25th to hear Macron's roadmap for navigating these challenges and his vision for Europe's future path.

Key Takeaways

  • Macron to deliver major speech on EU's future at Sorbonne on April 25th.
  • Speech expected to further elaborate on Macron's vision for EU, including sovereignty.
  • Speech seen as start of Macron's campaign for upcoming European Parliament elections.
  • Macron's party struggling in polls, hopes speech will boost pro-EU credentials.
  • Speech and elections represent tests for Macron's leadership and EU integration vision.