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6 March 2019

For a "European renewal" built on three pillars: freedom, protection and progress

In an open letter published in newspapers across the European Union's 28 Member States, the President of the Republic has set out his vision for Europe, with three months to go until the elections of the European Parliament.
With the European elections approaching, the President of the Republic wished to directly address all European citizens in the newspapers of all the European Union's Member States, for "never, since the Second World War, has Europe been as essential. Yet never has Europe been in so much danger."

Brexit is a symptom of that: everywhere in Europe, an anger is brewing to which we have a duty to respond, without falling into the trap of resignation or the status quo.

To address this anger, the President of the Republic outlines the vision of a European renewal built on three pillars – freedom, protection and progress – setting out concrete proposals for each.

Defending our freedom

  1. Create a European Agency for the Protection of Democracies, to protect the Member States' election processes against cyber-attacks and manipulation.
  2. Ban the funding of European political parties by foreign powers, by strengthening existing European legislation.
  3. Ban all incitement to hatred and violence from the Internet, going beyond terrorist propaganda alone (racism, anti-Semitism, child pornography, etc.).

Protecting our continent

  1. Rethink the Schengen area, so that those who participate in it comply with obligations of responsibility (stringent border controls) and solidarity (a single asylum policy with common acceptance and refusal rules), under the authority of a European Council for Internal Security.
  2. Establish a European treaty on defence and security, with an ambitious list of pledges in terms of defence spending or operational solidarity in the event of attack, and a European Security Council bringing together the most ambitious States.
  3. Guarantee fair competition, by reforming our trade and competition policies to bring about leading European stakeholders, protect our standards (environmental for example) and ensure genuine reciprocity.

Recovering the spirit of progress

  1. Introduce a "social shield" to guarantee the same pay in the same workplace and a minimum wage appropriate to each country.
  2. Step up our commitments for the climate and health, by setting ambitious targets (zero carbon by 2050 and pesticides halved by 2025) and adapting our tools (European Climate Bank, European Food Safety Force, independent scientific assessment of hazardous substances).
  3. Empower the EU to spearhead new technological breakthroughs: the next multi-year financial framework must make it possible to increase funding for artificial intelligence and the European Innovation Council; the EU must also lead the way in terms of regulation, by putting in place European supervision of the tech giants, in the same way as for banks (prompt penalties for unfair competition, transparent algorithms, etc.).