“I believe in sovereign Europe. I believe in our country’s sovereignty in the matters, which depend on it: migration, tax evasion… But I also believe in European sovereignty. I think a European awakening should stem from it,” three media outlets, BFMTV, RMC and Mediapart, cited Macron as saying.
During the live broadcast, Emmanuel Macron outlined his views on Europe, putting a premium on the region’s values and ambitions:
“Sovereign Europe is a Europe which protects people from huge risks, huge transformations, be it information risk or tax risk. This is a Europe, which bears our continent’s ambitions and allows it to bear our values,” the president added, saying that “we will move forward with those who want to move forward. And those who doesn’t follow us, will have to accept being on this Europe’s sidelines.”
The interview comes two days after the joint airstrikes against Syria, carried out by France, the UK and the United States, in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad’s government forces in the city of Douma. Describing the attack as “legitimate,” Macron claimed that it was not an “act of war,” but an “act of retaliation.” The French President has also elaborated that he told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Moscow was complicit in the alleged chemical attack.
Macron has faced a massive backlash both from right- and left-wing parties, with National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen tweeting that the president had violated international law, and the strikes exposed France to “unpredictable and potentially dramatic consequences.”
While she noted that France has failed to take an “independent” stance in the international arena, Jean-Luc Melenchon, a left-wing politician, condemned Paris’ participation in the bombardment, slamming it as an “irresponsible escalation” that did not get European or French parliament support. Neither did it receive a UN mandate.
TWEET: The strikes against Syria were carried out without evidence, without a UN mandate and against it, without European accord and without a vote in the French parliament. As well as without any political prospects in Syria.
1/2 Les frappes contre la #Syrie se font sans preuve, sans mandat de l'ONU et contre elle, sans accord européen et sans vote du Parlement français. Et cela sans aucune perspective politique en Syrie.— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) 14 апреля 2018 г.
TWEET: This is a North American revenge adventure, an irresponsible escalation. France deserves better than this role. It must be the force of international order and peace.
2/2 C'est une aventure de revanche nord-américaine, une escalade irresponsable. La France mérite mieux que ce rôle. Elle doit être la force de l'ordre international et de la paix.— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) 14 апреля 2018 г.
Florian Philippot, former right-hand to Marine Le Pen and the president of the new French political party Les Patriotes, has also lashed out at Macron:
“These irresponsible actions by President Macron who has reduced our country to the role of subordinate partner to the Americans, should be condemned, as they jeopardize world peace and, apparently, contradict our interests. The French people […] must rise up against this belligerent action by President Macron, who is becoming more and more to Donald Trump what Tony Blair was to George W. Bush.”