In a special address to law-makers at the Palace of Versailles, President Macron said that Europe has “lost its way” and called for Europe-wide gatherings to reinvigorate the EU.
The newly elected leader said “the last 10 years have been cruel for Europe. We have managed crises but we have lost our way.”
“I firmly believe in Europe,” the president said, which came as no surprise. During the campaign he showed a strong passion for a united Europe, and his victory was seen as a victory for the EU against the Eurosceptic Marine Le Pen.
But Macron didn’t pull back from criticising the EU, saying that “the building of Europe has been weakened by the spread of bureaucracy and by the growing scepticism that comes from it.” Adding that Brexit showed a “symptom” of Europe’s failures, which is said must be addresses.
One of his proposed solutions is to hold “democratic conventions” across Europe to bring people from all EU countries together.
The speech was criticised by politicians from opposition parties, accusing him of a “pharaonic” drift towards a “republican monarchy”. The speech, held in the grand Versailles Palace, is suggested to have cost around 600,000 euros.