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France's Macron urges EU to reform in fight against rising nationalism

France's Macron urges EU to reform in fight against rising nationalism
From CBC - April 17, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged the European Union to reform itself to offer better protection for its citizens in a world troubled by wars and authoritarian regimes.

The 40-year-old leader, who wants to play a key role in the EU, outlined his vision for Europe's future in a speech at the Strasbourg-based European Parliament.

Macron said democracy is the "best chance" for the EU to fight rising nationalism on the continent.

"Faced with authoritarianism, the answer is not democratic authoritarianism but the authority of democracy," he said.

Macron called for an energetic campaign for the European Parliament election in May 2019 as the EU also deals with the challenges of Britain's departure.

He told EU lawmakers that it's important "to have a democratic, critical debate on what Europe is about."

Macron said citizens "want a new project" for the EU that addresses their concerns and fears in a world in which allies such as the U.S. are turning their backs on multilateral trade and climate change pacts.

All EU countries, except Britain and Hungary, have agreed to seek the opinions of their citizens on the EU's future through debates and online consultations by summer.

Macron was scheduled toattend a debate on Europe in the eastern French town of Epinal later Tuesday.

No talk of expansion

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