4/17/2018, 11:31 AM (Source:
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Macron defends Europe's democracy amid growing authoritarianism

In his first speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the French President Emmanuel Macron urged European leaders on Tuesday to preserve their continent's "unique" democratic identity in the light of the growing authoritarianism he described as a "deadly tendency" that is leading the region "to the abyss." The president dismissed claims about European democracy being "consigned to impotence," calling instead for an end to internal "civil wars."

"I want to take the firm choice to defend democracy. It’s not a word we should become used to. It is a word with meaning which emerged from the battles of the past" Macron said, adding that he envisions a "new European sovereignty that gives a clear responsibility to our citizens that shows we can protect them and what they are concerned about."

Turning to migration, one of the most pressing issues for the bloc, Macron proposed a joint EU fund for communities that host refugees. "I propose creating a European programme that directly financially supports local communities that welcome and integrate refugees," he said.

Breaking the News / FH