Macron calls for a strong Europe
Addressing the German Bundestag, French President Macron has called for more sovereignty for Europe and repeated his invitation for Germany to accompany France on the path towards reform. The German-French tandem has the obligation "not to let the world slip into chaos", he said on the occasion of the German Volkstrauertag, or People's Day of Mourning. Commentators applaud his strong words.
A declaration of war against the populists
Macron has declared war on Europe's populists, writes columnist Ezio Mauro enthusiastically in La Repubblica:
“Perhaps it was the hour of desperation that forced the couple that has until now de facto led Europe to finally attempt to seize back the sceptre - with the help of a reform plan that is to be presented within a month to get the integration project moving forwards once more. ... It was almost a declaration of war against the [populist] invaders besieging Europe, a reminder of the threat posed by an unthinking, fanatic nationalism devoid of values. ... From now on we know, and the populists also know, that the Bundestag and the Elysée palace won't hoist the white flag of capitulation.”
Germany's hesitancy is embarrassing
tagesschau.de is also impressed by Macron's speech:
“Clear in terms of language, clear in his message, optimistic without closing his eyes to the difficulties - quite different from the dusty old speeches we're used to hearing from German speakers when they talk about Europe. Naturally, President Emmanuel Macron's EU reform programme doesn't have to be implemented to the letter, and many points are still open to discussion: the concerns about too many financial obligations are not entirely unfounded. ... There may be certain reasons for Germany having left the French president waiting for at least a year, as if summoned but not collected: the prolonged process of forming a government and so on. But it's nonetheless embarrassing.”