More than six years after his first speech on the Sorbonne, Emmanuel Macron will take inventory of his European aims | EUROtoday

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PMore than 6 and a half years have handed since his first speech on the Sorbonne. Emmanuel Macron retraces his steps, Thursday April 25, on this similar amphitheater the place he offered his medium and long-term European imaginative and prescient. It isn’t any coincidence that he selected this place, this date. Because that is precisely the deadline he set for himself in 2017. The date 2024 seems 9 instances in his first speech on the Sorbonne.

“What will this Europe of 2024 look like? he asked himself at the time […] The European Union in 2024 will be gathered around two pillars in my eyes. The first: the values ​​of democracy and the rule of law. They are not negotiable, they are not “à la carte”. On values, there can’t be a two-speed Europe. […] The second pillar is the only market which stays the most effective assure of our energy, our prosperity, our attractiveness. The simplification work undertaken over the previous three years by the present Commission should be continued and amplified. […] We want, at 28, a less complicated, extra clear, much less bureaucratic Europe! If the vigor of the legislation is Europe's energy, the profusion of requirements precipitates its rejection. »

Rule of legislation and single market

On the primary pillar, the state of affairs has worsened: the talk on the profusion of requirements has regained energy in latest months with the agricultural disaster and figures prominently, on this spring of 2024, within the calls for of employers and the EPP, the European proper, who level out the blunders of the “Green Deal”, dangerous to the entrepreneurial spirit, to progress, to employment.

As for the rule of legislation, the topic is way from exhausted. If Europe has adopted an instrument geared toward making the supply of European funds conditional on respect for the ideas of the rule of legislation, its use in direction of Hungary stays contested. The European Parliament considers that the Commission was content material with formal work, Hungary remaining, in its eyes, a problematic state. The European Parliament has additionally taken authorized motion in opposition to the Commission…

Concrete or ongoing progress

The Head of State can boast of essential concrete advances or these at the moment being applied: the European minimal wage, the asylum reform (with related information) which has simply been adopted, the reform of carbon market and the carbon tax at borders (in transitional part till 2026), the regulation of digital giants (with two rules, the DSA and the DMA), the revision of the foundations of posted work, the civil safety mechanism (in opposition to fires, and many others.), the amplification of the networks of European universities (there are 50 when Macron envisaged round twenty in 2024), the “intelligence college in Europe” (created in 2019), the creation of a pressure European intervention (deliberate for 2025)… On power, he wished to relaunch interconnections with Spain and Portugal. The H2Med mission is underneath examine.

On the opposite hand, there isn’t a “common defense budget” and the plan for transnational lists within the European elections has been postponed to a later date. There can also be no “European program” for the mixing of refugees, as he advocated.

The French president wished to create a “European commercial prosecutor, responsible for verifying compliance with the rules by our competitors and immediately sanctioning any unfair practices”. The European Commission merely created a place of “European responsible for compliance with trade rules”. It's much less flamboyant. The place has been occupied by a Frenchman, Denis Redonnet, since July 2020.

Taxation, a damaged mission

To keep away from a type of tax dumping, he wished company tax charges in Europe to be included in a variety with a binding clause: “compliance with this range would condition access to European cohesion funds, because we cannot not benefit from European solidarity and play against others. Unthinkable at the moment. On the other hand, the minimum international taxation of multinationals and digital giants has made great progress after a bitter global and European battle…

He pleaded for a Commission reduced to 15 members and, to make this possible, he invited the large States to initially give up their commissioner. “We will set an example,” he promised. This will allow skills to be brought together, rather than fragmented. » There again, no one has followed and it is no longer so certain that he himself will give up a French commissioner with a very broad portfolio, like that of Thierry Breton currently.

Germans not always listening

“Emmanuel Macron has changed. In 2017, he was very integrationist. Today, he has moved closer to the concept of national sovereignty, at least when it comes to defending purely French interests,” says those around him. This does not mean that he is renouncing his great idea, “European sovereignty”, endorsed by the 27 at the Versailles summit, but he knows how to temper it when, in front of him, other European leaders, and in firstly Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are playing a purely national card.

Since the first day of his first mandate, the head of state has never given up on Berlin. Despite headwinds, German delays and hesitations, he has never given up, first with Angela Merkel and today with Olaf Scholz. As early as 2017, he dreamed of launching a “Disruptive Innovation Agency” in Franco-German, launching a joint artificial intelligence program that would make Europe the engine of global growth. Six years later, this agency does not exist. And the EU has stalled in terms of innovation in this key sector, with the exception of a French nugget, Mistral, which the Élysée defended against too finicky European regulation of AI.

The sea serpent of the Capital Markets Union

“Why not give ourselves the objective of fully integrating our markets by 2024 by applying the same rules to our companies, from business law to bankruptcy law? » he proposed to Germany in 2017. The proposal remained a dead letter… It is relevant at a time when the 27 are considering when to finally bring about the Capital Markets Union, which has been postponed since 2015.

Youth was a strong concern for President Macron in 2017. “In 2024, half of an age group must have spent, before turning 25, at least six months in another European country. Whether he's a student or an apprentice,” he pushed. The Erasmus+ program saw its budget almost doubled from 14.7 (period 2014-2020) to 26.2 billion euros (period 2021-2027) and despite everything, we are very far from the financing necessary to achieve presidential ambitions . If we stick to France: 20-24 year olds represent more than 3.9 million individuals. Students benefiting from Erasmus in 2023 will be less than 200,000 per year. However, France is now the country in Europe whose youth benefit the most from this program… A satisfaction for President Macron, but very far from the announced objective.

Nationalists growing stronger

This Sorbonne meeting comes less than two months before the European elections. The announced score of nationalists and sovereignists is significant in certain countries. More than 30% for Jordan Bardella in France, almost 30% for Vlaams Belang in Belgium… Between 2017 and 2024, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine transformed the European Union, abruptly awakened in a world of increasingly rivals. more hostile. Emmanuel Macron could not envisage, in 2017, the scale of the European recovery plan adopted in the wake of the pandemic. He also could not imagine that Vladimir Putin, received at Fort Brégançon a month before his speech at the Sorbonne, would embark on the adventure of war against Ukraine in 2022.

Which didn’t forestall him, in 2017, from launching an enchantment that he may virtually repeat phrase for phrase subsequent Thursday: “I say it to all European leaders, I say it to all parliamentarians in Europe, I say it say to all of the peoples of Europe: have a look at our time, look it within the face and you will note that you haven’t any alternative, you don’t have the luxurious of the technology which preceded us and which was in a position to handle what was acquired and barely constructed. You don't have the luxurious of this one. You solely have a easy alternative, that of selecting to depart slightly extra room in every election for the nationalists, for many who hate Europe and, in 5 years, in ten years, in fifteen years, they are going to be there . We've seen them win right here earlier than! Or you could have the selection to take your obligations, in all places, and to need this Europe by taking all of the dangers, every in our international locations, as a result of we will need to have this attachment to the center, as a result of the scars which have scarred our Europe , these are our scars! »