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The French president has proposed some proposals for the strengthening of the European Union. What are they?
With a letter addressed to all citizens of the European Union, Emmanuel Macron invited them to become aware of "the European elections [that] will be decisive for the future [of Europe]." The French president is concerned about the integrity of the community project between countries of his continent, as it is threatened by nationalisms and the repetition of phenomena such as Brexit.
Leer en español: Francia: ¿Qué es el “renacimiento europeo” de Macron?
The letter, available in the 28 countries of the Union and translated into 22 languages, reflects three axes that in the past were decisive for the materialization of this political project: peace, prosperity, and freedom. Macron alludes to the need of the European Union as a counterweight to the hegemony of great powers such as the United States, Russia, and China, while allowing to ensure some financial stability thanks to the euro.
Both peace and prosperity seem to be symptomatic of the European model. However, for such a Renaissance to occur, the French president urges defending freedom, as well as ensuring two new interests that serve as pillars for the Union: protection and progress.
As for freedom, whose primary concern is to avoid the intervention of foreign powers in democratic processes, Macron proposes the creation of the European Agency for the Protection of Democracies. In connection with this initiative, it also calls for the prohibition of both hate speech and foreign funding of European political parties.
As for protection, Macrón calls for a review of the Schengen area, that is, the zone of free transit between internal borders of the European Union. It calls for border police and an Asylum office, which implies more stringent border controls as well as a universal solidarity policy for refugees.
The last pillar, prosperity, proposes the creation of what Macron calls "social shield." What is intended is to establish a European minimum wage to discourage internal migration of workers by the amount of what they earn. The idea is that workers receive the same for the same work anywhere in the European Union. It also proposes the creation of the Climate Bank to promote the transition to total clean energy by 2050.
Ciudadanos de Europa: me dirijo a ustedes porque hay urgencia.https://t.co/3gSh4yiLLb— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) 4 de marzo de 2019
You may be interested in reading: United Kingdom: Brexit 1 - Theresa May 0
Are these proposals viable?
Most of them are, since the creation of agencies is not a complicated process if there is sufficient coordination among the members of the European Union. However, in the area of migration, there will be unrest, since countries such as Bulgaria, which oppose the reception of migrants, would not be so willing to accept the new demands of the Schengen area to allow the entry of refugees. The guarantees of greater border control may enable the cooperation of states such as Bulgaria.
On the other hand, the setting of a universal European salary also faces its challenges. Only 19 of the 28 members use the euro as a currency, and this means that those states that do not use such money could suffer inflation by setting a minimum wage that does not consider the specific conditions of the member states.
Macron's proposals are interesting if we seek to protect the integrity of the European Union, but we must never forget the causes of unrest in front of these institutions that promote phenomena such as Brexit. Having a unified fiscal policy can encourage states to seek financial independence, as well as wanting to implement a universal migration policy against migrants and refugees can exacerbate the nationalist moods that are already invading Europe.
LatinAmerican Post | Iván Parada Hernández
Translated form "Francia: ¿Qué es el “renacimiento europeo” de Macron?"