French President Emmanuel Macron has published an opinion piece in newspapers across EU countries where he proposed a series of reforms that would ensure a good future for the European Union, the BBC reports.
A few months ahead of European Parliament elections, Macron called for the creation of an agency to protect the EU against cyber-attacks, as well as for a ban on foreign powers that finance European political parties.
The letter is addressed directly to the citizens of Europe, and Macron writes that his proposals would lead to a “European renaissance”. He says that the EU needs to step up its game in order to prevent member states from “retreating into nationalism”.
He also suggests that British people were not properly informed before voting for Brexit.
“Who told the British people the truth about their post-Brexit future?” he asks. “Who spoke to them about losing access to the EU market? Who mentioned the risks to peace in Ireland of restoring the border?”
Here is a breakdown of Macron’s proposals for new measures to be introduced by the EU:
- European Agency for the Protection of Democracies, to protect against cyber-attacks, the spread of fake news, and to ban foreign powers from funding European political parties
- European Council for Internal Security, which would comprise a Europe-wide border force agency and asylum office, and a European security council that would have “the UK on board”
- An EU minimum wage, which would be “appropriate to each country” and negotiated collectively on an annual basis, and a guarantee that EU citizens would get “the same pay for the same work”
- European Climate Bank, which would finance the EU’s transition to his suggested environmental targets, “zero carbon by 2050 and pesticides halved by 2025”
- A European food safety force, to “improve our food controls” and protect them from the “lobby threat” with “independent scientific assessment of substances hazardous to the environment and health”
- A Conference for Europe, which Mr Macron wants the EU to set up by the end of this year, so that changes can be proposed and approved by representatives from EU institutions and member states