Emmanuel Macron sets out priorities of France’s EU presidency [fr]
French presidency of the Council of the European Union – Visit to Paris by the European College of Commissioners under the French presidency of the Council of the European Union – Statements by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, during his joint press conference with Ms Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
Paris, 7 January 2022
=Check against delivery=
Madam President, chère Ursula, ladies and gentlemen,
I’m delighted, Madam President, to welcome you and the members of the European Commission to Paris during this first week of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union.
For several months now, we’ve been preparing for the presidency together so that France could take over from our predecessors at the Council, and now here we are at work. So yesterday and today, along with the commissioners and members of the Government, we’ve made a very practical start on our work, with our parliamentarians too, and together – the European Commission and French presidency – I think we’ve got the same determination to make this six-month period useful for Europe, one which is effective, carries out concrete projects and is resolutely at the service of Europeans and our future projects. I wanted to thank you for also taking the time this morning to honour the memory of two great European figures, Jean Monnet and Simone Veil, at the Pantheon.
So, I’m not going to recap the whole programme here – it would neither be possible nor make much sense – but [rather signal] our determination to mark out the next few months first of all with progress on planned legislation which we’ve collectively progressed in order to have a more decarbonized society and economy, with the climate package in particular. So during these six months we’ll be able to make headway on several issues such as, in particular, the border mechanism, like all the mechanisms, too, which are going to speed up the decarbonization of our transport, improvements to our electricity systems, the decarbonization of our housing etc.
During these six months we’ll also be able to make headway on our digital agenda with two major DMA [Digital Markets Act] and DSA [Digital Services Act] directives, and we’re very committed to moving forward on this point and therefore regulating the market and content and creating a genuine European model.
We’ll also have what I think will be an extremely important six months in terms of social convergence and social justice for a Europe which is more inclusive and fairer between women and men, with important legislation for decent wages and for gender equality as regards salaries and company boards. And we’ll also have a whole agenda, of key importance, on border security and defence, for example.
Several events will punctuate the next few weeks: a summit in Brest in February on the oceans and our strategy, an African Union-European Union summit in Brussels where we’ve got this joint strategy; I’d say we want to recast this new alliance with the African continent. The Commission has done a huge amount of work on this – I want to thank you –, ranging from health and the economy through to mobility and migration.
Then we’ll have the informal summit in France on 10 and 11 March, which will allow us to have a strategic discussion on defence, a strategic discussion on our macro-economic model and our new governance. But basically at the heart of this is the strategy to build the model for growth and European autonomy, with many projects we’ve begun financing, but a strategy we want to share and implement. And this new model for growth, investment, production and autonomy is for me a key element of these six months, but above all of the coming decade.
Next, we’ll obviously have the March Council, then summits scheduled particularly on the Balkans and obviously the geopolitical situation which will lead us, from the first few days and weeks, to act together and very clearly in particular for European security, the Ukraine issue and several others.
I don’t want to go on any longer here with these preliminary remarks, and I had the opportunity in December to present all the priority areas of our work. But alongside the Commission, with all the members of the European Council and European Parliament, we’re working to ensure that these six months are fully useful and that progress is made on this ambition we share.
That’s what I wanted to say, Madam President, and I thank you and the whole of your college, and all the teams in Paris over these two days, for being here. Thank you, chère Ursula./.
Learn more about the French presidency of the Council of the European Union: https://presidence-francaise.consilium.europa.eu/en/