Wednesday, May 18

Europe. In the Strasbourg Parliament, before Macron’s speech: “We should stop with these rotating presidencies”

The speech will be classic, no doubt technical, but the debate promises to be pugnacious, lively, as is the case each time a French president speaks before the Strasbourg Parliament: from Belgium to Greece or Poland , French politics still arouses interest, and French elected officials are themselves numerous enough in the hemicycle (79) to ensure a good part of the show.

This time, the event will be a little different again, and risks heating up the spirits a little more: the prospect of the presidential election, of course…

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The ex-president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont. Photo archives AFP

This is precisely what Carles Puigdemont fears for this presidency: “Emmanuel Macron must not mix up the electoral campaign with this presidency of the Council. It might help Mr. Macron, but it wouldn’t help Europe, it would even be dangerous. It would set a bad example for other countries like Poland or Hungary, ”warns the Spanish MEP (where he is being prosecuted for the organization of the referendum on Catalonia, but can for the moment exercise his mandate as MEP in Brussels and Strasbourg).

The Catalan expects from this presidency “that France follow the principles of its republican project: to defend equality and social justice. Who in Europe can do this more than France? »

Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella.  Photo archives AFP
Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella. Photo archives AFP

“We expect a lot from France, which is used to the exercise and always very well embodied its presidencies of the Council”, considers the Belgian socialist Marc Tarabella, who immediately tempers with a smile: “That said, Belgium has assumed the presidency in 2010 when the country was in political crisis, with a government in current affairs, and it was despite everything a formidable presidency! »

Anyway, continues Marc Tarabella, “we should stop with these rotating presidencies. Since the European Council has a fixed president (this has been the case since 2009, following the Treaty of Lisbon) we no longer need these 6-month presidencies [pour les conseils des ministres]. Once each country has had its little quarter of an hour of glory, we will have to stop with that. »

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