From our correspondent in Berlin
Undoubtedly, Emmanuel Macron knows how to thrill the soul of europe. On Sunday, the speaker of the Bundestag, in Berlin, the president of the French Republic has invoked the history of the continent to urge France and Germany to “have the courage to open a new stage”. “We need Europe”, he pleaded. Guest of the ceremonies of the Volkstrauertag, the day of homage to the victims of war, the head of the State has ended its sequence of memory dedicated to the centenary of the end of the First world War by projecting, in the German capital, in the future.
The time is footprint of severity. A few minutes ago, Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by his counterpart, the president of the federal republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and chancellor Angela Merkel has laid a wreath at the Neue Wache, the memorial to the dead at Berlin. In the Bundestag, large black crosses have been installed as a sign of mourning. “Being here is a testament of the path together”, recalled the French president, referring to the deadly conflict that opposed France and Germany, and then the work of reconciliation between the two countries. “History has bred a culture, a european vocation. We have not rejected the idea of peoples or nations, but we have exceeded the narcissism mortal of our small differences, we do not have to be diluted, we have added”, he continued.
This history obliges France and Germany, according to Emmanuel Macron. “Europe, and within the franco-German couple, is vested with the obligation not to let them drag the world into chaos and to accompany him on the path of peace”, he said throwing a warning against “nationalism without memory” and the “fanaticism without landmarks”.
” Too many powers want today we clear the game in exciting our divisions. In this world our strength is our unity. It is not a synonym for unanimity or uniformity ”
“This new responsibility franco-German is to give Europe the tools of his sovereignty. This new stage makes us to be afraid, because everyone should share, sharing his decision-making ability, its foreign policy, migration and development, an increasing share of its budget and the same tax resources,” said Emmanuel Macron, outlining a list of deadlocks between the two countries, as many of the challenges that Europe is sometimes “with the caution of a beginner”.
“Europe needs to be stronger, more sovereign”, he insisted in showing this key-word of his european project. “Too many powers want today we clear the game in exciting our divisions. In this world our strength is our unity. It is not a synonym for unanimity or consistency”, he added.
While the populist movements gaining ground on the continent, that the revival of the franco-German patina sometimes, and that its leaders are weakened, it was called “courage”. “The fight to face the challenge of populism” is not won, he warned then that the campaign for the european elections will soon begin. “It means taking new risks” in “excess of the a lot of hesitation” and “overcoming reluctance”.
“Is it better to stay locked up in our immobilismes? Was it easier for those who have gone before us?”, he asked. “We must overcome our taboos and our habits,” said Emmanuel Macron making particular reference to German fears on financial transfers in Europe, or to the temptations of French to get around the rules established in Europe. To finish his intervention and pay tribute to the friendship between the two countries, Emmanuel Macron is inspired by the words of writer Charles Péguy at Ernst Stadler, a German poet. Both men fell during the First world War. “Even if you do not understand all the words came from France, remember that she loves you”, has launched Emmanuel Macron. The hall then rose to applaud him.
Chancellor for relief
in The first row, Angela Merkel, chancellor under suspension, was arrested between each line. Receiving Emmanuel Macron at the Chancellery, a few minutes later, she praised his “remarkable speech”. “After this very moving time of remembrance, we have the opportunity to devote ourselves to the work of the daily to prepare for the european Council”, she proposed. There are still many issues to be resolved for the franco-German tandem should agree on an ambitious project for Europe: on the amount of the budget of the euro area, the contours of an army common, then, that strategic cultures are irreconcilable, an asylum policy european… Berlin to listen to his objections, as on the taxation of the giants of the digital, driven by Paris, but held back on the other side of the Rhine.
“I expect a lot from our exchanges,” said Emmanuel Macron before joining the office of the chancellor. “Europe is not just France and Germany, but it is impossible to move forward without franco-German entente”, he agreed. If on the form, the head of State won the support of his audience, he now needs to convince on the merits.