French President Emmanuel Macron has outlined his vision for a “profound transformation” of the European Union, unveiling a series of proposals to deepen the bloc politically and harmonise rules across the continent.
According to aljazeera, Macron used the speech at Sorbonne University in Paris on Tuesday to argue the case for institutional changes, initiatives to promote the EU, and new ventures in the technology, defence and energy sectors.
“The Europe that we know is too weak, too slow, too inefficient,” he said on Tuesday as he began the closely watched address.
“But Europe alone can give us the ability to act in the world faced with big contemporary challenges.”
Macron’s proposals for a post-Brexit shake-up include a Europe-wide “rapid reaction force” to work with national armies, and plans to give the 19-member eurozone a finance minister, budget and parliament.
He also called for a new tax on technology giants such as Facebook and Apple – accused of paying too little corporate tax on their businesses in Europe – and an EU-wide asylum agency to deal with the refugee crisis.
He even raised the prospect of major changes to the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU’s giant farm subsidy programme, which has historically been defended by France and its powerful agricultural lobbies.