‘A European model’: Macron lauds EU response to pandemic at Strasbourg conference

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France on May 9, 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Conference on the Future of Europe at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France on May 9, 2021. © Frederick Florin, AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron and European Union leaders are meeting Sunday in Strasbourg for a Conference on the Future of Europe. Macron defended the "European model" and called for a unified response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Macron kicked off the Conference on the Future of Europe on Europe Day, an annual event to celebrate the unity of the 27-nation bloc. The French president set the tone for the conference, which includes a consultation with EU citizens, by lauding the "European model" and calling for a unified response to the ongoing pandemic, a year before the next presidential election in France.

Europe is routinely criticised “with a sort of defeatism that says, ‘Look, Europe has not risen to the occasion", Macron said. "I say on the contrary, it is the European model that has proven itself in this crisis,” he insisted, adding that Europe “resisted the pandemic together” because of its 71 years of shared history.

Europe Day marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950, which proposed a new form of political cooperation for Europe.

Click on the player above to watch President Emmanuel Macron’s speech at the event.

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