During a nearly two-hour long speech on Europe at the Sorbonne, President Emmanuel Macron expressed his fears regarding the future of the values, defense and economy of the European Union.

During his speech at the Sorbonne this Thursday, April 25, the Head of State warned his audience, made up of European ambassadors, parliamentarians, a delegation from the European Commission, business leaders, students and researchers. “Our Europe is mortal” and runs the “immense risk” of finding itself “relegated”, he said. According to him, Europe would be in a situation of “encirclement” facing other major regional powers such as Russia. He also felt that the values ​​of European “liberal democracy” were “increasingly criticized” and “contested”, thus fearing that the EU would fade in the face of Russia. “We have a unique relationship to freedom, to justice. […] From the Renaissance, to the Enlightenment and until the end of totalitarianism, this is what constituted Europe,” he explains, explaining that “If we want to protect our borders, remain a strong continent that produces and creates, it is still because we are not like the others. We must not forget that.”

The president also cited fears related to the economy. He says he is afraid that the EU will experience a “disconnect”. “American and Asian competition is there (…)  The risk is our impoverishment, which would be dramatic for a continent like ours, which has the most demanding social model.”, he believes, in explaining that he wants to invest massively in several sectors, while finding funds to “double” the EU budget.

In terms of defense, “the main danger for European security is obviously the war in Ukraine”, according to the president. Emmanuel Macron considers that we should not “put off our security until tomorrow”. “The question of peace and war on our continent and our ability to ensure our security, or not, is being played out today,” he defends. He called for building a “credible defense of the continent”.