Syed Kamall: Macron’s proposals risk a return to a 1950s agenda
London MEP Syed Kamall warned today that Emmanuel Macron’s reform proposals risk returning the European Union to an outdated agenda of political integration.
He agreed with M Macron on the need to shake up the EU, but explained that his European Conservatives & Reformists (ECR) group rejected President Macron’s plans for a bigger budget, harmonised corporate taxes, a unified social policy, a common asylum policy or a European minister of finance.
Dr Kamall is Conservative MEP for London and co-leader of the European Parliament’s ECR group, the third-largest of the the eight pan-European political groups. He was responding to the French President’s address to the European Parliament today in Strasbourg.
He said: “President Macron, we understand why you are seeking to regain the initiative. My group agrees that the EU has drifted for too long. But by returning to the 1950s agenda of political integration you may be in danger of ignoring those who want an EU to face the challenges of the 2050s not the 1950s.
“The growing dissatisfaction among voters has not been because the EU has had too little power, but because it has too much. Countries signed up for cooperation in key areas of mutual interest with their EU neighbours, not to see more and more decisions made in one city on the other side of the continent.”
That was why the EU should facilitate nations to cooperate where necessary but return powers to member states and local communities in areas such as immigration and social policy, he said.
Common sense and proportionate regulation rather than more political integration were needed for businesses, farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs to compete in global markets.