French President Emmanuel Macron said the current trends of nationalism — which he bucked with his May victory over Marine Le Pen — have to be stopped because they’ll inevitably lead to armed conflict.
“I know the outcome of this trend, it’s war. I do know the outcome of this trend. Nationalism is all about war. We experienced that 80 years ago in Europe,” Macron told CNN International while in New York for the UN General Assembly. “So at the end of the day, if you believe that there is nothing to change on this trend and we have to accept anti-globalization, anti-militarism, pro-nationalism, protectionism and so on. It’s all about — at the end of the day, it’s all about how to fight against each other and it’s all about war.”
During Wednesday remarks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Macron declared he’s “a strong believer in Europe.”
“And during my election campaign, a lot of people told me, I mean, ‘You are crazy. You are a poor European and you think you can win in France, defending Europe?’ I did believe it was feasible. And it’s feasible because people do understand we need Europe in this current environment, because we have European values,” the French president said, adding “the main weakness of Europe is the lack of project and the lack of ambition.”
“Do we want the dismantling of Europe? And it’s an ongoing process. We discussed, during years and years, about Brexit, and now it’s all about Brexit. And now we have a lot of tensions with Poland regarding rule of law in Europe. But in a few months or years, you will have other countries suddenly raising and saying, ‘I’m no more comfortable with this bureaucracy and with Europe without any vision, but just a lot of constraints,'” he said. “So we need more vision, less bureaucracy, 10 years’ objectives, and indeed, new treaties and an actual process. I don’t want to enter into many details. I will revert on that next week, because I want to launch an actual initiative to resume this Europe.”
Macron branded Brexit as “all about doubt and refusal of middle classes against a dysfunctioning Europe.”
“So this new Europe has to provide a place — has to be fair and efficient and provide a place for our middle classes, and for me, that’s today our main weakness. There is no more perspective for middle classes in Europe. And there is no way to progress when your middle classes don’t have any perspective and something to get in this environment,” he explained. “In order to do so and to push with Germany and some other leaders this new European perspective, I need a strong France. And for me, that’s — in this context, I want to promote this new transformation agenda of France. Without that, I will not be in a situation to push Europe in reforms.”
President Trump and Macron met Monday, with the U.S. president hailing his French counterpart as a leader “who’s had one of the great election victories of all time” and is “respected by the French people, and I can tell you he’s respected by the people of the United States.”