French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday France will contribute 50 million euros (43.5 million pounds) towards urgent humanitarian aid for Syria following a meeting with a group of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Paris.
But Macron declared that for a Europe "faced with authoritarianism, the answer is not democratic authoritarianism but the authority of democracy". But with political deadlock in Italy and populism on the rise, is Macron's grand plan destined to fail? We find out how it works. He spoke as Britain is leaving the European Union next year, euro-skeptic populists have won elections in Hungary and Italy and the European Union confronts the Polish government over judicial independence.
In his first speech to the European parliament, Macron urged the EU to renew its commitment to democracy, and called for the defence of a European liberal democracy that offered protection of the rights of its minorities.
The speech was heartily welcomed by Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, but received a lukewarm response from others, including Manfred Weber, the German MEP who leads the European People's party, within which Orbán's MEPs sit. "We are 28" member nations. The deadly tendency which might lead our continent to the abyss, nationalism, giving up of freedom: "I reject the idea that European democracy is condemned to impotence", Macron said.
He told EU lawmakers it is important "to have a democratic, critical debate on what Europe is about" ahead of the European elections, adding that EU citizens "want a new project" for Europe that addresses their concerns and fears.
Will Ferrell injured in auto accident
On his way back from a amusing or Die event in San Diego , Ferrell was riding in a chauffeur-driven SUV with two other passengers. TMZ reported that witnesses said Ferrell was talking on his phone as paramedics loaded him into an ambulance.
Juncker said Macron's arrival in power in France had given new hope to the world's biggest trading bloc.
In his speech to European lawmakers Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, Macron will launch a drive to seek European citizens' opinions on the European Union's future.
As part of a series of continentwide "consultations" he has called to discuss the future of Europe, Mr. Macron traveled later to Epinal, a small town in northeastern France, where he took questions from a gathering of some 300 residents.
Macron wants the European Union to "move forward with those who want to move forward, and those who will not follow will have to accept to stay on the margins of Europe". Macron will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday.