Emmanuel Macron says the EU needs reform in 2017
Presidential candidate Arnaud Montebourg, former Minister of Economy, Industrial Renewal and Digital Affairs, criticised President Emmanuel Macron’s approach to the EU rule of law.
In an article in the French paper Libération, Mr Montebourg wrote: “Macron and his Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, immediately affirmed their support for the Commission.
“However, one can — as I do — vehemently disapprove of the Polish government’s clerical and reactionary policy, which mistreats part of its population, while recalling that the Commission and the French government are gravely mistaken in asserting that European law is superior to the constitutions of the member states.”
He accused European institutions of abusing their power and said the French “can and must” act against “the sovereignty of the European peoples” – now being the moment to do so given the “row between Poland and the Commission”.
The EU Commission and Poland had a bitter disagreement over the bloc’s rule of law framework, which has been in force since the start of the year and states that EU countries can suspend a country’s funds from their joint budget if there is a threat of misuse of the money – a point that Poland refutes.
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A French politician has criticised Macron’s attitude towards the EU as being too ‘docile’
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While Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government says some EU laws are “incompatible” with its constitution, the EU Commission upholds that European law is superior to national law.
Mr Macron is among the leaders thought to be hoping for the Commission to punish Poland — as well as Hungary — so to protect the bloc’s sovereignty, an attitude dubbed by Mr Montebourg as that of a “docile parrot of the Commission”.
The 2022 candidate said: “The European treaties are not superior to the constitutions of the Member States.
“Our government, which supports the Commission’s unfounded position, should beware.”
But support for him is scarce.
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@AristarqueDe said on Twitter: “Montebourg is just a big mouth to criticize.
“He has nothing to contribute to the debate!”
@MonMaitre66 added: “In your opinion, a majority of French people would like to leave the EU. So tell us why no one wants to vote for you?”
And @bibilevrai commented: “I really hope you never go over five percent with bulls*** like that.
“You are a danger for France.”
However, some users suggested they would back Frexit, with CpvaThiriet saying: “The UK is doing very well economically.
“We must stop buying what the mainstream media say, jealous that they have recovered their sovereignty and saved several billion in annual contributions to the EU.”
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Arnaud Montebourg, who announced his candidacy, wants to protect France’s sovereignty within the EU
@PATHACHON disagreed: “Among the English, they cry tears of blood and there are right-wing extremists in France who would like us to suffer the same fate with Frexit?
“My god, my god, patriotism!”
@HaifaGharbi6 argued: “We can stay and demand changes, adaptations.
“The courage is rather to obtain these changes and not to leave. To leave is too easy.”
Mr Montebourg had serious reprimands for the Union. “Everyone knows that this EU does not work.
“It has so far accomplished nothing serious against Big Tech, the Chinese industrial domination, tax havens, and nothing specific against the climate threat.”
Nevertheless, he says he sees “no need to use the threat of Frexit” to ensure that France is respected, instead proposing to “regain strength for themselves in the framework of European cooperation”.
The debate rages on, though, and fury has erupted in France over Mr Montebourg’s claims.
President of The Patriots Florian Philippot even accused him of “lying”.
He said: “Montebourg knows that he is lying when he says we can recover our sovereignty by staying in the EU.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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