Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, today (Tuesday) welcomed the thrust of President Macron’s speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg but warned that the German-Franco axis must not be allowed dominate EU policy making.
“Emmanuel Macron is right to argue for a new European Sovereignty. That sovereignty must be based on internal and external cohesion. But it cannot be driven by the interests of the largest Member States alone.
“President Macron has clear views on the future direction of the European Union. Today he set them out as a challenge to other European leaders. However, he must have regard to the democratic balance that must exist whereby Member States cannot be forced to do something that is not in their interest.
“For Europe to regain its momentum, we must not allow a super state rollercoaster to dominate. For Ireland, issues like the digital tax, a Eurozone finance minister or indeed new own resources for a future European budget have to be debated fully and must not be forced upon us.
“President Macron made some welcome comments on how we need to address the migration problem by proposing additional funding powers for local authorities who take in migrants. Migration is one of the biggest problems facing Europe. It can only be resolved by resourcing local authorities and tackling the issue at a local level.”