Macron and Von Der Leyen inaugurate the European Course in Paris: You have to talk to Russia

Look back to prepare tomorrow, but without neglecting an increasingly moved present. France assumed on January 1, the Rotary Presidency of the EU and there ar

Macron and Von Der Leyen inaugurate the European Course in Paris: You have to talk to Russia

Look back to prepare tomorrow, but without neglecting an increasingly moved present. France assumed on January 1, the Rotary Presidency of the EU and there are few countries in the world who know how to take care of the best symbols. It started the semester with a gigantic community flag in the Arch of Triunfo, dyeing the Eiffel Tower of Blue and followed on Friday with a formal and official visit, with the President Ursula von der Limen, Al Pantheon, to pay tribute to Jean Monnet and Simone Veil, key figures for European construction. The Elysee strip of example, of the founders and legends of the unit, however, it is a rhythm that interests, especially and sometimes only, to France itself.

The agenda, the details and even the content of this agitated presidency is in the air, but the visual messages of the Elysee always come very clearly. They do not achieve their refounding, renewal, revolution, but they transmit energy, will, aspirations in a generally passive and slow continent. The context, as almost always for a decade, is delicate. Rumors of invasion in Ukraine and Russian troops and entering Kazakhstan. The uncontrolled pandemic in a large part of the continent and friction and tensions for vaccination and 'sanitary passports'. A slow economic recovery, a stagnant migratory debate and with a growing excision by the rule of law, as well as shocks that proliferate between Member States and their leaders. And all seasoned with a crucial election of Head of State in Italy in the coming weeks and the presidential ones in France itself in spring.

There was not on the joint appearance of this Friday of Von Der Leyen and Macron, after the protocol meeting of the EU College of Commissioners, great surprises. There were calls for vaccination, generic and well-known priorities sketches on digital issues, growth or strategic autonomy. Mention to Africa or Balkans, security, defense and the strength of borders. But there were two issues, the only ones of draft, which can mark the agenda in the coming weeks.

The first, the balance between duties and rights of citizens. Macron, who asked this week to make life impossible (or "fuck", according to the emphasis that wants to give the expression "enmeter") to those not vaccinated, reiterated the position of him, but not the expression. "Citizens have rights, but also duties, the idea of freedom that some compatriots have, and would include not being vaccinated, collide with the freedom of others, the lives of others," said Macron. "Freedom has to be combined with responsibility, towards oneself and neighbors, friends, family, others, go hand in hand and that is the discussion, the government must protect. The sanitary passport is a way to do it "He supported the German.

The second question, vital in the present circumstances, is what to do with Moscow. "The EU must dialogue with Russia. Speaking is not to make concessions, is to emphasize the disagreements but look to the future, we know what happened in Ukraine since 2014, and measures have been taken, but it takes dialogue with Russia, with whom we have a geography and a shared story, and that is a fundamental actor for security architecture, "Macron has repeated Friday. "I've had two long calls this week and I'll have more with Putin."

He and Merkel surprised his partners last year with a proposal to set a structured dialogue with the east neighbors, very shortly after what happened with Navalny and his sentence. The rejection of a good part of the Member States, and the indignation of him, slowed him dry. But Paris insists. "We need a frank, demanding dialogue, but talk taking into account the concerns. Not all of us have the same borders and history with them, I have traveled to understand and integrate those concerns of our allies and the demands in dialogue, but it is necessary", He has added the gallus before Von Der Limen's silence. The same thing that Borrell always said, whom he did not support when he rained the blows, but a year later.

Updated Date: 07 January 2022, 10:55

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