Emmanuel Macron has outlined his vision for the future of the European Union in Strasbourg. The 40-year-old, who secured the French Presidency in May on a pro-EU platform amid a populist surge [euronews.com] in the bloc, delivered his highly anticipated speech to over 700 MEPs in the European Parliament on Tuesday.
Macron challenged "inward-looking nationalist selfishness" amid populist sentiment in the bloc and pushed for a more united and reinvigorated Europe. "Nationalism will lead Europe into the abyss. We see authoritarianism rising all around us," he said. "The response should not be authoritarian democracy but the authority of democracy."
Macron also sought to tackle the "poisoned debate" on migration, proposing the creation of a European programme that could subsidise local authorities which host and integrate refugees.
In a speech which touched on a range of issues, Macron recommended that copyright law be tightened to protect artists' "genius" and reiterated his support for tougher environmental legislation.
Meanwhile, Macron wants to "reform" Islam [washingtonpost.com]:
Speaking alongside the flag-draped coffin of a police officer killed in a terrorist attack in southern France, President Emmanuel Macron last month lay blame on "underground Islamism" and those who "indoctrinate on our soil and corrupt daily." The attack [washingtonpost.com] added further urgency to a project already in the works: Macron has embarked on a controversial quest to change Islam in France — with the goal of integration but also preventing radicalization.
He has said that in the coming months he will announce "a blueprint for the whole organization" of Islam. And those trying to anticipate what that will look like are turning their attention to Hakim El Karoui, a leading voice on how Islamic traditions fit within French culture.
It's hard to miss that the man who appears to have Macron's ear on this most sensitive of subjects cuts a similar figure. Like the president, El Karoui is an ex-Rothschild investment banker with an elite social pedigree who favors well-tailored suits, crisp white shirts and the lofty province of big ideas. The latest of those ideas is this: that the best way to integrate Islam [amazon.fr] within French society is to promote a version of the religion "practiced in peace byievers who will not have the need to loudly proclaim their faith."
Also at BBC [bbc.com].