Macron Draws Draws Support for ‘European Sovereignty’ in Germany Speech

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the first face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium July 19, 2020.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for renewed commitment to European values during a speech in Germany. Mr. Macron said Europeans are duty-bound to defend the continent before he joined a youth choir to sing the European anthem. France’s leader stated that Europe was in the midst of war again and urged a united European response independent of NATO. 

Addressing economics, Macron likewise noted that Europeans require independence and less reliance on the United States or China. “Europe needs a growth model for future generations,” he declared. The President furthermore encouraged greater patriotism and reminded his audience of European influence throughout history, including its development of values based on individual rights and freedoms. 

President Macron was joined by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at an event to mark the continent’s upcoming elections to the European Parliament in Brussels. Experts predict that anti-immigration and patriotic parties are set to fare well, with Georgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy polling high and the Freedom Party leading the polls in Austria. Both parties have spoken out strongly against migration. 

In Germany, the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) group is polling in second place but ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats. The conservative CDU is ahead with 29%. 

Mainstream lawmakers in Berlin are reportedly concerned about AfD’s rise, and some have called for the party to be banned. In the Bundestag – the German Parliament – 25 members of the ruling Social Democrats called for AfD’s prohibition in January, and after infiltration was revealed, leader Alice Weidal said her critics were “left-wing activists using Stasi methods.” 

The prohibition calls came after Weidal was secretly filmed saying German passports should be confiscated from some immigrants. She later defended her remarks, stating that all German passport holders were “part of our people,” which is why they should not be “flogged to just anybody.”

The AfD advocates “national conservatism” and wants to end mass migration and re-examine Germany’s relationship with the European Union.