Official speeches and statements - July 17, 2017
My dear fellow citizens of Metropolitan France, Overseas France and abroad,
Today, 14 July, we celebrate France.
We celebrate what unites us.
We celebrate the ultimate taste of independence, which we call liberty.
The ambition to give everyone a chance, which we call equality.
The determination to leave no one by the wayside, which we call fraternity.
The French people’s energy, their will, wrote our history.
The history of France did not begin on 14 July 1789, but that day the people showed what ideals they wanted to follow.
And throughout our history, we’ve found in ourselves this love of our homeland which saved us, this energy to unite us around these ideals.
We also found trusted allies, friends who came to our aid.
The United States of America is one of them. This is why nothing will ever separate us.
The presence at my side today of the President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump, and his wife, is the sign of a timeless friendship. And I want, here, to thank them and thank the United States of America for the decision made 100 years ago.
In our uncertain world, democracy, freedom of thought and the right not to be judged according to one’s religious origin or the color of one’s skin, one’s gender or one’s opinions, and also the right to live in safety and educate one’s children - none of this can be taken for granted.
Here in France and throughout the world, men and women have chosen to commit themselves, to risk their lives to ensure these rights endure and prevail. These men and women are our soldiers, our police, our firefighters, our gendarmes, our customs officers - all those who protect us. They are parading on this National Day because they are the army of freedom and rights.
Their loyalty, dedication and strength allow us to live according to the rules we have chosen for ourselves. I want, here, to thank them for this. The whole nation thanks you for this, and I know that sometimes it comes at cost to your life.
I know that people have died for France, in the service of France, who leave behind widows, children, parents, close family and friends.
Dear fellow citizens, for 100 years almost to the day, the Republic has taken all its children under its protection. It has also protected and assisted the children of those deported and, for a short time now, children of the victims of terrorism. They are war orphans. They are here, in front of me, and I greet them warmly. Because the enemies of France on our soil or elsewhere in the world took a loved one from you, France owes you its steadfast, lasting support.
I also greet the injured soldiers here today, those who are still in hospital and those who, little by little, are returning to normal life. We know the greatness of your sacrifice and you will always find France at your side as you live out your lives.
On this National Day, our duty is never to forget the price we paid to gain our rights and the price we are prepared to pay to defend them, because they are what unite us, make France and make it what it is today.
I wish every French woman, every French man, everyone who has chosen France and everyone who loves it a peaceful and joyful 14 July.
Long live the Republic and long live France!.
2. United States - Bilateral relations - Fight against terrorism - Trade policy - Climate - Statements by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, at his joint press conference with Mr Donald Trump, President of the United States (Paris - July 13, 2017)
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
TRUMP VISIT / 14 JULY
I wanted, above all, to thank President Trump for his visit to Paris this afternoon and tomorrow morning, and his delegation.
I was delighted, earlier, to host President Trump, who accepted the invitation I had made to him and his wife a few weeks ago to come to Paris to take part in 14 July in France.
Indeed, I think it’s both symbolic and important for the President of the United States of America to be here tomorrow for our National Day and to attend a parade that will involve American troops, because it will be an opportunity to celebrate not only our National Day but also the centenary of American troops’ intervention alongside France during the First World War.
I think we’re both aware that, whatever our respective offices, we’re part of a history greater than ourselves. We live in countries whose roots are stronger and deeper than what we are, and this centenary testifies to that. So President Trump’s presence was, in my view, not only natural but also, I think, a very good thing for the history of our two countries.
At the beginning of the afternoon, first of all with our wives, we were able to share a part of French and Franco-American history, at Les Invalides and the Musée de l’Armée there. We then had a detailed working session, which I must honestly say I’m very pleased with.
We discussed several issues of shared interest that enabled us to shed light on our similar views and goals, and above all a common work schedule for the coming months.
On trade issues, we agreed to do everything together to ensure that free and fair trade can be established; in this regard, the G20 summit in Hamburg expressed, in a way, a sensitivity to that.
We’d like to be able to work together to take effective measures to combat dumping in every sector where these practices appear, by exchanging the information we have and allowing the European Union and the United States of America to take the measures necessary in the framework of free trade - but fair free trade - to protect all our business sectors and our workers.
We then had a long discussion which allowed us to cover all common issues relating to international policy and the challenges posed in terms of our people’s security. I think I can say that on the fight against terrorism, our views have been perfectly aligned from day one, with a total determination to take every measure to eradicate terrorists and, wherever we can, limit their propaganda.
On the Internet, we agreed to step up our action and cooperation on the fight against propaganda, on the obligation for all operators to limit this online propaganda, and also on joint actions regarding cyber crime. In my view, these issues are absolutely crucial, I’d like the cooperation between our two countries to be stepped up and I was very satisfied to hear a shared sensitivity on President Trump’s part. So our services will be working together in the coming weeks and months to create a robust action plan on this issue.
IRAQ / SYRIA / LIBYA
On the Iraq/Syria situation, there again we agreed to continue the joint work, particularly to conduct diplomatic initiatives together enabling the post-war road map to be built. Consideration is under way on our role after the conflicts, but already our wish is to initiate a contact group to intervene much more effectively in support of what the United Nations is doing and build the post-war political road map, in particular in Syria, where it’s essential for us to build inclusive political solutions in the post-conflict period. We know where the destabilization factors lie, and this post-conflict road map will take them into account. So we’ve asked our diplomats and teams to work towards this to ensure that, in the coming weeks, the P5 can take and promote a concrete initiative.
We share the same determination on Libya, where, for my part - I shared this with President Trump - I’d like to take several strong diplomatic initiatives, given the situation we’re witnessing, which demands greater stability and greater control of the region. Whether it be Libya or the Sahel, I think I can say we have a shared and extremely coherent vision of the situation and a desire, again, to take very clear action to combat all forms of destabilization and terrorism.
Lastly, on the climate, we’re aware of our disagreements: we’ve expressed and shared them several times. I think it’s important to continue seeing how to make progress on this issue. I respect President Trump’s decision. He’ll be considering things and doing the work which is appropriate and reflects his campaign pledges. For my part, as I’ve said, I remain committed to the Paris Agreement and to my determination to continue the framework of that agreement and move forward, step by step, to what’s set out in the agreement.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the gist of the discussions we had, in addition to friendly conversations that we’ll continue in the evening. I must say that on the major issues - namely trade, our countries’ security, the fight against terrorism, stability in the Middle East, Libya and the Sahel - we have a shared determination. The United States of America is strongly committed, in particular to the war in Iraq, and I thank President Trump for everything American troops have done in that context. But I want him to be aware how utterly determined I am to work with him on the issue, with total determination.
I really would like our two countries to further increase their cooperation on these issues in the coming months, because the threat we’re facing is a global threat, with enemies who are seeking to destabilize us by every means and who oblige us to have these shared views, which are, I believe, central to the very meaning of the long-standing alliance existing between our two countries and which fully justify President Trump’s presence in Paris today and tomorrow.
Thank you again, cher Donald, for being here.
3. European Union - Attractiveness - United States - Climate - Fight against terrorism/migration - Interview given by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, to daily newspaper "Ouest France" - excerpts (Paris - July 13, 2017)
Q. - What’s your idea of Europe?
THE PRESIDENT - Europe is already multi-speed. The status quo would be to accept an increasingly bureaucratic Europe which no longer explains to citizens where it wants to take them, and which functions like a machine more than it unites. My obsession is to go back to the roots: Europe was founded on a promise of peace, progress and prosperity.
Today we need a project that can renew this promise: a Europe that inspires people more, [with] a process of democratic conventions that I want to launch this winter, [a Europe] that is built on cultural and educational issues, a Europe that protects people in the face of globalization and prepares a new model of society and growth. At some point, treaty changes will be required, because this Europe is incomplete; it’s not about whether these changes will be necessary, but when and how.
Q. - You’re in favor of a Euro Area president. Who would have the right to scrutinize our national budgetary decisions?
THE PRESIDENT - I want the Euro Area to be more coherent, with greater convergence. It doesn’t work well because it’s fueled divergence. Those who were already indebted have found themselves more indebted. Those who were competitive have found themselves more competitive.
There are winners: Germany is one of them, because it’s been able to carry out reforms, and I commend the efforts it’s made. But Germany also benefits from the dysfunction of the Euro Area. That situation isn’t healthy because it isn’t sustainable.
Q. - In other words, the distortions of competition...
THE PRESIDENT -It’s not about pooling past debts, it’s about marrying convergence and solidarity within the European Union and the Euro Area in order to establish more powerful solidarity mechanisms for the future. That’s the key to a sustainable union.
In France, if there were no transfer between Ile-de-France [Paris region] and the rural departments, national unity wouldn’t last long. To that end, you need a budget, a government that decides about allocating that budget, and democratic oversight, which doesn’t exist today. (...)
Q. - What does Europe contribute?
THE PRESIDENT - We’re the only geographical area today which has the capacity for power, upholds democratic values and freedom, is simultaneously a link to equality and social equilibrium, and protects the planet’s shared assets, the climate and education for all.
US / EUROPE / FRANCE
Q. - Can Europe still count on the United States?
THE PRESIDENT - We need the United States of America. The United States has signaled a disagreement regarding the climate. I regret that; I’m fighting it very hard. I’ll do everything to persuade American cities, federal states and entrepreneurs to follow us. The Americans will actually be in the Paris Agreement whether the federal state [the US] likes it or not, thanks to this very strong local mobilization.
We have disagreements on trade. The temptation of protectionism is being reborn in the United States. I’d like us to champion free and fair trade. Protectionism is a mistake; it’s the twin brother of nationalism, and this leads to war. We have a disagreement, but we can find common ground in order to combat unacceptable practices like dumping.
Q. - Some other common ground: defense and security.
THE PRESIDENT - We do indeed have one crucial point on which we see eye to eye: the fight against terrorism and the protection of our vital interests. Whether it be in the Middle East or Africa, our cooperation with the United States is exemplary. It’s our main partner in terms of intelligence, military cooperation and the joint fight against terrorism. It’s also a long-standing partner.
That’s why I invited Donald Trump for 14 July, to commemorate American troops’ entry into the war alongside us 100 years ago, pay tribute to them and celebrate a relationship that is indispensable when it comes to security.
Q. - Must we follow the Americans in increasing defense spending?
THE PRESIDENT - We need to protect ourselves. I’ve made a commitment to invest 2% of our GDP on defense by 2025. At a time when we’re making necessary savings, we’ll maintain an ambitious budget for our defense. France bears much of the burden of European protection, be it through its participation in the coalition or in the Sahel.
It’s too often forgotten in European debates that France protects Europe in many places. The European Defense Fund will enable us to make progress on common projects: industrial projects and purchases, for example drones.
Q. - What do you expect of Germany?
THE PRESIDENT - Germany doesn’t have the same capacity for operational intervention, but it can absolutely support the European effort. It’s not for me to say whether Germany must do more. But I think we’re in a world of growing insecurity. To believe we can live under someone else’s umbrella is naïve, and the Chancellor says so clearly. We Europeans must shoulder all our responsibilities.
EU / SAHEL
Q. - What must Europe do?
THE PRESIDENT - We must develop what’s called structured cooperation on defense - i.e. a set of stronger commitments on expenditure, capabilities and external missions. The last European Council was an opportunity to make rapid progress.
We’re going to identify the conditions for entering into this stringent cooperation, which we’re going to open up to European partners like Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and everyone who wants to take part in the initiative. And we must work just as hard when it comes to development. I said this in Gao a few weeks ago and about 10 days ago in Bamako for the G5 Sahel meeting. Investing in security isn’t enough unless we develop those regions at the same time.
Q. - Is that the aim of the Alliance for the Sahel?
THE PRESIDENT - This Thursday, with the [German] Chancellor, I’m going to launch the Alliance for the Sahel. It’s about grouping together our shared development initiatives and opening them up to all our European partners. We were too fragmented in our interventions; we were speaking too much to states. We’re going to finance projects on the ground together. The Alliance for the Sahel is the pillar of development, which builds on our common defense pillar.
Q. - Is the Borloo electrification project for Africa a move towards this?
THE PRESIDENT - It’s an extra project. Projects to supply electricity and equipment provide structure to the development initiatives. But we’ve also got to invest in health, education and support for democratic transitions.
Q. - How can the demographic challenge be addressed?
THE PRESIDENT - Population is a real issue in the Sahel, it’s one of the challenges in that area and it would be a mistake to deny this. The Sahel is up against a situation of war. There’s a downward slide there with jihadist and fundamentalist movements exploiting extreme poverty. We must support the governments in their efforts to bring about women’s rights and to ban forced marriages. Those countries must be supported, with a genuine education and family planning policy.
TERRORISM / JIHADISTS
Q. - The battle against terrorism is also being played out in Raqqa, where there are many French jihadists...
THE PRESIDENT - The battle is under way in all theaters of operations to completely eradicate Islamist terrorism. Whoever the jihadists are, whatever their country of origin, we will eradicate them. Terrorists have killed our children and spread terror in our countries. They want our civilization to collapse and must be combated.
EUROPE / FRANCE / MIGRATION
Q. - Italy is overwhelmed, in the midst of a migration crisis. What can Europe do?
THE PRESIDENT - We need truthful language, humanity and effective action. What’s happening on the Italian coast is a refugee issue only in a minor way. It’s a problem of large-scale, especially economic, migration. Germany experienced an influx of refugees in 2015. On the banks of the Mediterranean today there’s a failed state, Libya.
In a few weeks we’re going to take the lead on a series of practical diplomatic initiatives to try and rebuild Libya’s stability. We need a Libyan state in control of its borders, otherwise we won’t resolve the crisis.
Q. - What’s going to happen to those massing in Italy?
THE PRESIDENT - Most of those arriving at the Italian coast are economic migrants, not refugees. Europe and France are duty-bound to take in political refugees. I’ll never accept language aimed at rejecting [them]. Political refugees are freedom fighters. Political refugees will be welcomed in France; they will be dealt with humanely and integrated.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean opening every door. We can’t take in all the women and men who come from countries which aren’t at war or in a situation posing a major political risk. This would help fuel even more trafficking.
Q. - What initiatives are you going to take?
THE PRESIDENT - We’ve got to know who is a refugee and who is an economic migrant. We’ll take in refugees and I want France to live up to what is expected of it. Dignity and humanity will be priorities for me. The plan announced by France yesterday aims to devolve the administrative processing of asylum applications for women and men who arrive and are destitute.
I don’t want people in the streets any more. I want emergency accommodation procedures that are worthy of our country. Secondly, we need very quick administrative processing times. And migrants who have no right to asylum must be escorted back to their countries of origin.
We’re going to drastically shorten waiting times. For those applying for asylum, processing times for OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) will be cut to two months. The total time, including appeals procedures, will be limited to six months. The government will present a bill in September to this end. This is how we will be effective and humane.