France: Commentator discusses rotating EU presidency
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Clement Beaune, France’s Secretary of State for European Affairs, took to Twitter and “liked” a pro-EU post shared by a French businessman. The tweet features an image of the famous blue and gold EU flag along with the caption: “This flag is 75 years of peace.
“This flag is the key to our sovereignty. This flag is what allows an unprecedented recovery plan.”
The UK left the EU a year ago today in order to restore sovereignty and wrestle back control of money, laws and borders.
Mr Beaune has been a constant critic of Brexit Britain and most recently led the charge for French vessels to be able to fish in UK waters.
France officially took over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU on January 1.
To mark the occasion, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was lit-up in EU blue on New Year’s Eve
In his New Year message, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “The year 2022 must be a turning point for Europe.”
He added: “You can count on my complete commitment to ensure that this period, which comes around every 13 years, is a time of progress for you”.
The EU presidency will give France the opportunity to shape the direction of the bloc.
It will also coincide with the French presidential elections in April – Mr Macron is yet to commit to running for a second term in office.
Earlier this month, Mr Macron outlined his vision for Europe and stressed his priority would be to reinforce sovereignty and highlighted the importance of stopping illegal migration.
He said: “If we have to sum up in one sentence the objective of this presidency… I would say that we must move from a Europe of cooperation within our borders to a Europe that is powerful in the world, fully sovereign, free of his choices and master of his destiny.”
Mr Macron added: “To prevent the right of asylum which was invented on the European continent and which is our honour from being misguided, we absolutely must find a Europe which knows how to protect its borders.”
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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is now leading Brexit talks with the EU following the shock departure of Lord David Frost as Brexit Minister last month.
Ms Truss will also be tasked with rebuilding strained ties between London and Paris following months of disputes over fishing licences.
Following the exit of Lord Frost, Mr Beaune called on the UK to “rebuild a climate of trust with France and the EU”.
He said: “We had difficult relations, but we always continued the dialogue. I greet with respect David Frost after his resignation.
“It is time for the British government to rebuild a climate of trust with France and the EU, in the interest of all.”
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