France Macron wants new European project, and an EU-wide referendum
“We would first build this new project with European peoples and then submit this new roadmap, this new project, to a referendum,” he said ahead of a debate on the fallout from the British referendum.
Macron said voters should be consulted through a series of debates that he called “democratic conventions”.
“It must be done in the right framework,” the minister added.
Macron, a former investment banker, is one of the embattled Socialist government’s most popular ministers among the public. But his launch last month of his own “En Marche” party a year ahead of a presidential election has fueled speculation that he could be eying the Elysee palace as the ratings of Hollande stay rock-bottom. He has said he would not run in the election.
Macron said a knee-jerk referendum must be avoided.
“The idea would not be to have 27 separate referendums,” Macron said during the debate. “We’ve never had the courage to organise a true European referendum in its real sense. This next project must give it that strength.”
In 2005, a proposed EU constitution was blocked by a referendum in France, due mostly to public opposition to an enlarged, free-marketeering Europe. Dutch voters also rejected the constitution in a separate referendum. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Mark Potter)