– Democracy, the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights are never given once and for all – said French President Emmanuel Macron during the session of the European Committee of the Regions. He also mentioned the murdered president of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz.
The 147th plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions was held on 1 and 2 December in Brussels. The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, met online with representatives of regions from various countries of the community. France will hold the presidency of the European Union for six months from 1 January.
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Macron: Paweł Adamowicz gave his life for these values
During his speech on December 1, Emmanuel Macron referred to the words of the chairman of the Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Cicikostas, who mentioned the president of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, murdered at the beginning of 2019. He assessed that the deceased local government official is synonymous with the fight against intolerance, discrimination, hatred, and at the same time promoting freedom.
– I am glad to see in this group a discussion on European values, because respect for dignity, freedom, the rule of law and human rights, as well as (the rights of) minorities, are important for the future of Europe, said Macron. – We Europeans know that democracy, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights are never given once and for all. We also know that they are one, they are inextricably linked – he explained.
The French president stated that “we cannot choose only what suits us, is comfortable and forget about the rest.” – It was for this and for these values that Paweł Adamowicz lived and for these values Paweł Adamowicz gave his life – he added.
Macron on the conditionality mechanism
Macron explained in his speech that the rule of law is not an abstract concept, but something concrete, defined by texts, as are security and justice.
He also pointed out that “in order to ensure that the law is respected by all, there must be an independent and impartial judiciary that is independent and free from pressure”. – We also need honesty to counteract corruption, active control mechanisms – he added.
– Defending these principles presupposes a great deal of firmness, and requires uncompromising attitude when it comes to what is essential. That is why we have adopted new instruments, especially financial ones. I am thinking of a mechanism linking access to EU financial support with the rule of law and respect for the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, he concluded.
Macron said that currently a major problem in Europe is the exclusion of citizens on the basis of their beliefs, origin or sexual orientation. In his opinion, democracy should serve one purpose: that every citizen could exercise their rights without discrimination.
Main photo source: European Union / Giedrė Daugėlaitė