In a last ditch effort to win over Eurosceptics, Macron has promised to try and reform the political bloc if he becomes the next French president on 7 May. Macron warned that without reform, the EU could continue to dissatisfy French voters who would eventually seek an end to membership of the union, or a “Frexit”, the BBC reports.
Macron told the BBC: “I’m a pro-European, I defended constantly during this election the European idea and European policies because I believe it’s extremely important for French people and for the place of our country in globalisation.”
The presidential candidate attempted to explain the benefits of globalisation to workers at a Whirlpool factory who are losing their jobs due to the factory relocating to Poland. He was met with boos and calls of “Marine President!” after his rival, the anti-mass migration candidate Marine Le Pen, had outmanoeuvred him and visited the workers several hours earlier.
“But at the same time we have to face the situation, to listen to our people, and to listen to the fact that they are extremely angry today, impatient and the dysfunction of the EU is no more sustainable,” Macron said.
So I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project.
The move is a switch for Macron who has been seen as the pro-EU establishment candidate opposed to Le Pen who has promised to get France out of the euro and hold a referendum on EU membership if she becomes the next president.
Le Pen has slammed Macron, calling him the “candidate of continuity” and saying his policies are an extension of those of current Socialist party President François Hollande, at a rally which drew thousands of supporters Monday afternoon. She also criticised his policies on security and terrorism.
Macron has previously said that terrorism is “part of daily life” and attacked Le Pen when she said she wanted to imprison known radical Islamists and deport foreign Islamists following the Paris attack that killed one police officer on the Champs-Élysées. According to Macron, such a policy would harm French intelligence gathering.