President Macron consults rivals about 2019 European elections, EU future

President Emmanuel Macron on Monday launched two days of meetings with leaders of French political parties about the 2019 European elections as well as plans for the future of the EU.

According to newspaper Le Monde, Macron is pushing for a single electoral district for all of France in the 2019 European elections, likely to be a major mid-term test for his new centrist party.

The French president has also proposed that Britain’s 73 seats in the European Parliament should be elected on a new pan-European list after Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU in March 2019.

That idea got a cool reception from the main centre-right opposition party, Les Republicains.

A pan-European list “could only be justified in the context of a federal EU and would create a distance between citizens and their representatives,” Party General Secretary, Bernard Accoyer, said in a statement after his meeting with Macron.

Macron is also consulting the party leaders on his proposal for “democratic conventions” where European citizens would discuss the future shape of the bloc.

European Affairs Minister, Nathalie Loiseau, last week said that the idea was to “upend the previous practice where leaders took decisions and then submitted them in a very black-and-white way to citizens, who had not been involved in considering them beforehand.”

But the proposal appears to have met with limited support from other European countries.

Loiseau said that there had been expressions of interest from Germany, Greece, Ireland and Italy. (dpa/NAN)

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