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Emmanuel Macron says EU has 'lost its way', urges 'new generation of leaders' to revive bloc

Versailles: French president Emmanuel Macron on Monday said the European Union has "lost its way", calling for a "new generation of leaders" to revive the bloc.

"The building of Europe has been weakened by the spread of bureaucracy and by the growing scepticism that comes from that," Macron said in an address to both houses of parliament.

File image of Emmanuel Macron. AP

File image of Emmanuel Macron. AP

"The last 10 years have been cruel for Europe. We have managed crises but we have lost our way."

Macron, 39, put European revival at the centre of his presidential campaign, in stark contrast to his anti-immigration, anti-EU rival Marine Le Pen. "I believe firmly in Europe," he said on Monday. "But I don't find the scepticism unjustified."

The president said the "tyranny of agendas and timelines and technical twists and turns" should be overturned.

He said Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was a "symptom" of a "failure... that we must have the courage to face head-on."

German chancellor Angela Merkel has closed ranks with Macron in a bid to revive the traditional Franco-German "motor" of the EU following Britain's Brexit decision.

Macron said France and Germany would launch "democratic conventions" across Europe by the end of 2017.

The conventions would take the form of national debates on the EU and would be aimed at "refounding Europe".

Each member state would be "free to sign on or not, but there is no longer time for quick fixes."

Updated Date: Jul 03, 2017 21:56 PM

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