François Fillon: Those who are constructive about Europe have been rewarded

Share
Related Topics

We have just had a European election, and it's up to each of our political groups to draw lessons from it. I want to single out two of them.

The first is that the majority of electors who voted in this ballot voted on and for Europe. Fifty-eight per cent of our fellow citizens maintain they didn't vote on domestic policy issues, which is an encouraging sign for European democracy. Those who sought openly to use this ballot to punish us have been punished.

Conversely, those who talked about Europe, those who put forward constructive or alternative proposals, have been rewarded. This was particularly the case for "Europe-Ecologie" [the Greens], whose breakthrough confirms the growing importance of the environment.

I say to the majority that they can be proud of this result. It recognises the work accomplished by the French European Union presidency under President Sarkozy. It also stems from the majority's unity and the clarity of its goal of a political Europe.

We take the consequences of this success seriously because the high expectations the French have of Europe bring us far more duties than rights. It impels us, in particular, to act to meet two major challenges.

First: the economic crisis. The whole of Europe must do more to emerge from the recession as soon as possible. And it must punch its full weight in the effort to regulate the international financial system.

The second challenge: global warming. At France's instigation, Europe has adopted the world's most ambitious legislation in this sphere. But we now have to convince the whole international community to follow us.

The second lesson from the European election is the high abstention rate which has risen continuously since the 1999 election, in France as elsewhere. Widespread public indifference to one of the greatest political adventures of all time must be a serious warning to us.

The more we need Europe, the more people's indifference grows. It's our collective duty to overcome this contradiction by giving the European Union the ability to deliver results and the passion it too often lacks.

Taken from a speech by the prime minister of France to the French National Assembly this week

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Dom Joly owns a pig. That thinks it's a dog.  

I'll bow out. Let Wilbur, the pig that thinks it's a dog, bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Forget charging by the page - with books, heart matters more than heft

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'