Mayor of Strasbourg: “It is essential that the voice of European citizens is heard”

French president Emmanuel Macron underlined the importance of the south-eastern city of Strasbourg in the effort to strengthen pan continental ties.

President Macron said for Dernières nouvelles d’Alsace: “If Brussels is the capital of Europe’s offices, Strasbourg is the capital of its heart and soul: where its values are defended. Europe is not a project that fits into a single city. Europe is not a project of hegemony. It is a project of balance.” President Macron added: “It’s about political work in the deepest sense of the word: to see how to improve everyday Europe and make it closer to each and every one of us,” he said for DNA. “It is also about encouraging everyone to think about the Europe we want in 10 or 15 years.”

Strasbourg was the venue for a conference on the future of Europe where president Macron gave the opening address during which he called for more thought on European intregration.

A survey commissioned by the European Parliament and the Commission found that eight out of 10 Europeans believe the conference should focus on how the EU can better manage crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This conference is for ordinary citizens,” said David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament. “Europe is not just for the elites, nor does it belong to them.”

Mayor of Strasbourg Jeanne Barseghian echoed Sassoli’s view. “This is a wonderful opportunity for citizens to say how they see Europe,” she told Agence France-Presse. “It is essential that the voice of European citizens is heard. The conference should not be a gimmick or an empty shell.”  Photo: screenshot ec.europa.eu