The French President, Francois Hollande gave a highly anticipated speech last week to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He argued that the European Union should be more vocal in world conflicts and defended France’s decision to intervene in the Mali conflict calling it “a European fight for democracy.”
Without referring to the UK specifically he made it clear that he totally rejected any idea that any national Government could cherry pick EU policies. He said: “National governments should stop calling into question EU competencies at every step.”
He warned against it being a body which looks out only for self-interest and said the EU was in danger of becoming “a sum of nations where each looks for what is good for itself and only itself.”
He did agree however, that it was necessary to look at the European Unions ‘architecture.’ You can read a full report from European Voice here.
A deal was reached over the European Union’s budget last week and responding to the deal Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “We welcome news that a deal has been reached. Failing to agree one could have seen next year’s budget go up automatically.
“Labour voted in November to give David Cameron a clear mandate to negotiate for a real terms cut, and so we welcome the reports indicating the policy we advocated has been agreed.
“It seemed at times that David Cameron was ready to throw in the towel and aim for a freeze, but today’s deal proves that a cut was worth voting for in Westminster and worth negotiating for in Brussels”.