French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about a moral commitment to Europe in his speech while accepting the Charlemagne Prize during an award ceremony in Aachen, Germany, on 10 May. In his speech, Mr. Macron was emphasizing the need for unity, courage and action as well as the rational imperatives that would set a moral path for the future of the EU. He drew on German philosopher Immanuel Kant when talking about the unconditional moral laws and universal maxims applying to everyone.
The Charlemagne Prize is an award for work done in the service of European unification and, referring to the resurrection of the European dream, President Macron pointed out that the dream of a united Europe has been cast in doubt – “It is up to us to decide whether we let it live or leave it to die.” Mr. Macron’s first imperative is the need for choice, in order to ensure European sovereignty. “We want to choose for ourselves, we are the guardians of multilateralism,” he said.
Aachen’s mayor Marcel Philipp welcomed the French President in the city and praised him for “providing the most momentum for Europe” while stressing the need for a commitment to Europe especially among young people. “We need to commit to Europe, not saying anything is unacceptable,” said Mr. Philipp. German Chancellor Merkel also welcomed President Macron and in her speech, she focused on democracy while calling for a common migration policy, a progress on the banking and monetary union as well as the establishment of a European university. Speaking of foreign policy, Ms. Merkel said that “Europe has to take its fate into its own hands. It is its duty!”