Official speeches and statements - June 14, 2017
1. United Kingdom - European Union/Fight against terrorism/Brexit - Statements by Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, during his joint press briefing with Mrs Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Paris - June 13, 2017)
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
I’m very pleased to welcome Theresa May for a working dinner, which we’ve had with our teams and our interior ministers, just a few days after the British election, and I’m very grateful to Mrs May for so quickly accepting the invitation for this dinner and the football match between our two teams in a few moments.
Your visit perfectly embodies the bond uniting our two countries, solidarity and effectiveness, friendship and working together, remembrance and looking to the future. I say this a few days after the attacks which hit Manchester and London, one after the other. We had an opportunity to talk to each other, both times, in the hours which followed.
But I want to reiterate here how affected and hurt we were, along with you, because every time, these have been attacks against young people and free democracy, and because we, too, lost several lives and had several casualties, who testify to this very strong bond which unites us. Hundreds of thousands of British people live in France, and hundreds of thousands of French people live in Britain.
So this evening we talked about our future and our common challenges, and first of all our counter-terrorism cooperation. Cooperation between us is exemplary today in terms of intelligence exchanges and cooperation between our services; what followed after these two attacks perfectly demonstrated this.
I want to pay a glowing tribute here to our security forces and intelligence services, which work together daily to ensure our safety. We owe them a great deal.
But we decided together to go further this evening by working, for several days now, on a very concrete action plan which our teams have prepared and which is being made public this evening. This action plan will be implemented by our services.
It aims, firstly, to increase the commitments and obligations of online operators, to remove content which promotes, in any type of media, hatred and terrorism. Commitments exist today, they are inadequate.
Theresa May very rightly reminded us in Taormina a few weeks ago that it’s in the first two hours that nearly 50% of potential terrorists—in any case minds that can be manipulated—are affected by this propaganda, when the commitments made are currently implemented only within 48 hours.
Next, improving ways to access encrypted content, under conditions that protect the confidentiality of correspondence, so that this messaging can’t be a tool for terrorists and criminals.
Finally, stepping up international cooperation, particularly with the United States , to improve access to digital evidence in investigations conducted by our police and justice services, wherever that data is located.
These extremely practical points are essential for doing the maximum to prevent certain terrorist acts—at any rate, terrorist propaganda—and prosecuting those men and women who are involved in those attacks or attempted attacks.
Our wish is clearly, in addition to this shared commitment, to galvanize all the G7 countries—in the next few weeks our interior ministers will be having a meeting to this end—to go even further, with the United States of America in particular, which has spoken very powerfully on this issue—as President Trump recalled in Taormina—and be able to take action together.
Clearly, this initiative is open to all our European Union partners—I’m thinking in particular of Germany, which has constantly shown its desire to work extremely closely with us on all these issues.
It’s in this framework that the action plan is set to be continued. But from now on, it must give rise to concrete actions and commitments and achieve things quickly.
This challenge of fighting terrorism is a major one. But it mustn’t overshadow our other challenges. So we discussed our cooperation on the economy, migration and defense, an agenda on which we’ll continue working actively together, with a new defense summit to be held in Britain between now and the end of the year.
Finally, the negotiations on Brexit are continuing—I’ll let Theresa May talk about them—but with a clear method as far as I’m concerned. I’d like the negotiations on withdrawal from the EU, then on future relations with the UK, to get going as quickly as possible and be conducted in a coordinated way by the European Commission.
That’s what I can tell you. Lastly, in addition to all these issues, we obviously reiterated our determination to fight battles for the future together: the digital revolution, the defense of our values, particularly freedom in the world, and finally the fight against climate change, where our two countries are constantly side by side.
So I thank Theresa May again for being here, so soon after the election in her country. I welcome these different issues, on which we have a lot to do together. In a few moments’ time, our teams will be playing together, in a sport where, sadly, someone ultimately has to win. So perhaps we’ll have a few slight disagreements then. But we won’t show it, because they’re very minor compared to all the rest.
2. Senegal - Bilateral relations/Fight against terrorism/Climate - Statements by Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, in his joint declaration with Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal (Paris - June 12, 2017)
First of all I wanted to thank President Macky Sall for his visit, a few hours before this G20-format meeting with several African heads of state, and tell him how happy I am today to welcome him here, before we see each other again in a few weeks’ time.
I’m delighted, because our two countries maintain extremely strong relations, not only thanks to history but also to a new, rebalanced partnership and many projects for the future that we spoke about during our discussion.
Why? Because today we’re facing common challenges, and they were the ones we raised first of all. The challenge of terrorism, fundamentalism, and many regional imbalances that President Macky Sall and I are following very closely.
TERRORISM AND DESTABILIZATION IN AFRICA
Here I want to reiterate the major role Senegal plays and has played in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel. Senegal has stood by us from the outset. I haven’t forgotten that the first units of Operation Serval were deployed from Senegal, and that Senegal—already strongly committed—will in the coming weeks become the main contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. And in this respect, we both know the price of this commitment for our armed forces, for our soldiers’ lives.
We also share the same strong belief: that the resolute and long-term mobilization of players in the region will enable us to drive back the terrorist threat irreversibly. In this regard, in addition to the different formats existing today, my wish is for France to be able to continue, on the one hand, these strategic, military and security exchanges with Senegal and, on the other hand, to also continue working with the Economic Community of West African States, as well as any regional forums that may be organized, in which we also participate.
We also discussed the fight against destabilization—this challenge we share—, mentioning in particular the case of Guinea-Bissau and our shared desire to contribute to stabilization and do everything to ensure that, in the region itself, the necessary elements exist for that stability, which is essential for Senegal.
The second challenge we share is the fight against global warming and climate change. Our two countries have reaffirmed our commitment to the Paris Agreement and our determination to act together. It’s an extraordinarily important challenge which we’ll confirm in the different diplomatic forums through our resolute joint action and through the action we’ll be taking in our countries and regions.
DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION
Beyond these global and regional challenges, our two countries are engaged in an extremely strong bilateral relationship which we’d like to continue strengthening—first of all through resolute action on education, training and the fight against fundamentalism. What prevents the emergence of terrorism and all forms of destabilization is a policy of development, a policy of consolidation. France is strongly committed to this, in particular through the French Development Agency and our cooperation activities.
We’d like to go further and organize with Senegal a strong initiative on education, and we’ll continue this in the coming weeks and months. We’d also like economic cooperation to be stepped up. Senegal is enjoying absolutely remarkable growth which demonstrates the solidity and attractiveness of the Senegalese economy. We have several urban transport projects that are at an advanced stage.
I’m thinking of the Dakar regional express train, which has just been launched, and the President’s personal commitment on this, which I welcome. I’m also thinking of our projects in energy and civil aviation—with the prospect of the airline Air Senegal being relaunched—, digital technology and defense, which are very important in my view and which we’ll continue to promote.
We were talking a moment ago about the Paris Agreement. There are also renewable energy projects which I’d like us to strongly encourage and develop together, because they will translate this political commitment we both share into action.
In all these areas, this, for me, is the spirit of the new partnership we embody and want to develop—a balanced partnership which allows Senegal to succeed and the Senegalese people to have more jobs, more growth, more security and a better education, and which fully engages civil society and private-sector players on both sides.
It’s in this spirit that I’d like us to continue deepening and increasing our cooperation together and the future relationship between Senegal and France.
Mr. President, thank you again for being here today; you can count on me being personally involved in pursuing this.