President Antonio Tajani paid an official visit to Paris on 21-22 September with the aim of furthering relations between Parliament and France, one of the engines of European integration.
Speaking in Paris on Friday, Tajani said: “We can bring about an alliance between environment and industry. French politics is a good example of this. With the input and cooperation of all Europeans, I think we can provide solutions for the people and overcome the great challenge of populism.”
Tajani met French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. During Tajani's meeting with Macron, the two leaders discussed issues ranging from posted workers to defence and the fight against terrorism. Also on the agenda were European industry and proposals to introduce transnational electoral lists for the European elections in 2019.
While in Paris Tajani also met apprentices at the prestigious Ferrandi culinary school, representatives of the MEDEF employers’ federation, as well as with entrepreneurs and job creators. Employment is a major concern for Europeans; 78% of respondents to the latest Eurobarometer survey called for more EU action against unemployment.
During a meeting with François de Rugy, president of France’s lower house of parliament, Tajani stressed the importance of relations between national parliaments and the European Parliament as a means of safeguarding the Union’s democratic legitimacy.
Tajani also underlined this message during a visit to the Île-de-France regional council. He noted the important role played by the representative offices of regional and local authorities to the EU in bridging the gap between citizens and Brussels. Tajani also took part in a ceremony in memory of the late Simone Veil, the first president of the directly-elected European Parliament.