Upswing, Power & Solidarity in Europe.
What to expect from the French EU Council Presidency
Livetalk with Gilles Pécout, Ambassador of France in Austria.
Before becoming an ambassador one and a half years ago, the historian and university professor, Gilles Pécout headed the Department of History, and held the chair of "Political and Cultural History of the European Mediterranean" at the Sorbonne. He is one of the three drafters of the Treaty of Quirinal (between France and Italy) appointed by President Emanuel Macron in January 2018 and gives an outlook on the objectives of the French EU Council Presidency.
According to Pécout one of the biggest challenges of the EU in a global context is preparing for a post-COVID Europe. Therefore, it will be essential to prepare a system to protect people, areas and at the same time avoid exclusion as well as represent both the needs and desires of the young generation. Achieving a new form of commitment with the youth to engage in rebuilding positive visions and a new intrinsic desire for a multilateral but united Europe.
He makes clear that solidarity cannot just be a rhetoric figure: “it is most important to avoid reflexes of exclusion and the phenomenon of political and cultural radicalism. We have to be sure to reconcile unity and diversity.” It will be about to renew collective trust and to reconcile the motor of Europe for new inspiration.
Gilles Pécout concludes by emphasizing that the philosophy of the French EU Council Presidency, which is also the European one, is to promote multilateralism and to avoid bilateral confrontations by rebuilding Schengen Area without building a fortress and with focus on the necessary common mechanisms: “The French presidency will make sure that rules of law and cohesion are respected.”