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Sunday July 22nd, 2018 6:33AM

The Latest: Juncker says EU not just a Franco-German club

By The Associated Press
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STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The Latest on French President Emmanuel Macron's speech to the European Parliament (all times local):

11.10 a.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the European Union is not just a club led by France and Germany, addressing amid concerns that the EU's traditional driving countries dominate the bloc.

Juncker told French President Emmanuel Macron and EU lawmakers Tuesday that "Europe is not only Franco-German. We are 28" member nations.

Juncker said Macron's arrival in power in France has "given new hope" to the world's biggest trading bloc. But he recalled that "Europe is an ensemble," even with Britain set to leave the EU next year.

___

11:00 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for an energetic campaign for European Union elections next year as the bloc deals with the challenges of Britain's departure and rising nationalism.

Macron told EU lawmakers Tuesday that it's important "to have a democratic, critical debate on what Europe is about" ahead of the election for the European Parliament in May 2019.

Macron said citizens "want a new project" for the EU which addresses their concerns and fears in a world where allies such as the U.S. are turning their back on multilateral trade and climate change pacts.

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10:50 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says democracy is the "best chance" for the European Union to fight against rising nationalism on the continent.

Speaking to the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Macron said Tuesday that Europe's democratic model is "unique in the world" and must be preserved amid divisions among EU countries.

He said: "Faced with authoritarianism, the answer is not democratic authoritarianism but the authority of democracy."

He called on EU countries to defend values of liberty, equality and diversity.

____

10:00 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to outline his vision for the future of Europe as he addresses the European Parliament.

In his speech to European lawmakers Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, Macron will launch a drive to seek European citizens' opinions on the European Union's future.

Macron said in a television interview Sunday: "It's now that Europe's fate is being decided."

Macron wants the EU to "move forward with those who want to move forward, and those who will not follow will have to accept to stay on the margins of Europe."

He is also expected to push for deep reforms of the 19-nation eurozone.

France and Germany aim to agree on proposals for EU reforms by June. Macron will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday.

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