Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reacted to French President Emmanuel Macron's op-ed on European reform by calling for a "serious European debate" over what he considers the bloc's top issue: immigration.
"Europe, like peace, can never be taken for granted", Macron said, adding that "now is the time for a European renaissance" as he called on Europeans to resist "the temptation of isolation and division, I propose we build this renewal together around three ambitions: freedom, protection and progress".
France's President Emmanuel Macron is reaching out directly to voters not just in France, but in every single European Union country, with newspaper columns laying out his vision for a more unified and assertive EU ahead of the bloc's parliamentary elections in May.
"Who told the British the truth about their post-Brexit future?" wonders Macron "The withdrawal into nationalism goes nowhere". "There are external anti-European forces which are seeking - openly or secretly - to influence the democratic choices of the Europeans", Tusk said, naming the "Leave" result in Britain's 2016 Brexit referendum as one such example. "Do not allow political parties that are founded by external forces hostile to Europe to decide on key priorities of the EU and the leadership of European institutions".
Macron said Europe was a "historic success" of reconciliation and a "project" that continued to protect its citizens but said there was a risk of complacency and what he called the "trap of the status quo". "It also symbolises the European trap". Macron said. "Who spoke to them about losing access to the European market".
The modern EU began as a simple trade deal among six European nations, but over the years it has evolved to its present Big Government behemoth.
Financing European political parties from overseas should also be banned, while rules should be agreed on banning "hateful and violent speeches from the internet", he added.
He advocated the creation of "a common border force and a European asylum office", as well as a "European Council for Internal Security" that in theory would oversee these new operations.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said he particularly hoped for "a Europe that protects liberty and democracy", according to the agency Belga.
Backing also came from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a strong critic of the European Union though his country is a member state.
"In this new Europe, the United Kingdom, I am sure will find its true place".
"He is now totally alone in his plans for a federal Europe, for a European renaissance, while all the people of Europe want to regain their power, their national sovereignty".More news: New Delhi is world's most polluted capital followed by Dhaka