Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs
Task Force Report on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently: Discussion
What is very important about Macron's option, which Dr. Schön-Quinlivan has encapsulated in the way she has answered, is that there is a perception among members states, including Ireland and the various smaller member states, that his vision for Europe is really a Franco-German vision. Fundamentally, that is one of the biggest worries for Europe. As someone who is pro-European and who believes in the concept of a developed European sovereignty in conjunction with the idea of member states, mine is not a Franco-German vision. Chancellor Merkel is now in a position whereby she is restrained in terms of what she can say. When we heard President Macron or Chancellor Merkel in the past, however, a large selection of colleagues did not hear a European vision being described. They heard a Franco-German position that was almost harking back to the old days and saying we must do it their way or take the high road. That is one of the huge risks facing Europe. They do not see the newer, broader EU, or maybe they just do not want to see it.