France Report

Preaching to the converted: President Macron's citizen consultations on the EU

The aim was to allow people to come up with a concept of the “Europe of tomorrow”. Hundreds of public citizen consultations have already been held across France and more will continue into the autumn in a bid to help bring the French people closer to the European Union. Mediapart has visited three such meetings held in northern France, in Dieppe, Issy-les-Moulineaux and one of the seats of the European Parliament, Strasbourg. The Élysée promised they would be no holds barred meetings. But in reality the gatherings have largely attracted people who are already pro-European or who are members of President Emmanuel Macron's ruling party La République en Marche. Justine Brabant and Ludovic Lamant report.

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“You youngsters who are waiting for the bus there, make the most of it and come and see us! Come and take shelter with us!” Marko Mayerl, who has a stand-up comedian-style microphone taped to his cheek and is standing in a large tent in the colours of the European Union flag, is deploying all his energy to attract passers-by. Several pupils from a local middle school have taken refuge there to escape the torrents of rain that are falling from the Strasbourg sky on the afternoon of Tuesday September 18th. In all around 15 people are sat on the plastic chairs inside the tent.

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