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France's Macron Warns Against 'Authoritarianism' Inside, Outside EU

Macron Warns Of 'Deadly Illusion' Of Authoritarianism In Europe
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French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Europe against the temptations of "authoritarianism" inside the European Union and around the world.

Macron, in his first speech to the European Parliament since his election in May 2017, cautioned on April 17 that a "sort of European civil war" was under way.

In an apparent reference to EU members Hungary and Poland, Macron said, "There is a fascination with the illiberal and it's growing all the time."

"I don't want to belong to a generation of sleepwalkers, I don't want to belong to a generation that's forgotten its own past," Macron, 40, said in a speech outlining his vision for the future of the EU.

"I want to belong to a generation that will defend European sovereignty because we fought to obtain it. And I will not give in to any kind of fixation on authoritarianism," he said.

Populist parties won elections in Hungary and Italy in recent weeks, while the EU has been at odds for some time with Poland's right-wing government over the rule of law.

Macron also proposed establishing an EU fund for communities that accept refugees -- one of the most divisive issues confronting the EU since 2015.

Macron's speech was welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said, "The true France is back."

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP
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