(Last week, during a plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg**, Philippe criticized French president Emmanuel Macron in regards to his counter terrorism measures. He quoted notably the examples of French police forces conducting house raids without warrants even at night. During his speech Philippe also gifted the president a ‘symbolic’ rope.)
10:15 – I am reading through messages and comments – Waw, I did not expect so many reactions ! Some people were offended by the ‘rope idea’, but overall most people congratulated me. What truly warms my heart is that most people messaging me are those who often feel misrepresented within our institution, such as people living in precarious situations. These are the people I fight for. I speak up for people who cannot do so.
Philippe is a Belgian member of the European Parliament and is co-chair of the Greens in the institution.
– My adage in politics is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. For me giving this address to president Macron was about defending the dignity of people, all people. I was not criticizing him ‘ad hominem’; as a president he has a lot of qualities – in fact, if I had been a French citizen I would have probably voted for him in the second round!
I was simply denouncing some of his recent actions. I fully support the need to combat terrorism in Europe, but what I strongly disagree with is how the state of emergency in France has allowed the police to violate citizens’ freedom.
Don’t you think it’s interesting to see how, although we all grow up in the same world, facing the same reality before our eyes, some of us chose to accept the maximization of personal interest and others chose to fight it ?
Personally I was always taught to fight injustice and so were my siblings. We were born in Anderlecht – not one of the most economically advantaged municipalities in Brussels and still today we try to stay down to earth. My wife was also brought up this way and we tried to convey these values to our children. Did I tell you about my wife yet? She teaches youngsters coming from poor to disadvantaged backgrounds. She is amazing, so smart and kind – she inspires me.
By the way, the idea of the rope was hers.
**All debates, verbatim and interventions of the European Parliament’s plenary sitting in Strasbourg are available to the public worldwide and can be viewed online following the link http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/debates-video.html…