It’s this robust debate that will also enable us to rediscover the thread and the stringency of many of our common policies! Let’s not be afraid of that debate. But above all, let’s not be afraid of having a European debate for the 2019 elections! And I can already hear all those fainthearted people who have got used to the idea that European elections are merely an aggregate of national debates, little routines where we place our pawns, where we never talk about Europe but instead about all our attitudes. Let’s give the European elections a project to feed on and see who is for and who is against! And let’s have a democratic debate about it.

Also in order to finish building this democratic area, I’m arguing for transnational lists for 2019 that will enable Europeans to vote for a coherent, common project. How? And here I acknowledge that this idea originated with a few of the people in this hall… The British have decided to leave us, freeing up 73 seats in the European Parliament. We have a simple choice. Sharing out the spoils, in a delicate and dignified manner and deciding that Europe — for lack of a common spirit — is a syndic of co-owners: using a carefully-considered distribution key, we’d share out the vacated MEPs’ seats. Or we decide that those 73 MEPs must be Europe’s response to Brexit. And there will be a transnational list where people vote for the same MEPs throughout Europe. I dare you!

And to all the major European parties which explained to us that it would be tremendous to have a “Spitzen-kandidat”, a lead candidate, for the European Commission, making the elections more European, I say: “Take that reasoning to its conclusion! Don’t be afraid! Have genuine European elections! Don’t make finely-weighed calculations for your erstwhile interests! Let’s do it!” But then you will all see, at European level, what appeared clearly in France in May: namely that what sometimes keeps you in common parties no longer exists, because your relationship with Europe is no longer the same, within the same major parties, and you no longer believe in the same things.