PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron spoke of the importance of common defense and security on Sunday as he marked Bastille Day celebrations in France. In his annual July 14 message, he said: “Not since the end of the Second World War has Europe been so necessary.”
His message was posted online as he prepared to host other world leaders at a military parade in Paris. “Building European defense, in connection with the Atlantic Alliance … is a priority for France,” he said. “It is the theme of this parade. Acting together and strengthening our ability to act collectively is one of the challenges that the European Intervention Initiative, along with other key European projects, wants to address.” On Saturday, Macron announced the launch of a new space military command that would eventually be part of his country’s air force.
Eric Drouet, one of the original leaders of the movement, was pictured on social media being removed from a viewing barrier by police; it was not immediately clear if he was detained. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 by a mob of Parisians during the opening stages of the French Revolution. The anniversary became a national day in 1880 and is marked by parades, speeches, parties and fireworks. The major public event is the military parade down the Champs Elysees in Paris. (Agencies)