Emmanuel Macron at war with EU over ECJ decision on French military – Even Barnier furious
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The European Court of Justice (CJEU) recently condemned the EU member for insisting that military personnel are not included in the country’s 35-hour working week. It disagreed and ruled the same labour laws apply to soldiers as any other workers providing they are not on active operations.
This has provoked outrage from Mr Macron’s Government – who insist that military personnel should remain exempt to honour their commitment to be available “at all times and in all places”.
Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly protested strongly against the decision.
He told Le Figaro: “(It) ignores the reality of the daily lives of our soldiers, who very often exercise several trades at the same time.
“In addition, the effectiveness of our defence tool relies on all of our soldiers, and we do not conduct effective war operations if the equipment is not well maintained, if the medical visits are not made on time, if food is not supplied.
“There is a continuum in the actions of our soldiers, which all contribute to the same objective: to achieve the mission.
“When a frigate has to set sail the next day to escort a nuclear missile launcher (SSBN), for example, and one of its engines suddenly breaks down, will the SSBN’s departure be delayed for reasons of working time?
“When our Paris firefighters, who are soldiers, intervene to save Notre-Dame de Paris, are the towers of the cathedral going to be allowed to collapse for reasons of working time?
“We are looking very precisely at the implications of this European decision for our armed forces.
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“In addition to the considerable management constraints it could involve, it would also compromise the identity of many of our units.”
The meddling by the EU was slammed by French figures from across the political spectrum.
Former prime minister Edouard Philippe described the European Court of Justice’s decision as “contrary to our most basic national interests”.
He said the “decision of the European judges” on the working time of soldiers “touches the heart of the sovereignty and security of France.”
He added: “I am fiercely pro-European. Everything about my political commitment and my intellectual parentage confirms my attachment to European construction.
“But this decision of the highest European court is in principle contrary to the most basic national interests.
“It touches the heart of the sovereignty and security of France. It is not acceptable.”
Even former Eurocrat Michel Barnier slammed his beloved EU.
He said: “The freedom of states to organise their security forces and their intelligence services in a sovereign way must be clearly restored.
“Unity of Europe must not be achieved through uniformity.”
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