French President Emmanuel Macron. Image Credit: Reuters

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday outlined his vision for Europe’s future, urging reform of its passport-free Schengen area and for a new agency “for the protection of democracies” against cyber-attacks and fake news.

In an opinion piece, to be published by several European Union newspapers, Macron also renewed his call for greater security cooperation in Europe and stressed the need for a common asylum policy to deal with the migrant crisis.

“Never since the second World War has Europe been so necessary. And yet never has Europe been in such a danger,” Macron said as European Parliament elections in May loom on the horizon.

“A European agency for the protection of democracies would provide European experts to each member state to protect its electoral process against cyber-attacks and manipulation,” he said.

Financing European political parties from abroad should also be banned, while rules should be agreed on banning “hateful and violent speeches from the internet”, he added.