French President Emmanuel Macron said that climate change, digital transformation and security are the EU's main challenges.

Iran PressEurope: Climate change, digital transformation and security are the main challenges facing the European Union, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, calling on member states to unite and come up with common positions. Macron was in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning to kick off the French presidency of the bloc with a speech to MEPs.

According to French media, Macron named climate change as the continent's first challenge", praising Europe for being where the world came together in 2015 to recognize the climate urgency and for setting the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

He urged dialogue with Russia and stressed that Europeans must "collectively make their own demands and put themselves in a position to enforce them."He reiterated the EU's position that neighboring countries can make their own choices regarding the alliances and bodies they want to join and rejected so-called spheres of influence.

The European Union and Ukraine were earlier this month excluded from US-Russia talks on security. Washington has accused Moscow of preparing to invade Ukraine after stationing tens of thousands of troops and military equipment along its border.

Moscow denies this but has demanded guarantees that Ukraine or Georgia will never be allowed to join NATO, claiming both countries as part of its sphere of influence. Keiv, Brussels and Washington have rejected this demand. 219