By Fatih Erel
DAVOS, Switzerland (AA) - French President Emmanuel Macron warned of rising protectionism in an address here Wednesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
“In terms of trade we are moving towards greater protectionism, a fragmentation of what the World Trade Organization has done in the past, we are undoing what globalization has been able to achieve,” he said at a special session.
"Globalization must make sense to people and improve their lives, otherwise we will see a new generation of nationalists and extremists.”
Macron underlined the importance of tax cooperation to avoid "unbridled tax optimization”.
He noted the importance of creating conditions for "durable peace" in the Middle East and Africa.
"Sometimes, we have created solutions that have led to terrorism," Macron said.
"We need a stronger Europe. We have to build our common policies," he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of multilateralism and global cooperation.
Also speaking at a special session, Merkel said the spirit of multilateralism, which rebuilt Europe and formed its international institutions in the aftermath of the World War II, was now under threat.
On migration, she called for cooperation and warned against isolation.
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to attend Davos and deliver a speech Friday.
Recent racist remarks by Trump have drawn worldwide condemnation, exacerbating his international unpopularity.
More than 1,000 people gathered Saturday in the Swiss capital of Bern to protest Trump's attendance with banners that had messages that included, "Kill Trump with his own weapons".
Several other anti-Trump demonstrations are planned in the next few days.
Over 3,000 participants from more than 110 countries and more than 340 public figures, including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations, are attending the forum, for which security is expected to cost nearly $10 million.
Also in Davos are 10 heads of state from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, and six from Latin America, plus 40 Western leaders.