Struggling Macron pleads for stronger Europe before EU vote

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he delivers a speech at the Vivatech startups and innovation fair, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Paris. (AP P

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he delivers a speech at the Vivatech startups and innovation fair, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Paris. (AP P

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they hold a press conference after a meeting at the Elysee Palac

French President Emmanuel Macron listens to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they hold a press conference after a meeting at the Elysee Palac

Germany's Manfred Weber of the European People's Party is shown on the large screen as he participates in a debate with other candidates to the presid

Germany's Manfred Weber of the European People's Party is shown on the large screen as he participates in a debate with other candidates to the presid

PARIS (AP) — Ahead of important European elections, French President Emmanuel Macron is pleading for a stronger Europe to stand up to U.S. and Chinese dominance.

Macron expressed concern Thursday about the rise of extremist views, saying "if you fragment Europe, there is no chance you have a stronger Europe." He warned that could lead to a world led by a "G-2" involving just the U.S. and China.

Macron's centrist party is in a tight battle with Marine Le Pen's far right National Rally in the race for next week's European Parliament elections. His support has lagged amid tensions with other European leaders and domestic anger at his pro-business policies.

Macron hailed the EU for bringing together 28 "strong national cultures" peacefully for the past 70 years.