Emmanuel Macron has called on the "citizens of Europe" to help build a more united EU and to defeat threats that mean the bloc "has never been so much in danger".
The French president's written rallying call was printed in 28 major European newspapers on Tuesday. In the open letter, he says the European Union is under attack from populists who hope to make large gains in May elections for the European Parliament.
"Never since the Second World War has Europe been so necessary," he wrote in the piece that the Financial Times said expanded on the integrationist speech he made at the University of Paris in September 2017.
Macron said the United Kingdom's decision to leave the EU must not be repeated. And he called for several improvements to help avoid a repetition, including harsher penalties for companies that fail to meet the EU's standards, and new EU climate and environmental targets.
He said the decision of the British people to leave the bloc showed the EU had failed to meet their expectations, but he also lamented the fact that voters had been lied to by those leading the charge to leave.
"Who told the British the truth about the post-Brexit future?" he asked. "Who spoke to them about losing access to the European market? Who mentioned the risks for peace in Ireland, of going back to the old border? The withdrawal into nationalism goes nowhere. It's just a rejection without a plan."
And he also criticized EU nations that want to limit the number of migrants and refugees that cross their borders, saying all members should adhere to the common asylum policy.
"We are at a decisive moment for our continent," he wrote. "A moment where, collectively, we should reinvent — politically and culturally — the shape of our civilization in a world that is being transformed. It is time for the European renaissance."
Macron called for the EU to hold a conference later this year so citizens, businesses, and academics can discuss proposed initiatives and improvements.
The Independent newspaper noted that the article, which was translated into 24 languages, was aimed at blunting the campaigns of eurosceptics and far-right parties in the May elections, with Macron saying nationalism is "the trap that threatens the whole of Europe: the anger mongers, backed by fake news, promise anything and everything" without having to deliver.
Britain's Guardian newspaper, which was one of the 28 publications that carried Macron's "roadmap to European renewal", noted that the French president also said the post-Brexit UK will be able to deepen its future relationship with the bloc, suggesting: "In this new Europe, the UK, I am sure, will find its true place."