Macron spoke about the future of the European Union without the UK, and the need for the other 27 European Union member states to be united in opposition to the emergence of nationalist authoritarian traits.
Macron was speaking at the invitation of the European Parliament, which has asked leaders of all the member states to give their views on the EU's future following Brexit. He added that France was prepared to increase its contribution.
Earlier on Tuesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned of the possibility of "war" if EU's door remains closed.
Warning against complacency, Macron continued: "There is a fascination with the illiberal and that is growing all the time".
This month Hungary's right-wing leader Viktor Orban, another arch-critic of European Union policies, won a new two-thirds majority in parliament.
"I want to be part of a generation that will defend European sovereignty, as it is the only way future generations will be able to decide their future". This is a democracy that respects individual minority fundamental rights, which used to be called liberal democracy, and I use that term by choice.
French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly said that he is "the equal" to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and that the US -led strikes on Syria which France joined proved that he was "part of this".
Macron was also hitting back at the Eurosceptics who drove the vote for Brexit in the UK.
"We need a sovereignty that is stronger than just our own, which complements but does not replace it", Macron said in Strasbourg, a French frontier city which has become a symbol of Franco-German reconciliation after centuries as a prize of war. "No, no!" he said.
One 10-year-old boy prompted Mr. Macron to speak for over five minutes on ideas of national and European identity by asking the French president when he would get a EU identity card.
Macron's address was nevertheless generally well received.
Bourdin later told RMC radio that Macron said "I am an equal to Putin", while commenting on his and France's stance in the ongoing Syrian crisis. Macron's speech was part of a charm offensive ahead of European Parliament elections in May 2019, the first after Britain's exit from the 28-member bloc.
European Commission Recommends Membership Talks With Macedonia, Albania
For Albania, the Commission said the country needs to go further in addressing rule of law concerns, for example. When decisions will be considered including the state of crime, corruption and local conflicts.