Can Macron’s “Fire and Fury” Lead a Renaissance for Europe?

Over the past decade, France as Europe’s third largest economy has not pursued an ambitious agenda as a member of the European Union. Likewise, resistance to political reforms has led to tepid economic growth hovering around 1 percent with only a few countries faring worse. President Emmanuel Macron, rejecting nationalism and embracing the potential of the European Union, may revitalize the French role. “Macron has moved to a dual strategy,” explains François Godement, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Use European needling to push domestic reforms, leverage these reforms to lobby the entire European Union for deeper integration, and needle Germany in the direction of federal economic governance for Europe.” Moving swiftly, Macron offers numerous policy proposals, pointedly avoiding treaty changes or mutualizing members’ past debts. Critics grumble about a jumble of policies, and Godement concludes that careful diplomacy is required in convincing other EU members, including Germany, that sticking with the status quo, avoiding reforms, will lead to Europe’s failure. – YaleGlobal