Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist writes of Emmanuel Macron’s ambitions for Europe, and his fears if they fail to materialise.
For any European minnow like ourselves here in Ireland, those ambitions might not be ours – but in the end there is nothing we can do about them. We are stuck with Macron et al, like it or not.
The magazine’s cover story this week, she writes, considers Emmanuel Macron’s warning that Europe is “on the edge of a precipice”. In his Elysée Palace office, the French president spoke to The Economist in apocalyptic terms. NATO, the transatlantic alliance, is suffering from “brain-death”, he says; Europe needs to develop a military force of its own. The European Union needs to act not just as a market but as a political bloc, with policies on technology, data and climate change. And it must embrace realpolitik, for example by rebuilding relations with Russia. With protectionism and authoritarianism on the rise, Europe needs to wake up and prepare itself for a tougher, less forgiving world. It is hard to overstate the scale of the change Mr Macron is asking from his fellow Europeans. Is he right? At the very least, he deserves an answer.